Dana White reveals backup fighter for Amanda Nunes vs Irene Aldana at UFC 289

By Cole Shelton - May 4, 2023

Dana White has revealed there will be a backup fighter for the UFC 289 main event between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana.

Dana White

On Tuesday, White revealed that Pena was out of the UFC 289 main event against Nunes and Aldana has stepped in on short notice. Aldana, meanwhile, was supposed to headline the May 20 event against Raquel Pennington, so with that fight off, White revealed Pennington will be the backup fighter for June’s title bout.

“No, so what we are doing now, first of all, love the Irene Aldana fight, again for us to move so quickly and get another fight in there, press conference tomorrow and she’ll be here. Raquel Pennington will be the backup on that card, she’ll train, cut and make weight and if anything happens to either one of the girls, she’ll step in,” White revealed to The Schmo.

With Raquel Pennington now being the backup fighter at UFC 289, it’s uncertain what will headline the May 20 event. But, White felt that Pennington deserved the backup role after losing her main event fight on just a few weeks’ notice.

Amanda Nunes (22-5) reclaimed the bantamweight title last time out as she scored a lopsided decision win over Julianna Pena at UFC 277. In the fight prior, she suffered a second-round submission loss to Pena to lose the title in a stunning upset. Before the loss to Pena, Nunes was on a 12-fight win streak and is the current women’s bantamweight and featherweight champ. She also holds notable wins over Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Germaine de Randamie, Holly Holm, Miesha Tate, and Valentina Shevchenko, twice among others.

Irene Aldana (14-6) is on a two-fight win streak and coming off a TKO victory over Macy Chiasson. Before that, she scored a first-round TKO victory over Yana Santos. Aldana is currently ranked fifth at women’s bantamweight and this will be her first crack at UFC gold. In the UFC, the Mexican is 7-4 with notable wins over Ketlen Vieira and Bethe Correia.

Are you surprised that Dana White announced that Raquel Pennington is the backup fighter for Nunes-Aldana at UFC 289?


Amanda Nunes Dana White Irene Aldana Raquel Pennington