Irene Aldana believes she deserves the next bantamweight title shot.
Aldana is the current fourth-ranked bantamweight and coming off a TKO win over Yana Kunitskaya back at UFC 264. She was set to face Aspen Ladd in April but was forced out of the bout due to an injury. Feeling healthy now, she believes she could earn the next title shot.
Irene Aldana is Ready At a Moment’s Notice
“I’m ready if the opportunity to fight for the belt comes,” Aldana told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I think I’m capable of taking that fight now. If tomorrow I get offered a fight for the belt, I would accept that fight. I feel ready. I feel I can build a camp for a title fight. Physically and mentally, I’m ready for that. I just don’t know what plans the UFC has. I don’t know if they want to put me against someone else before that opportunity. We also need to see what happens with Amanda and Julianna in this rematch. And yeah, we need to see what the plans are for the UFC.”
Of course, the bantamweight title is on the line in the main event of UFC 277 as Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes have their highly-anticipated rematch. It’s an intriguing matchup given Peña shocked the world last December and should Peña win, there is no clear-cut next contender. Valentina Shevchenko could move up in weight or perhaps Aldana or Ketlen Vieira get the next title shot. Aldana holds a KO win over Vieira which would put her ahead of the Brazilian.
What’s Next for Irene Aldana
Ultimately, the hope for Aldana is to get the next title shot but she says she isn’t opposed to taking another fight to cement herself as a top contender.
“At this point of my career and being in the top five of the division, it’s harder to fight frequently,” Aldana said. “I can’t do what I did in 2019 when I had four consecutive fights while I was climbing the rankings. Now, I have to see what fight could get me closer to the title. I do like to be active. I do like to be working. I don’t want to sit around and wait, but if that’s what needs to be done and the UFC asks me to wait, I’ll wait.”
“I’ll also take a fight, no problem, if the UFC wants it, she continued. “The idea is also to get more experience. I know every time I fight, every time I do a camp, that gets me more prepared for the title. But we’ll see, I think a lot will be determined once we see the rematch (between Peña and Nunes).