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UFC 289: The End of an Era



Getty Images/ Cooper Neil

UFC 289 is in the books and it is the end of an era, as the double- division champion and arguably the greatest women mixed martial artist of all time, Amanda Nunes has retired from the UFC. Nunes made easy work of Aldana in five rounds (50-44, 50-44, 50-43) and showed she still was able to perform at her peak. Meanwhile, Charles Oliveira made a statement against Beniel Dariush, winning in round one by TKO and calling for an immediate rematch against champion Islam Makhachev. These are the major takeaways from an emotional UFC 289 fight night:
Nunes Retirement Leaves Hole in The Sport– Nunes has been the most dominant woman’s fighter in the UFC for quite some time, and it seems there is no one to replace her. The closest we have seen dominate like Nunes has is Valentina Schevchenko, who recently lost her belt for the first time in six years to Alexa Grasso. Schevchenko had two losses to Nunes, including a very close second fight, she was hoping to get a trilogy fight, but her loss to Grasso has her focused on regaining her belt. With Nunes retiring, the sport has to replace the most dominant women’s fighter in. history, and as of now there doesn’t seem to be anyone waiting in the wings with that potential.

Juliana Peña will not get her trilogy fight– Nunes retirement is bittersweet and although she accomplished everything she set out to do; it would have been nice for the trilogy fight with Peña to occur. Peña has been the only fighter in years to defeat Nunes and made her look mortal in their first fight. Nunes completely dominated her in the second fight and both fighters were supposed to square off at UFC 289 before Peña pulled out with an injury. Nunes retirement after defeating Aldana angered Peña who accused Nunes of ducking her:

Prime Oliveira is back– Charles Oliveira made easy work of Beniel Dariush. Oliveira landed a kick and punch that wobbled Dariush, and then was able to follow up with a combination that eventually dropped Dariush. Oliveira finished Dariush off with a flurry of hammer punches that Dariush was unable to counter, nor defend himself. The impressive performance against the number four contender in the lightweight division has made Oliveira the prime contender to receive a rematch against Islam Makhachev. With the Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier fight still upcoming, it will be interesting to see if the next lightweight challenger will be the winner of that fight, or if Oliveira has done enough to earn his rematch.

Beniel Dariush falls short of title shot- Eight straight wins and a promised shot at Islam Makhachev. That was what the UFC had promised Beniel Dariush, if he won against Oliveira. Dariush, who has felt disrespected and looked over countless times for title opportunities, has fallen short in his quest to reach the one fight he has always coveted. As of now, there doesn’t seem to be an immediate route to the title as Oliveira and the winner of Gaethje/ Poirier will most certainly get a title shot before him. There is probably even more interest in Islam fighting Alexander Volknovski in a pound-for pound title fight before Dariush is even considered.

UFC 289 card and results
Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-43)
Charles Oliveira def. Beneil Dariush via first-round TKO
Mike Malott def. Adam Fugitt via second-round submission
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
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)

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