Las Vegas, NV — The only thing taking the shine off Irene Aldana’s performance at UFC 264 was that the Mexican fighter missed weight for the bout.
Even Dana White, who had suggested giving Aldana a bit of extra cash for her hard work, was taken aback by the news that the bantamweight contender had missed the mark.
“It was important for me to have a good performance, because I know I screwed up, and I needed to make it better in the fight,” she told Cageside Press during her post-fight press scrum, not long after she had scored a clean knockout of fellow contender Yana Kunitskaya. “I just needed to stay focused, do my job, don’t let that get into my head. It just was an honest mistake, it happened, move on and that’s it.”
Fan’s critical of her weight miss simply don’t understand what a fighter, especially a female fighter, goes through when it comes to cutting weight, Aldana explained. “They don’t know. I’m not a dirty fighter, I’m not someone who would have done that to take advantage of my opponent in the fight,” she insisted. “I’d never do that. Actually I was on the other side two times before, two fights before, with Bethe [Correia], and in Mexico [against Vanessa Melo]. I understand that, it happens, that’s it.”
The way Aldana sees it, “you make a pact, you take the fight, and that’s it. And in this time, as a professional athlete in this kind of sport, sometimes your menstrual cycle changes a lot, and you don’t know when it’s going to happen.”
That was the case ahead of UFC 264. Aldana was surprised by its onset. “I couldn’t prepare for that. I tried, I tried to the last minute to cut weight. Just my body stopped sweating.”
Aldana, who improved to 13-6 with the victory, doesn’t have a name in mind for what’s next. “No specific name. I’m always open to whatever the UFC wants me to do. We’ll see.”
Watch the full UFC 264 post-fight press scrum with Irene Aldana above.