Former ONE Championship title challenger Istela Nunes had a tough task on her Saturday, hands as she tried to pick up her first UFC win against undefeated Mexican phenom Yazmin Jauregui on the opening fight of UFC Orlando.
Former Combate Global tournament champion Jauregui had debuted against a fellow exciting prospect in Iasmin Lucindo in a big spot near the top of the main card at UFC San Diego earlier this year and lived up to the billing as the two put on a thrilling war, which Jauregui won by decision. On the other hand, Nunes had a rough start to her UFC career, losing her first two fights after only having lost to ONE champion Angela Lee prior to that. The Brazilian was a prohibitive underdog in this fight but looked to defy the odds and beat the 23-year old prospect Jauregui.
The two striking specialists came out throwing hard punches to start the fight, but Nunes slipped in some leg kicks as well. A big right hand from Jauregui was the biggest blow at first but after one minute a big right hand from Nunes dropped Jauregui, who was throwing a kick at the time. Yazmin switched to wrestling to try to get a takedown but Nunes defended successfully and got back to striking. Jauregui appeared to have recovered though, for now. Nunes’ footwork and muay thai skills were on point as she was able to often avoid Jauregui completely or land a counter and circle out of danger. With two minutes left in the round Jauregui got a nice single leg takedown but Istela Nunes sprung right back to her feet and threw a high kick. Jauregui was able to land some good strikes while blitzing in the closing seconds of the round but it was still likely Nunes’ round on the scorecards.
The second round was more of the same at first but then after one minute Jauregui blitzed and caught Nunes, dropping her. Yazmin tried to follow up with strikes to finish the fight but a hurt Nunes was able to clinch up to recover. Jauregui got the outside position but was unable or unwilling to separate for over thirty seconds until she landed two big elbows on the break. Then Jauregui dropped Nunes again almost immediately with a right hand and this time got on top in full guard to rain down hammerfists and elbows, doing significant damage while Nunes tried to control the posture from her closed guard. However, Jauregui postured up and almost opened herself up to an armbar but she passed guard to side control and almost put Nunes out with hammerfists.
Jauregui was taking risks by posturing up but her aggressiveness was very impressive. More elbows and straight punches from the top caused a hematoma to pop up on the eye of Istela Nunes and Keith Peterson stepped in after almost two minutes straight of uninterrupted ground and pound. Yazmin Jauregui opened the UFC Orlando card with a bang, continued her impressive unbeaten run as a pro fighter, and got her tenth career win in spectacular fashion, also showing that she can fight through extreme adversity.
— Eddie Law 👊 (@ELaw32) December 4, 2022
Official Result: Yazmin Jauregui def. Istela Nunes by TKO (ground and pound), Round 2, 4:06