UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana Preview

On Saturday night, the women’s bantamweight division will get a nice shake-up with some of the top talent in the division stepping into the Octagon. In the main event #2 ranked Holly Holm (13-5) will look to make one last run at the bantamweight title she one had around her waist, she is set to face off against #3 ranked Irene Aldana.

Aldana (12-5) will have some title aspirations of her own, with a win she moves right into contention. A win for Aldana would provide champion Amanda Nunes a fresh new challenge in a division she has pretty much cleaned out. Aldana promised to bring her Mexican heart into this fight and she is riding a two fight win streak with recent wins over Vanessa Melo and a first round knockout win over Ketlen Vieira.

For Holm a loss here is not an option if she wants to hold the UFC title once more. A decision win last January over Raquel Pennington sets ‘The Preacher’s Daughter” up here to make a statement in this fight. Holm is a decision machine, she loves to fight on the outside and has found success in her career doing just that. You would imagine that Holm will need a really impressive win here, that or a highlight reel KO if she is to get another crack at Amanda Nunes’ belt. Both women match-up really well and it should be an interesting encounter.

Two heavyweight hitters face off in the co-main event, Yorgan De Castro (6-1) and Carlos Felipea (8-1) with throw leather in a bout that has no real implications in the division. Both guys are coming off a loss, De Castro was beaten by Greg Hardy by decision in his last outing. Felipea was on the wrong end of a judge’s decision when he fought Sergey Spivak in his last fight. I expect a knockout in this fight which means the fight will drag on to a three round decision. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

Some more womens bantamweight action takes place on the undercard when Germaine de Randamie (9-4) steps in to fight Julianna Peña (9-3). This will be the first time we have seen de Randamie since her title fight loss to Amanda Nunes. That bout seen her on her back for most of the fight with Nunes deciding to use her grappling to get the decision on the scorecards. She will need to have made some improvements in that aspect of her game coming in to fight Peña here.

A grapple heavy gameplan is what “The Venezuelan Vixen” usually brings to the table anytime she steps into the octagon. It will have to be the same here in this contest, Peña will not want to be staying on the feet for too long with somebody that possesses the level of striking skills that de Randamie has. Peña got the win unanimous decision win over Nico Montana over a year ago at UFC on ESPN+ 13. Another win on Saturday night would move her up into the upper echelon of the division and one step closer to that title shot.

Carlos Condit (30-13) returns to the UFC after a near two year layoff. “The Natural Born Killer” returns from retirement to faceoff against the ever durable Court McKee (19-9). Both fighter have losing streaks coming into this encounter. Both guys will be desperate to get that W and that alone should make for an exciting fight.

Cameron Else (10-4) brings a five fight win streak which are all first round stoppages into the octagon for his UFC debut. He squares off against Kyler Phillips (7-1) who fight for under the UFC banner for the second time. Undefeated Duško Todorović (9-0) will make his UFC debut. He has a past win over UFC welterweight Michel Pereira. His opponent, Dequan Townsend (30-11) needs a win big time here after losses in his previous three bouts. He has a huge task ahead of him facing Else in a talent rich bantamweight division.

Check out the official fight card from top to bottom below:

Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana Bantamweight

Yorgan De Castro vs. Carlos Felipe Heavyweight

G. de Randamie vs. Julianna Peña Bantamweight

Kyler Phillips vs. Cameron Else Bantamweight

Dequan Townsend vs. Duško Todorović Middleweight

Carlos Condit vs. Court McGee Welterweight

Joshua Culibao vs. Charles Jourdain Featherweight

Jordan Williams vs. N. Imavov Middleweight

Loma Lookboonmee vs. Jinh Yu Frey Flyweight

Casey Kenney vs. Heili Alateng Bantamweight

Jessin Ayari vs. Luigi Vendramini Lightweight

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.