Irene Aldana (10-5, 3-3 UFC) is looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss at UFC on ESPN 4 against Raquel Pennington, in front of a packed Mexico City crowd. A fight that had she won would’ve put her in serious title contention. However, the disappointment is hopefully more of a lesson learned than a significant setback.
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Upon signing to the UFC in 2016, Aldana found herself on the wrong end of the loss column twice. Dropping your first two fights in a premier organization is nothing easy to bounce back from. But for someone who was born in Culiacan, Mexico, nothing has ever come easy to Aldana.
Aldana is a homegrown product of Lobo MMA Gym out of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Before Aldana’s successful 2018 and start to her 2019 the gym’s biggest star and most well-known mixed martial artist was Alexa Grasso. A young up and comer who will be one half of the featured co-main event.
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Make no mistake about it though, her shortcoming against Pennington goes without saying that Aldana has made huge leaps in her game. The three-fight win streak before that was a credit to her seriousness of evolving into a complete mixed martial artist, as well as continuing to tighten up her striking. An evolution that she hopes to display in Mexico City this Saturday.
For the second time, Aldana was scheduled to fight Marion Reneau this weekend. The first bout was booked during their promotional days at Invicta FC, but Aldana pulled out of the fight. Unfortunately for fight fans who were looking forward to a battle between two of the bantamweights best lightning found a way to strike the bout for the second time. This time it was Reneau who was forced out with injury.
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Thankfully the UFC was able to salvage Aldana being on the fight card and found her a replacement. Vanessa Melo, a Brazilian, who has fought on smaller promotions and is currently on a personal best four-fight win streak.
Aldana has been with the UFC for nearly four years. Saturday night will be her first time since joining the organization that she’ll get to fight in front of a home crowd. Aldana is going to be ready to display the best version of herself and in doing so show that the lessons of yesterday are tomorrow’s joy.■