Amanda Nunes reigns atop the U.F.C. women’s bantamweight division, and it is unlikely that she will release that grip anytime soon based on her recent performances.
But Irene Aldana made a bold statement that she could be next in line to challenge the greatest female fighter of all time. Aldana, ranked No. 4 in the division, stopped Yana Kunitskaya in the first round by technical knockout. She landed a counter left hook to drop her to the ground, and then landed shots to Kunitskaya while she laid on the ground. Kunitskaya tried to defend herself, but the referee stopped the bout after seeing enough damage.
Kunitskaya left the octagon with her head down and bloody. Aldana did not call out the next opponent she would like to face, instead saying she would take it “one step at a time.”