UFC Sacramento: Irene Aldana to Make Debut Against Leslie Smith
Top bantamweight prospect Irene Aldana will make her Octagon debut at UFC Sacramento, a month after her teammate Alexa Grasso.
After MMA fans wondered for a while when top Mexican prospects Alexa Grasso and Irene Aldana would make the jump from Invicta FC to the Octagon, both debuts occurred within two months of each other. Grasso dominated mediocre veteran Heather Jo Clark last weekend, and Aldana received a similar matchup in Leslie Smith.
Irene Aldana is 7-2 since beginning her professional MMA journey in 2012, finishing every victory on that record. After submitting her first two Invicta opponents, Aldana received a title shot against dominant champion Tonya Evinger in July 2015.
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After Evinger won via fourth round TKO, Aldana went on to TKO Jessamyn Duke and Faith Van Duin. Aldana can finish fights from anywhere, with two submissions and five (T)KOs including a spinning wheel kick.
Leslie Smith is a wild fighter with an 8-7-1 career record. During her time in Invicta, “Peacemaker” earned Fight of the Night honors four times. Smith is 2-3 in the Octagon, but one of those defeats was a catchweight fight against Cris Cyborg, which certainly earned her brownie points with the promotion.
Leslie Smith is a California native training with the famed Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu team alongside the Diaz Brothers. Therefore, Aldana will be going into enemy territory, while teammate Alexa Grasso had the Mexican crowd on her side.
Recently announced matches for the card include Hector Sandoval vs. Fredy Serrano, and Luis Henrique da Silva vs. newcomer Paul Craig.
UFC Sacramento is headlined by an exciting strawweight matchup between Michelle Waterson and Paige VanZant. Sage Northcutt and Mickey Gall will settle their score, and Urijah Faber will enter the cage for the final time against Brad Pickett. It all goes down on December 17 from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
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