Sanabul Fight News: UFC 289
The early prelims began with Diana Belbita and Steve Erceg each getting well-earned decision victories to get their first UFC wins of their careers. Diana Belbita had a relatively close match against Maria Oliveira, and Steve Erceg battled it out with the Czech Republic native, David Dvorak but ended up edging it out on the judges scorecards. The night of undefeated Canadian fighters began with Ontario native Kyle Nelson taking on Blake Bilder in a stand up brawl that had both men taking and giving lots of damage. Kyle ended up getting the edge with the judges to take the first win for the Canadian fighters.
Aimann Zahabi and Jasmine Jasudavicius followed up this victory with wins of their own for Canada. Aimann finishing Qileng Aori in the first round with a massive walk-off KO with the legendary Firas Zahabi in his corner, and Jasmine showing off some incredible grappling prowess and aggressive striking out of Niagara Top Team to get the decision victory over Miranda Maverick.
The featured prelim had impressive middleweights Chris Curtis and Nassourdine Imavov facing off in what would’ve seemed to be a striking matchup going in. Nassourdine ended up utilizing some grappling as well, but it was an accidental headbutt that ended up making the fight a No Contest in the end, with what would’ve seemed to be Imavov pulling ahead in the second round. Marc Andre-Barriault and Dan Ige earned decision wins of their own to start off the main event, with both fights being stand-up wars, much to the Canadian crowds' avail. Barriault earned another win for the Canadian fighters with some impressive striking against former D1 Football player Eryk Anders.
Dan Ige earned his second victory in a row over Nate Landwehr to start working his way up to the top of the bantamweight division, with Nate showing a relatively impressive performance considering Dan is the first high level veteran he’s fought in the UFC. Mike Malott showed his high level all-around skills once again on Saturday night against fellow welterweight Adam Fugitt in what was a very one sided matchup, ending with a submission in the second round. Mike is a black belt and a very impressive striker, showing very good athleticism and powerful striking, he will be something to worry about in the welterweight division.
Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush was the co-main event, and the fight that fans were most excited for on this card. Although this wasn’t a title fight, it had massive implications in the lightweight division and fans knew what this fight meant to both men. A little bit into the fight Charles ended up pulling guard, and throwing lots of stocks from the bottom. I'm not sure why he chose this strategy but it really didn’t hurt him too much, with both men standing relatively soon after. Charles landed a massive head kick and a barrage of punches, following up with some ground and pound to put Beneil away. It seems to be Dana White’s plan to have Charles fight Islam Makhachev once again for the lightweight title, which fans will be excited to see.
The greatest WMMA fighter of all time fought again on Saturday night, and this time the challenger had the name of Irene Aldana. The Lioness did what she does best, she dominated the fight from start to finish, 5 rounds showcasing her skill and how far she is separated from the next best fighters in the division. After the fight, Amanda took her gloves and belts off on the octagon floor and announced her retirement, solidifying her legacy as the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time. Congratulations to Amanda on an amazing career and I look forward to seeing who will fill her shoes as the champions in both divisions.