Irene Aldana simply pummeled Talita Bernardo en route to a unanimous decision win at UFC St. Louis (UFC Fight Night 124) on Sunday.
Originally set for the UFC Fight Pass prelims, the bantamweight scrap between Talita Bernardo and Irene Aldana was bumped up to the main card in the wake of Zak Cummings vs. Thiago Alves dropping off the UFC St. Louis card. Thanks to the evening’s injury woes, the pair would have considerably more eyeballs on them over on Fox Sports 1.
Heading into the fight Sunday in St. Louis, Aldana had lost two straight in the UFC. Talita Bernardo, meanwhile, entered off a loss to Marion Reneau in her promotional debut at UFC Fight Night 115.
Aldana held the center early, and found a home for her right hand in the initial exchanges. Bernardo was looking to counter, but seemed to have a knee buckle early. Aldana led with her jab, backing Bernardo up against the fence, picking her shots. A flurry then erupted with Aldana firing at will, hurting Bernardo. They went to the ground; Bernardo survived and made it back up only to have Aldana take it down once more. Bernardo, still trying to clear the cobwebs, then pressed for a takedown of her own, with Aldana employing a whizzer the stay upright. By the end of round one, Aldana’s boxing had proved to be the difference.
Bernardo ate an uppercut to open the second, and fired back with a high kick that Aldana blocked. Bernardo’s strikes were looping overhands in comparison to Aldana’s tight, crisp boxing. The Brazilian then opted to attempt a takedown, finishing it only to find herself in a triangle attempt. That said, Bernardo maintained control, working to pass guard. Aldana was having none of that, however, closing her guard. Bernardo’s next move was to posture up and try to land some ground and pound, but Aldana stayed active off her back and soon scrambled, almost making it up only to be pulled back down. Aldana, however, landed a number of elbows off her back and grazed Bernardo with an upkick which allowed her to escape back to her feet.
Round three saw Aldana sprawling to keep the fight on the feet, where she had the clear edge. Bernardo, realizing she had her best chance of success on the mat, looked to grab a leg, but couldn’t. Aldana would then make her pay with another combination landing. Making space with her jab, Aldana was slowly running away with the third round, and as time wore down it was clear Bernardo would need a finish. The Brazilian did try to let her hands go, but it was Aldana connecting again and again, and rocking Bernardo once more. Bernardo would desperately work for a takedown only to have Aldana land on top; Aldana would continue the drubbing until the end of the round.
There was no surprise when the scorecards were read, with Aldana awarded the unanimous decision.
Irene Aldana def. Talita Bernardo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)