VANCOUVER — Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana will face off at UFC 289 with the women's bantamweight belt on the line after both fighters made weight at the official weigh-in on Friday.
Aldana (14-6-0) is on a two-fight win streak while Nunes comes in after regaining her title in a bout with rival Julianna Pena.
Number-two-ranked UFC women's bantamweight Raquel Pennington was named as the backup if either fighter didn't make their weight class.
Nunes (22-5-0) told media on Wednesday that she would have pushed for the fight with Aldana to go ahead if her opponent missed the weight cutoff, but added that it wouldn't be a fight for a title.
Aldana missed her weight cut off in a 2021 bout against Yana Kunitskaya-Santos by three-and-a-half pounds, forcing her to forfeit 30 per cent of the fight purse.
She said at the time in a statement that she missed weight due to her menstrual cycle and that her "body stopped because of that."
"In all my career this is the first time I had missed weight, I tried hard and push my body to the limit. But it stopped sweating," she said in a statement at the time.
The Mexican fighter won that fight by TKO and followed that up with a win over Macy Chiasson last year.
Aldana was a late substitute for the injured Pena (broken ribs), and said she found out about the fight switch after training.
"One day I was training to fight Raquel (Pennington) and the next day I was training to fight for the title," she said.
Every fighter in UFC 289 successfully made their weigh-in.
Aldana was the first to weigh in and hit 135 pounds with Nunes showing up late and immediately stepping on to the scale to hit the same mark.
Former UFC champion Charles Oliveira (33-9-0) and Beneil Dariush (22-4-1) are fighting in the co-main event and both made their weight.
Oliveira had posted photos earlier in the week showing him in a sauna seemingly in a bid to cut weight, with Dariush downplaying the photos in a media availability.
Dariush said earlier in the week that he expected the winner of the lightweight bout to fight Islam Makhachev in Dubai in the fall.
Six Canadian or Canadian-based fighters will take part in the event with middleweight Marc-Andre (Power Bar) Barriault, of Gatineau, Que., and welterweight (Proper) Mike Malott, of Burlington, Ont., also fighting on the main card before the title bout.
"It feels like our homecoming party," said Malott. "I feel like for the Canadian MMA community, I'm the main event."
Malott will fight American Adam Fuggit in the welterweight category on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.
Nick Wells, The Canadian Press