MMA fans are accustomed to seeing injuries in the cage but those who saw Istela Nunes break her arm at UFC Vegas 77 no doubt struggled to watch it happen. She was fighting against Viktoriya Dudakova on the preliminary card of the event and it’s likely that she was also fighting for her job at that point as well. She came into the UFC in 2021 with a solid 5-1 professional record that included a successful stint competing for ONE Championship, so it seemed like she was going to be able to make an impact in the promotion’s strawweight division.
Unfortunately she lost her first three fights in the promotion, one by decision and two by finish. Most fighters don’t get more than three chances to succeed in the octagon and usually they end up getting cut after losing their first two or three fights. She was given a fourth chance to welcome Viktoriya Dudakova in her UFC debut, although the odds were stacked against her against a top Russian prospect with a perfect 6-0 record. Although the fight was always going to be tough for Nunes, nobody could have expected what happened once the cage doors closed.
After around 30 seconds of action in the very first round, Dudakova shot in for a takedown and managed to drag Nunes to the mat. That’s when disaster struck as Nunes used one of her hands to post out on the mat, sending the entire force of the takedown through that arm and resulting in a horrific break at UFC Vegas 77. Dudakova was on auto-pilot and went to take advantage of the successful takedown but it was immediately apparent that something was very wrong. The referee waved off the fight and Dudakova was declared the winner by TKO due to injury, and it’s likely that a devastating break like that is going to take quite some time to heal fully.
The footage of Istela Nunes suffering the arm break after being taken down by Viktoriya Dudakova at UFC Vegas 77 was uploaded to the official Twitter account of Dana White:
— danawhite (@danawhite) July 16, 2023