UFC 289 results, highlights: Amanda Nunes announces sudden retirement after dominant win over Irene Aldana
The greatest woman to ever step foot inside the Octagon has decided to lay down the gloves for good
Amanda Nunes has left the building.
Nunes announced her retirement after dominating Irene Aldana to retain her women's bantamweight title at UFC 289 in Vancouver on Saturday. Nunes, arguably the greatest women's fighter in history, has the unique distinction of retiring as a two-division champion as she still holds the featherweight crown as well.
The champ-champ washed over Aldana at UFC 289, marking the first and last defense of her second stint as UFC women's bantamweight champion.
Nunes grew stronger with each passing round as the Mexican-born challenger started to wither. Nunes mixed up boxing, kicks and wrestling with great effect. Hard blows landed in Round 4 and a one-sided wrestling display in Round 5 earned her a pair of 10-8 scorecards on one judges' sheet. The final tally read 50-44, 50-44 and 50-43.
Nunes retires as the most prolific fighter in women's MMA history and one of the greatest fighters, regardless of gender. She won the UFC women's bantamweight championship twice and the women's featherweight title once. Nunes defeated legends of the sport like Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm and Valentina Shevchenko (twice). She retires with a 23-5 pro record.
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Nunes' departure from the UFC leaves the Brazilian fans without a world champion. Nunes challenged her fellow Brazilian fighters to receive the torch from her.
"Brazilian fighters, get your shit together!" Nunes said in her post-fight interview. "I believe in you!"
Mexico was on a remarkable run leading into UFC 289. Mexican-born fighter Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso and Yair Rodriguez all won UFC championships in 2023. Aldana's poor performance broke that streak.
Elsewhere on the card, Charles Oliveira reminded everyone why he's a former champion and rising challenger once more. Oliveira took out Beneil Dariush in the opening round of their co-main event to secure his rematch with Islam Makhachev, who took the lightweight title off of him. Oliveira has been on an incredible run himself with big wins abound and now he likely gets a chance to right a wrong in his next appearance.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way on Saturday bringing you all the results and highlights from the UFC 289 below.
UFC 289 card and results
- Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-43)
- via first-round TKO (punches)
- Mike Malott def. Adam Fugitt via second-round submission (guillotine choke)
- Dan Ige def. Nate Landwehr via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marc-Andre Barriault def. Eryk Anders via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis ruled a no contest due to an accidental headbutt
- Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Miranda Maverick via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Aiemann Zahabi def. Aoriqileng via first-round knockout (punch)
- Kyle Nelson def. Blake Bilder via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Steve Erceg def. David Dvorak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Diana Belbita def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Amanda Nunes announced her retirement after UFC 289. She exits the sport as two-division UFC champion.
Official result: Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-43) to retain her UFC women's bantamweight championship.
Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana -- Round 5: Nunes grew more and more dominant as the fight progressed. She landed a takedown early in Round 5 and went to work. Nunes didn't create much space to work, but was just active enough with short punches and elbows to prevent a referee stand up. Aldana offered no offense that round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-8 Nunes (50-44 Nunes overall)
Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana -- Round 4: A brawl broke out early in the penultimate round with both women getting their licks in. Nunes continued to fake takedown attempts to great effectiveness, drawing big reactions from her challenger. That aided Nunes in securing the takedowns when she actually committed to them. Aldana bounced to her feet quickly as Nunes started investing in body kicks. Consecutive right and left hooks landed flush for Nunes followed by a series of right hands that forced Aldana back. The Mexican-born challenger ate the shots well considering how cleanly they landed. A looping right hand landed square for Nunes but Aldana fired back with one of her own. Multiple hard shots connected for Nunes and a spinning back elbow punctuated the round. That was verging on a 10-8. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Nunes (40-36 Nunes overall)
Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana -- Round 3: Nunes continued to use teep kicks to great effectiveness in the third frame. Nunes turned Aldana's face red with stiff jabs and muscled her to the floor for the fight's first significant ground exchange. Nunes took the back standing and tripped Aldana against the fence. The champion achieved the back mount and teased an armbar. Aldana broke free and threw a combination against the fence, but Nunes returned fire and circled to safety. Nunes landed the best combination of the fight so far, cracking Aldana with a Muay Thai knee and a pair of punches. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Nunes (30-27 Nunes overall)
Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana -- Round 2: The champion kept Aldana at bay with crisp jabs and a nasty stomp to the knee. Aldana would return fire with calf kicks but they just didn't have the same foe. Nunes would also occasionally fake a takedown to land shots up top. Aldana blitzed with a combination but Nunes made her look silly by tossing her to the ground. An exchange of hard leg kicks between the fighters was punctuated by a solid right hook by Nunes. A wider right hook found its way around Aldana's guard. Nunes ducked a head kick by Aldana and took her down as the Mexican-born fighter spun into a back fist. Nunes immediately let Aldana back up and cracked her with a calf kick. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Nunes (20-18 Nunes overall)
Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena -- Round 1: Nunes looked sharp early, touching up Aldana at range. The challenger answered back with a power shot that had Nunes unsteady for a moment. It was a close round without too many big moments. Nunes landed with more volume but Aldana landed the harder punch. I'm inclined to lean Nunes since Aldana's big blow didn't have a significant impact on the round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Nunes
All that remains in is the main event. Two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes defends her UFC women's bantamweight champion against Mexico's Irene Aldana. This marks the first defense of Nunes' second stint as women's bantamweight champion after avenging a shocking upset loss to Julianna Pena. Aldana looks to follow in the foot steps of Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso and Yair Rodriguez as Mexican-born fighters to win UFC titles in 2023.