Welcome to the UFC: Ramona Pascual

Josiane Nunes and Ramona Pascual, UFC Vegas 49
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Opponents Josiane Nunes of Brazil and Ramona Pascual face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on February 25, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

UFC Vegas 49 at the Apex is headlined by lightweight contender Islam Makhachev taking on veteran Bobby Green. The majority of the card features fighters who appeared on the Contender Series in past seasons. The event took a lot of hits leading up to Saturday, losing eight original fights scheduled. Josiane Nunes was supposed to fight Yanan Wu and then Jennifer Gonzalez. Both of those didn’t stick and now it is newcomer Ramona Pascual stepping in.

Ramona Pascual
Standing at 5’7″
Fighting at 145 lbs (featherweight)
From Hong Kong but living in Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Training out of Syndicate MMA
A pro record of 6-2
4 KO/TKOs, 1 Submission

What to expect from Pascual in the UFC:

Putting Hong Kong on the map in the UFC is Pascual. She becomes the first woman from Hong Kong to compete in the octagon come Saturday. Outside of MMA she played a ton in Rugby and was 6-1 as a pro muay thai fighter. Since losing two fights in a row in 2017 she has won her next/last four fights.

Early on, before her current win streak, Ramona Pascual didn’t look good to me at all. She has looked a lot better recently but it’s hard pass judgement based off her latest fights. In her last three fights, her total cage time has been 4:16. While that does look good on paper, when looking at who she has been fighting, it’s not as impressive.

Pascual doesn’t mind taking the fight anywhere. I believe where she’s best is in the clinch with her Muay Thai. She is easily pressed against the cage which is an issue but her Thai plum knees are dangerous. In space, she does a lot of reaching with her hands when trying to close the distance. She’s definitely going to be easy to be countered if she doesn’t fix that. Pascual has some wrestling upside but struggles to get to that point. Her entries to takedowns are problematic, as she is often found telegraphing her shots and reaching again with her hands. Instead of shooting on the legs and finding an angle she comes in straight and attempts upper body takedowns. It’s very sloppy and it’s hard to imagine her finding a lot of success.

Her Muay Thai is solid, she throws some heavy kicks, throws decent output, and has a good top position but it’s hard to see her thriving even in a shallow division.

How she matches up with Nunes:

Nunes is also a fighter with a Muay Thai background. She’s a much more powerful and aggressive fighter compared to Pascual. Nunes doesn’t have the best takedown defense and off her back is where she’s the weakest. The path to victory for Pascual is to get the takedowns but she won’t be able to out-muscle the Brazilian. Nunes will want to stand and bang with anyone and if that happens Pascual will fall first. It’s a bad fight for Pascual and she might not even survive three rounds.