Irene Aldana will meet Macy Chiasson at UFC 279 in the bantamweight division. Aldana last fought, winning via TKO in round one against Yana Kunitskaya just over a year ago. She was later scheduled twice, once against Germaine De Randamie and then Aspen Ladd, but injury and undisclosed reasons forced the fights to fall through.
Chiasson will welcome Aldana to 2022 competition coming off of her win against Norma Dumont in May, in which she edged out a close split decision. Prior to that, 2-1 in her last three, losing only to former title challenger Raquel Pennington and earning unanimous decision victories over Marion Reneau and Shanna Young.
Aldana, the highly regarded power puncher, will be backed by oddsmakers at -190. It will cost a wager of $190 in order to win $100 on her if she is victorious.
Irene Aldana is one of the best knockout artists in any of the women’s divisions. She has physicality on her side as well as power, and she has had a consistent height and range advantage over most of her career. She has a very high guard and good fundamental strikes, but her best shot is her left hook. She is exceptionally accurate when she can force her opponent to stay inside of her range.
She does have difficulty in terms of opponents with very good movement, and we have seen her charge in or chase them down rather than cut off the cage tactically. Her ultimate goal is to either catch them with their heel to the cage so as to bully them into exchanging or tempt them into exchanging in the center, where she can land but utilize her height to lean away or step just barely out of the way of counters. Regardless, she has a very aggressive striking style. She tends to want to lead with a sprawl and brawl approach, and so when taken down, she does utilize a lot of explosive power in order to get back to her feet which is sometimes not the most energy efficient way but does allow her to get up fairly quickly.
Macy Chiasson strikes with a lot of variety. She is also lengthy and will actually enjoy both a three-inch height and reach advantage over Aldana. She has a very nasty mentality in the cage and isn’t afraid to get into a dog fight which is exactly where Aldana will want to contend. Watch for her uppercuts and left hook, as well as a nice slick 3-2 or left hook to right cross she throws.
Like Aldana, she utilizes a high guard and has good knees in the clinch and standing in range. The largest difference is while Aldana uses large blasting movements, Chiasson tends to shorten her steps and use lateral movement and feints, but nothing is rather big or explosive. She is good at reversing positions off of the fence and dragging her opponents down from the body lock off of the fence. The biggest knock on her skills, however, is that there does appear to be some weight on her strikes, making them look a bit labored, especially against the hand speed of someone like Aldana.
This will be a very exciting matchup for the bantamweight division. Both women are always game and ready to throw down but also possess very technical and athletic skills. Ultimately, however, while Chiasson may have some good opportunities in the clinch and using her reach from afar, getting inside will be difficult, and the reach may be negated by the explosive power of Aldana. Chiasson has good short lateral movement, but she isn’t usually one to be extremely elusive, and so I believe in exchanges, the power of Aldana and the speed will ultimately make the difference.
Prediction: Irene Aldana to win (-190 odds to win at BetUS)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.