Irene Aldana confident she will regain her title contender status
Irene Aldana’s journey to the UFC belt may have taken a detour, but he’s still on his way to the top.
The UFC women’s bantamweight title contender is looking to return to her victory on July 10 at UFC 264 when she takes on compatriot Yana Kunitskaya. Aldana (12-6 MMA, 5-4 UFC) has just had foot surgery and a loss of decision to former champion Holly Holm during the UFC main event on ESPN 16 in October.
Facing one of the top five opponents in the UFC rankings, Aldana is grateful to have had a quality opponent for her comeback.
“Fortunately, they gave me a fight in the top five,” Aldana told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “It’s a good opportunity to make a good comeback with a very complete fighter like Yana. I didn’t have the best fight on my last outing. It was the worst performance I’ve had in this fight against Holly.
“I think the UFC kept in mind how I lost. I wasn’t knocked out, I wasn’t subdued, and there was a mix of situations that didn’t help the cause and only made it worse. I had the broken foot, had COVID-19 before the fight, and I don’t think I made a full recovery because I had lingering issues. I think the UFC keeps all of that in mind, as well as the previous fights I’ve had. I think if you look at all the previous fights and compare it with the performance against Holly, you can tell something was wrong with me. And I don’t want to take anything away from Holly – I know I fought the best version of her.
Aldana entered the fight with Holm 5-1 in his previous six outings to the UFC. She currently sits in the top five of the official UFC Women’s Bantamweight Rankings.
The Guadalajara native knows that a win over Kunitskaya could likely put her in a favorable position to fight for the title and potentially challenge two-division champion Amanda Nunes, who is expected to defend her 135-pound belt against Julianna Pena on August 7. .
“I think if I have a good performance, a dominant presentation and a convincing win, I think I can get back on track for a potential title fight,” said Aldana. “The division is very close competing at the top as many of the top five girls have already fought for the belt. I think I can reclaim that place – but first this fight, and we’ll pick it up from there.
“If I win this fight and have a convincing win, and maybe have another win after that against a good opponent, I think I can raise my hand to ask for this title opportunity. It could be this year – why not?