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Even iron can break.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that “The Iron Lady” Germaine de Randamie (10-4) has been forced out of her UFC 268 bantamweight matchup against Irene Aldana (13-6) due to injury. The two were set to square off on Nov. 6 inside of Madison Square Garden in New York. As of now, there is no current replacement opponent, and Aldana has requested a top-ranked adversary that will be able to compete in the de facto title eliminator bout.
De Randamie rebounded from a one-sided decision loss to champ Amanda Nunes at the end of 2019 with a 2020 submission of Julianna Pena to put her right back in contention. The Dutchwoman put Pena to sleep with a guillotine choke to record her first career submission victory, and her first stoppage beyond 7:02 of a fight. Before meeting Nunes, the former featherweight champ racked up a five-fight win streak that included knockouts of Aspen Ladd, Larissa Pacheco and Anna Elmose.
Hoping to remain on the blockbuster card is Aldana, who too bounced back from a five-round decision defeat by stopping her foe in her next outing. The Mexican-born Aldana fell short to Holly Holm in October 2020, and in July, she put Yana Kunitskaya away with strikes in the first round. The only four women to defeat Aldana inside the Octagon all challenged for belts in either the UFC or Bellator MMA, as she has come up against Leslie Smith, Katlyn Chookagian, Raquel Pennington and Holm over the years.
UFC 268 goes down at Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 6, with a pair of championship rematches on tap. Drawing the main event slot is a welterweight grudge match when Kamaru Usman faces Colby Covington again for the belt. The co-headliner sees Rose Namajunas try to defend her throne against the woman she wrested it from in Weili Zhang at strawweight. Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler will further treat fans in a lightweight slugfest as the featured bout on the main card.