Las Vegas, NV – Almost forgotten in the shuffle that was UFC 279’s main card was a big fight at bantamweight between Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson. The two traded rounds before Aldana finished the fight with a well placed kick off her back on Saturday night.
Aldana (14-6) had dominated the first round, many fans scoring it a 10-8 for her, but then Chiasson took over in the second round seemingly taking that one. In the third round after scrambling on he ground Aldana landed a perfectly placed up kick that hit Chiasson on the liver and shut her body down ending the fight.
When Chiasson hit the ground everybody seemed to be confused as to what had actually happened.
“It was bizarre. I knew the kick hit well. I knew it hit in the liver, but it was a little confusing for me seeing her reaction like that. I’m sure it kicked in the liver, but maybe I kick her somewhere else? I’m not sure. Because of her reaction. We trained that kick a lot. I’m glad it came out this night,” Aldana told Cageside Press among other media at her post-fight scrum.
After trading the first couple of rounds it all came down to what would happen in the third.
“I knew I would get the third round. I as feeling more comfortable with the time. My timing was getting better. I needed to be more cautious because of the weight advantage she had. I felt her really heavy on the ground and I didn’t want to risk too much. I just needed to be cautious and relaxed and just wait for the right time to make the space and get out of there,” she said.
The fight was scheduled to be at 135 pounds, but Chiasson’s camp requested a move to catchweight of 140 pounds. Aldana’s camp accepted the change.
“Actually I was, in the morning the day of the weigh-ins, I had just one pound left to cut. I was already cutting that pound. We received a call from her team saying that she was still 142 and she didn’t even (know) if she would make it to 140. So I stopped my weight cut. So I stopped my weight cut, recovered a little just half a pound, and we decided to take the catchweight,” Aldana said.
“I didn’t want to keep cutting so wouldn’t give her that much of an advantage on the weight. Still she was heavier than me. Much heavier than me.”
Aldana said her team discussed not taking the fight seeing as Chiasson would have a major weight advantage, but ultimately decided to accept.
“We said let’s do it. We’re here to take challenges. This is one more challenge,” she said.
Aldana said that her coach reminded her that she’s always training with heavier people in the gym and that she was prepared for the weight difference.
Recently, with fighters like Aldana, Brandon Moreno and others, Mexican fighters have received a lot of support from fight fans.
“It’s great to see Mexicans stand up like this. We’re getting noticed more with time. The new talents who are coming. The ones that we have while being here Alexa (Grasso), Yair (Rodriguez), Brandon…we are not in the same gym, but it feels like we are teammates when we are together in the cards,” she said.
“I’m really proud of them and Mexico.”
So what’s next for the top 5 bantamweight?
“I’m open to whoever the UFC (wants to give me). Obviously chasing the title fight. I’m ready for the title fight if that’s the next step,” she said.
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Irene Aldana above.