ufc-279-clash:-aldana-vs.-chiasson!

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight scrappers Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson will go to war this weekend (Sat., Sept. 10, 2022) at UFC 279 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Aldana is perhaps the last interesting contender at 135 pounds left who doesn’t have at least one loss to Amanda Nunes. After knocking out Ketlen Vieira, she really seemed to be on the fast track to a title shot, but then the Holly Holm defeat completely shattered her momentum. She rebounded well last time out, but Aldana still needs another big win to reassert herself into the title mix.

Chiasson has talent herself, but the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) champion has struggled to build consistent momentum. Bouncing between weight classes, Chiasson has a solid UFC record (6-2) but hasn’t yet scored a signature victory. Perhaps this is her moment to change that?

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each woman:

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BLOCKBUSTER WELTERWEIGHT SHOWDOWN! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., Sept. 10, 2022, with a must-watch Welterweight thriller that will see undefeated No. 3-ranked contender, Khamzat Chimaev, battle perennial fan favorite, Nate Diaz. In UFC 279’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, former top-ranked Lightweight contender, Tony Ferguson, will return to the 170-pound weight class for his next assignment opposite Welterweight “Leech,” Li Jingliang.

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Irene Aldana

Record: 13-6

Key Wins: Ketlen Vieira (UFC 245), Yana Kunitskaya (UFC 264), Bethe Correia (UFC 237), Lucie Pudilova (UFC 228)

Key Losses: Holly Holm (UFC Fight Island 4), Raquel Pennington (UFC on ESPN 4), Katlyn Chookagian (UFC 210), Leslie Smith (UFC on FOX 22)

Keys to Victory: Aldana is a hard hitter in a division where that’s pretty uncommon. More than that, the Mexican athlete is a solid boxer who can put together sharp combinations and manage distance. Lately, she’s done quite well in defending takedowns too.

This is actually a pretty comparable match up to Aldana’s last fight opposite Yana Kunitskaya. Like Kunitskaya, Chiasson is probably going to pursue the clinch. Her best chance at victory involves hanging onto Aldana and preventing boxing exchanges at distance while landing small shots.

Similar to her last fight, Aldana has to punish her opponents attempts to crash forward. Aldana should be sticking her jab and moving her feet, making Chiasson work to catch up to her. In the process, Aldana should be looking to line up her money shot: that left hook that can end the fight if it lands right.


Macy Chiasson

Record: 8-2

Key Wins: Marion Reneau (UFC Vegas 22), Gina Mazany (UFC 235), Pannie Kianzad (TUF 28 Finale), Shanna Young (UFC Fight Night 167)

Key Losses: Raquel Pennington (UFC Vegas 45), Lina Lansberg (UFC Fight Night 160)

Keys to Victory: Chiasson is a tough, aggressive fighter. She makes good use of her size and strength, bullying opponents with forward pressure, combination punching, and clinch work.

Just because I wrote how Aldana should counter Chiasson’s attempts to clinch above doesn’t mean it’s the wrong strategy. Chiasson has to be wary of getting caught on the way in, but clinch work is still her best chance at victory. She doesn’t have the speed or skills to compete with Aldana in the pocket, but Chiasson’s physicality and experience at Featherweight can play a bigger role at close distance.

In the clinch, Chiasson does good work with elbows and knees. Once there, she can win the fight! To close the distance safely, however, I’d like to see Chiasson snatch up the leg and use the takedown attempt to close distance. Alternatively, she could take a page from Nate Diaz’s book, extending out her arms and smothering her opponent’s hands as a method to get closer.


Bottom Line

This might just be a title eliminator?

Now that Nunes is back on top, the Bantamweight division is once again looking pretty stagnant. “The Lioness” has already beaten up most of the division, but at least these two are fresh blood. Since Holm lost her last bout and Julianna Pena needs a win before they run the trilogy, the division is pretty open? Ketlen Vieira is the only competition, and seeing as her last win was a split-decision, a finish or dominant win could sway the promotion.

Alternatively, it’s an odd situation for the defeated woman. On one hand, the division is wide open, so any Top 10 fighter is never that far off from the title at women’s Bantamweight. At the same time, defeat here makes it two losses in three fights for either woman, which isn’t typically title fight material.

At UFC 279, Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson will square off. Which woman will earn the victory?