LAS VEGAS — Irene Aldana won a fight in a way that may never have been done in the UFC before. After she and Macy Chiasson split the first two rounds of their fight on the main card of UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena, they were battling on fairly even terms in the third.
Aldana was on her back in the middle of the Octagon and Chiasson was looking to create offense. But Aldana hit her with an upkick to the liver from the ground. Chiasson went down in significant pain and the fight was immediately over.
It was an amazing and sudden turn of events. Aldana said she’d done that in practice before, but many veteran MMA observers at ringside could never remember it ever happening before.
Aldana dominated the first round and nearly finished Chiasson on several occasions. Surprisingly, though, most of Aldana’s success in the first came not with her striking, but her grappling. Right before the bell, Aldana dropped a huge elbow on Chiasson and Chiasson trudged slowly to her corner.
But Chiasson turned the tables in the second and dominated the grappling in the second. Aldana said she was not in any difficulty, but Chiasson was dominant throughout the round and seized the momentum.
The third round was fought on even terms until the shocking and rare finish. It first appeared that Chiasson may have twisted her knee trying to get out of the way of the kick. But as the replays were shown, it was clear it was an upkick from the bottom that instantly ended it.