Much of the focus surrounding UFC 289 was based on the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time, the UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Her fight against rising bantamweight Irene Aldana headlined UFC 289 along with a co-main event between former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, who entered the event on an eight-fight win streak. With these bouts, UFC 289 had the potential to make some noise at the top of two UFC divisions. Additionally, being the UFC’s first event in Canada since 2019, the card was loaded with a plethora of Canadian fighters that wanted to make some headlines in front of the Vancouver crowd. So without further ado, here is the official Bleacher Brawls UFC 289 recap.


The G.O.A.T. Goes Out on Top

When Amanda Nunes stepped into the octagon, many believed she would win, but not many expected it to be the last time that we would get to see her step into the octagon. Nunes has accomplished so much in her career, losing only one fight since 2015, a loss to Julianna Pena which Nunes avenged by dismantling Pena in the rematch. Nunes routed yet another opponent at UFC 289, stifling Irene Aldana’s offense. It was almost as if Aldana was so worried about solving the defensive puzzle Nunes presents that her offense just froze up.

Nunes announced her retirement in the octagon in her post fight interview. She truly is the G.O.A.T. of women’s MMA, and it would be hard for anyone to have a similar run. She has defeated a long list of greats, including multiple former UFC champions, hall of farmers, and some of the other best female fighters of all time. Nunes holds wins over stars like Valentina Shevchenko (twice), Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie (twice), and more. 

Nunes leaves as a two division champion carrying a legacy that will be hard for any man or woman to ever match. She gets to go out on top with eleven title fight wins, eight title defenses, and a very, very long list of accolades. Nunes now gets to move onto motherhood along with her wife, fellow UFC fighter Nina Nunes. They are expecting their second child in the coming months.


Charles Oliveira is Still Dangerous

Some people started to write off Charles Oliveira’s lightweight title reign after he lost the championship. A big reason for that is due to what was supposed to be his second title defense, a fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Due to Oliveira missing weight, he was stripped of the UFC title as soon as the fight started, resulting in only Gaethje being eligible to win the championship. Thereafter, Oliveira was able to fight for his vacated title by squaring off with Islam Makhachev, who defeated him. Oliveira’s fight against Dariush was set to be his first fight since that loss to Makhachev.

Dariush was the UFC lightweight division’s boogeyman ever since Makhachev won the title, beating everyone he fought to the point where no one ahead of him in the rankings wanted to fight him. Yet Charles Oliveira, like Dariush, had no one to really fight in the lightweight division, making this matchup appropriate.

During the fight, Oliveira was able to hurt Dariush with his striking, and eventually ended the fight with a TKO in the first round. Oliveira is now setting his sights on a rematch against Makhachev, declaring post-fight, “The champ has a name, Charles Oliveira.”

UFC is planning for Makhachev to headline UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, and Oliveira could make the most sense as an opponent. The only other option would be the winner of the fight between Dustin Poirer and Justin Gaethje, but Oliveira has already defeated both men. This makes it likely that the UFC would target the rematch between Oliveira and Makhachev, with UFC President Dana White stating that he’d be interested in the fight in his post-fight press conference.


Canadian Success at UFC 289

UFC 289 was UFC’s first event in Canada since 2019, mostly due to the pandemic. Five Canadian fighters were featured on the card: Kyle Nelson, Aiemann Zahabi, Jasmine Jasudavicius, Marc-Andre Barriault, and Mike Malott. All five won their fights, making Canadians 5-0 in their return to the Great White North. The last time UFC was in Canada, the Canadian fighters on the card went a combined 2-3 in their fights. So the Canadian fighters had a much better time of it. 

Out of all of the Canadian fighters, the one who made the most of their opportunity might have been Jasmine Jasudavicius. Jasudavicius defeated Miranda Maverick by unanimous decision, winning 29-28 on all three scorecards by taking the second and third rounds. Jasudavicius has now cracked the UFC rankings for the women’s flyweight division, now finding herself ranked 15th. Next for Jasudavicius should be an opponent ranked ahead of her, and if she continues to win she could find herself climbing the rankings very quickly.


