It was supposed to be a competitive women's flyweight bout between two promising fighters, but it turned into a nightmare for Istela Nunes, who suffered a horrific elbow injury in the opening seconds of her fight with Viktoriia Dudakova.
Dudakova, who was making her UFC debut after an impressive 6-0 run in the regional circuit, wasted no time in taking the fight to Nunes, who was looking for her first UFC win after three losses.
Dudakova shot for a single leg takedown and managed to drag Nunes to the mat, but as Nunes tried to brace herself with her left arm, something went horribly wrong.
Nunes' elbow bent in an unnatural way, causing her to scream in agony and tap out immediately. Dudakova backed off and showed concern for her opponent, while the referee called off the fight. The official time of the stoppage was 34 seconds.
It was a devastating outcome for Nunes, who had to be stretchered out of the cage and taken to the hospital. The Brazilian fighter had shown potential in her previous fights, but had been unlucky with injuries and decisions. She now faces a long recovery and an uncertain future in the UFC.
Dudakova, on the other hand, celebrated her UFC debut win, albeit with mixed emotions. She expressed sympathy for Nunes and wished her a speedy recovery, while also thanking her team and fans for their support. She also called out some of the top names in the division, such as Jessica Eye and Roxanne Modafferi, saying she was ready to face anyone.
Dudakova improved her record to 7-0 and established herself as a new contender in the women's flyweight division. She also showed sportsmanship and class in handling a difficult situation.