The UFC heads to Canada this weekend for a title fight between Amanda Nunez and Irene Aldana. In the co-main Charles Oliveira returns for the first time since losing his title to Islam Makhachev to face surging contender Beneil Dariush and rising Welterweight Mike Malott meets Adam Fugitt. We take a look at my best bets on the UFC 289 card below.
UFC 289 Preview & Betting Picks
Amanda Nunez vs. Irene Aldana
Amanda Nunez will look to defend her title this weekend against Mexico’s Irene Aldana after her trilogy bout with Juliana Pena fell through. Nunez’s record since becoming the champion only has the one blemish of Pena and she has dominated everyone else before her.
However, that fight showed she can gas badly when she has extended grappling exchanges and is incredibly hittable. If she gets into a back-and-forth battle on the feet with Aldana like she did in the first Pena fight it is bad news for the champ. However, I am happy to write that fight off as a wake-up call as last time out she completely dismantled her foe and showed why she is the best in the world.
If she hadn’t lost that first fight to Pena, she would be $1.10 or less here against Aldana, who doesn’t have the grappling to make Nunez work or the power in her strikes to sting the Brazilian and put her away. Back Nunez to secure a dominant victory and retain her title.
Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
Charles Oliveira makes his Octagon return this week for the first time since losing the belt to Islam Makhachev. He meets Beneil Dariush who is on an eight-fight win streak and with another victory this weekend almost certainly will be fighting for the title next.
Before his defeat to Makhachev, Oliveira was looking almost unbeatable, with improved and devastating striking coupled with a slick ground game, which makes the fact he is a decent underdog here all the more staggering.
Yes ‘Benny’ is on a tear and looking like a serious contender but a look at who he has beaten shouldn’t make you get too excited. His best win was over Mateusz Gamrot, a strong wrestler who he managed to neutralise, yet a man who I believe Oliveira would finish with relative ease. The Brazilian has the advantage on the feet and will punish any lazy shot from Dariush and wrap up an arm or a neck. Back Oliveira to get a statement win and call out the champ for a rematch.
Dan Ige vs. Nate Landwehr
Dan Ige registered a strong stoppage win in his last fight against Damon Jackson to break a three-fight losing streak against the Featherweight elite. His opponent Nate Landwehr is riding high on a three-fight winning streak but this is a step too far.
While Ige probably doesn’t have the knockout power of his opponent he has stronger wrestling, better footwork and is more durable. Expect Ige to counter an over eager Landwehr and put him away in devastating fashion.