The highly anticipated fight will take place in Dubai.
After a successful night at UFC 253 which saw Israel Adesanya retain his UFC Middleweight Championship and continue his unbeaten streak, UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi will play host to UFC Fight Night: Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana on Sunday.
The main event will feature former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm as she takes on 6th ranked Irene Aldana. A heavyweight tilt between Yorgan de Castro and Carlos Felipe will serve as the co-main event while other fights on the main card include Germaine de Randamie vs. Julianna Peña, Kyler Phillips vs. Cameron Else and Dequan Townsend vs. Dusko Todorovic.
Women bantamweight bout (Main Event) – Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana
The main event between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana could very well determine the next title challenger in the women’s bantamweight division as former champion Holly Holm looks for a second consecutive victory.
After coming up short in her bid to reclaim the bantamweight title last summer, Holly Holm got back into the win column in January by winning her fight against Raquel Pennington at UFC 246. The American has won each of her last three non-title fights and is one of the most formidable fighters in the sport, standing as a top contender in two divisions.
Speaking to the media ahead of her fight with Irene Aldana, Holly Holm said “She has that potential. We’ve anticipated for a while now that I’d be fighting her at some point. She’s one of those who I feel every time you see her fight, you see an improvement in her from the last time you saw her. That makes her a threat. We have to wonder, ‘What is she going to come with this time?’ She keeps improving, improving and improving and with someone like that, they’re obviously headed somewhere. This is a big fight for me and my team and we want to win this fight.”
Irene Aldana will be entering the Octagon this weekend having won five of her last six outings, with her lone setback being a close split decision loss to Raquel Pennington. The most impressive victory of her career was at UFC 245 where she surprisingly knocked out previously unbeaten Brazilian contender Ketlen Vieira.
She has shown a ton of versatility in her wins, earning 6 knockouts, 3 submissions, and 3 decisions so far but this will be her biggest fight against an opponent with a lot of experience inside the octagon. A win for would almost certainly secure her a 145-pound title fight against Amanda Nunes.
Speaking about the fight to media, Irene said, “I think every fight is my toughest fight since I started this career. This is my hardest fight, she is well-rounded, strong, experienced, and has fought great fighters. I am here for a reason and I think it is a great matchup. I think it’s going to be a back and forward fight. We are both strikers, but we can take the fight to another level. I just see myself winning against Holly Holm. That is the main goal to go for that title and I am doing everything I can to earn it.”
For Aldana, a fight against Holm will no doubt be the toughest test of her career. ‘The Preachers Daughter’ is a former world champion and a decorated striker. So, she knows she will have to fight a near-perfect fight to beat her.