A year in Mixed Martial Arts can seem like a lifetime to a fighter. For Mexico native and Invicta FC star, Irene Aldana, her past year has been quite the roller coaster of emotions. After starting her career in Invicta with two first round submission wins, she lost a title shot to Tonya Evinger in July of 2015 for the then vacant bantamweight title. On Friday night at Invicta FC 19, Aldana will face Faith Van Duin and if she wins, a rematch with Evinger for the bantamweight title could be a possibility to end off 2016. “I’ve been training to fight for the title again since I lost that fight,” said Aldana. “I would love to have another opportunity.”
This past March at Invicta FC 16, Aldana fought UFC veteran, Jessamyn Duke landing a big shot in the first round, stopping Duke in impressive Aldana-like fashion. “I knew she felt that punch and it was hard enough and did damage,” said Aldana. “I didn’t know the fight was going to end, but I surely went for the finish.”
The win was bittersweet though for Aldana, as on that same card, friend, teammate and now, UFC’s newest star, Alexa Grasso was also scheduled to be on that card but was injured during their camp. “Actually, it did affect me in a way,” explained Aldana. “I knew how bad she wanted to fight and when I saw he screaming at me moments before my fight was extra motivation for me.”
Both Aldana and Grasso were then scheduled to be on the Invicta FC 18 card at the end of July, but Aldana was pulled from that card due to her opponent, Talia Santos not being able to obtain the physical documents for her approved visa. “It was a little disappointing after having a complete training camp and not being able to close that chapter,” said Aldana. “But I was also motivated because that meant I was going to come back twice as ready.”
Grasso went on to win her main event fight that night and two weeks later was signed by the UFC. “I’m proud of her and we all knew that it was just a matter of time,” said Aldana. And a similar move is always in the back of Aldana’s mind but her focus is her fight on Friday night. “I see myself in the UFC,” said Aldana. “But I’m not in a hurry.”
Invicta FC is known to consistently put on great shows and their matchmaking is some of the best in the business. They also know what fans want and deliver each and every card. With only a few months left in the year, Invicta will most definitely have one more event. And as most watching would love to see Aldana win and get the rematch she has been training so hard for. As for Aldana, she is focused on this fight and to continue to represent herself, team and her country as she has been her entire career. “I want to represent Mexico the best way I can,” said Aldana. “I just hope that we both put on a good fight to watch and hope my improvements can be shown.”
Irene Aldana will face Faith Van Duin at Invicta FC 19, Friday September 23rd from Kansas City MO at 7pm CT, streaming LIVE and exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.
Photo Credit: Invicta FC