Issue 201

January 2024

When fans steeled themselves for a packed night of fights at UFC 296, they had a host of mouthwatering matchups to look forward to. One fight that flew under the radar was the women's bantamweight bout between Irene Aldana and Karol Rosa, but the two women involved in the bout ensured everyone who watched would remember their epic war.

Aldana was fired up to deliver an improved performance after a hugely disappointing showing in her title fight with Amanda Nunes at UFC 289 in June, while Rosa was looking to make a run at the bantamweight division's top names after flirting with the featherweight division for two fights earlier in the year. It meant both fighters carried extra motivation into the matchup, and they left everything in the Octagon in one of the best women's UFC bouts in recent memory.

After going back and forth in a memorable three-round war, Aldana took the unanimous decision, with scores of 29-28 across the board. And, later in the evening, Rosa posted to her Instagram page a pair of photos from the hospital, where the two fighters, battered and bruised, greeted each other.

It showed the respect between the pair, but also highlighted that the UFC's old tagline, "As Real As It Gets," remains as true as ever.