UFC 289: Expert picks and best bets for Nunes-Aldana and Oliveira-Dariush

Amanda Nunes defends her women's bantamweight title against Irene Aldana at UFC 289 on Saturday night. Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Amanda Nunes looks to start another women's bantamweight title defense streak as she faces first-time UFC title challenger Irene Aldana in the main event of UFC 289 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada (10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV, with prelims at 8 p.m. on ESPN/ESPN+ and early prelims at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+).

Nunes, No. 1 in ESPN's women's pound-for-pound rankings, beat Julianna Peña to reclaim the title at UFC 277 in July 2022. Aldana, ranked No. 6 in ESPN's divisional rankings, is riding a two-fight win streak with wins over Yana Santos and Macy Chiasson, respectively.

In the co-main event, lightweight contenders Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush square off in what could be their path to a shot at reigning division champion Islam Makhachev. Oliveira, ESPN's No. 2 lightweight, lost the title to Makhachev at UFC 280 last October. Dariush, ranked right behind Oliveira, has won his last eight fights.

Brett Okamoto spoke to former UFC women's featherweight title challenger and current ESPN MMA analyst Megan Anderson to get her perspective on the matchups in the main event and co-main event. ESPN's betting experts Reed Kuhn and Ian Parker add their insights and analysis for the main event and other intriguing bets they like on the card.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Women's bantamweight: Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana