“Queen of Violence” Ariane Lipski returned to the women’s flyweight division at UFC Las Vegas, where she was paired up with American JJ Aldrich.
The return to 125lbs for Brazil’s Lipski came after a failed excursion to bantamweight, where she came up short against Priscila Cachoeira. Aldrich, meanwhile, was coming off a loss to the surging Erin Blanchfield.
Lipski got her hands going early in the opening frame, putting together a combination inside of thirty seconds. She stayed mobile, circling outside, and answered with another combination as Aldrich lunged forward with a jab. In a clinch, Lipski landed a knee, and fired a shot off the break.
Aldrich then opted to pursue a takedown with about two minutes left in the round. But Lipski, who had been winning the round on the feet, fought that off. Another takedown inside the final minute was also stuffed, and again, Lipski fired knees in the ensuing clinch.
Right at the end of the round, Lipski tagged Aldrich, putting her on her heels as the horn sounded seconds later.
Round two opened up with a leg kick from Lipski, who circled, worked her jab then landed another kick. Aldrich finally got a combo off, but she was still being out-struck as Lipski went to the body, then back up top, mixing up her shot selection. Around the two minute mark, Lipski went upstairs with a kick that just missed — but that no doubt put Aldrich on notice. Lipski later flashed a front kick; that came up short, and Aldrich answered with her jab.
Coming together, both fights hit home in an exchange — but it was the “Violence Queen” landing the final, most significant strike. As if on cue, Aldrich shot for a takedown that was against stuffed. A combination by Lipski was followed by another high kick; again Aldrich shot the takedown to no avail. Out-worked and outgunned on the feet, the wrestling simply was not there for JJ Aldrich through the opening two rounds.
🇧🇷 @Ariane_Lipski finding her rhythm heading into the 3rd #UFCLasVegas live now on @ESPNPlus pic.twitter.com/Hh4u5xS45c
— UFC (@ufc) March 11, 2023
The third round almost certainly had Ariane Lipski up on the scorecards, leaving Aldrich in need of a finish. That was going to be tricky, given she’d had no answer for the Brazilian on the feet for ten minutes, and had been unable to get the fight down. Aldrich did press forward at her corner’s urging, but Lipski was controlling the distance and winning the exchanges when they did come together.
Aldrich finally got her hands clasped on a takedown attempt with two minutes remaining, taking Lipski to a knee — but she was unable to complete the attempt. Instead, she drove Lipski into the fence, firing a well-placed knee to the head while they battled for position. But Lipski got off the fence, reversed, and briefly had Aldrich against the cage. They separated, giving Aldrich 30 seconds or so to make something happen. She couldn’t, and Lipski cruised to a much-needed decision win punctuated with a final takedown at the horn.
Official Result: Ariane Lipski def. JJ Aldrich by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)