Look Ahead To UFC 290

With UFC 289 in the past, here is a little look ahead to UFC 290, from the preceding fight night events through what UFC 290 will bring to the table. From top contender matchups to title fights, there is plenty to look forward to as we look ahead. 

Upcoming UFC Fight Night Cards

The biggest Fight Night card the UFC has before UFC 290 might be the one following UFC 289. On Saturday, June 17, two top five middleweight contenders headline when Marvin Vettori takes on Jared Cannonier in a fight that could move them up the middleweight pecking order. The co-main is top 10 lightweight Arman Tsarukyan putting his ranking on the line against Joaquim Silva. There’s also a fight between two rising middleweights, as the 8-2 Armen Petrosyan meets the 8-0 Christian Leroy Duncan.

The other two fight nights leading up to UFC 290 are on June 24 and July 1. The headlining fight on June 24th will see number five featherweight contender, Josh Emmett, square off with the number nine-ranked Ilia Topuria. The July 1st event will have the number seven middleweight, Sean Strickland, facing Abus Magomedov, who will be in only his second UFC fight.

UFC 290

UFC 290 will have two title fights on the card, with the headliner being Alexander Volkanovski defending his featherweight title against interim featherweight champ Yair Rodriguez, who won the interim title from Josh Emmett when Volkanovski challenged Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title. The co-main event to that is Brandon Moreno defending his flyweight title against the number two-ranked contender Alexandre Pantoja. Moreno and Pantoja have fought each other twice already; once on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter (the UFC’s reality show, where all fights are considered exhibition bouts that don’t count against a fighter’s record) and again on a 2018 fight night card. Pantoja won each fight, so he may have the upper hand. Moreno, for his part, just got done fighting Deiveson Figueiredo for the fourth time. Now he will meet Pantoja for the third time. Apparently, he just can’t get away from familiar opponents.

UFC 290 takes place during international fight week, which normally features one of, if not the strongest card the UFC has all year. This card doesn’t just end with the two championship fights.

The top ranked middleweight contender and former champ Robert Whittaker will face the number six-ranked Dricuss Du Plessis in a fight that will decide the next challenger for Israel Adesanya’s middleweight crown. Number ten lightweight Jalin Turner will face number 11 lightweight Dan Hooker in what should be a really fun fight. Bo Nickal, who might just be the top prospect in all of MMA, is a three-time NCAA wrestling champion who might be the highest pedigree wrestler to enter the UFC in a long time. He faces Tresean Gore to open up the main card.

Every fight listed here is actually on the main card, and the prelims are amazing as well. UFC Hall of Famer Robbie Lawler faces off against the always entertaining Niko Price as the featured prelim. Number nine welterweight, Sean Brady, faces the number eleven welterweight, Jack Della Maddelena. Number fourteen light heavyweight, Jimmy Cute, puts his ranking on the line against Alonzo Menifield. Plus, undefeated prospect Yazmin Jauregui faces off against 7-2 Denise Gomes in a fight where both women are under 25 and should have bright futures. UFC 290 is can’t miss, and if you only buy one UFC PPV this year, UFC 290 is seemingly the best option thus far. 


UFC 289 was exciting, but it is always a bit sad when a legend retires. However, nobody will complain for Amanda Nunes. She has left a legacy that feels like it won’t be touched for a long time. Charles Oliveira getting back on the right track with his big win is great to see, and the Canadians really stood out in their home country. Then there is always more good fight action ahead with the fight night cards, as well as UFC 290 and international fight week being right around the corner.

As always, if there’s anything you took away from UFC 289, let us know by tweeting it out to me @derrik_maguire and @BleacherBrawl to give us your thoughts on all the action from this past weekend.

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