Istela Nunes’ latest loss came in the worst way possible.
The Brazilian had suffered three consecutive defeats since joining the MMA’s premier promotion ahead of her fight with Viktoria Dudakova at UFC Vegas 77 on Saturday night.
Nunes was determined to become the first person to beat the 7-0 prospect, but after just 34 seconds she was screaming on the floor following her fourth Octagon loss.
However, she wasn’t beaten by the Russian but by a bizarre injury.
Dudakova shot for a takedown early in round one, and when Nunes went to balance on her arm to fight it off, she instead brutally dislocated her elbow.
Nunes immediately began screaming in pain and staring at her mangled arm in horror as referee Chris Tognoni jumped in to stop her from taking any unnecessary damage.
UFC president Dana White shared slow-motion footage from the fight-ending sequence and a picture of Nunes’ x-ray, which showed the extent of her injury, on social media.
After being patched up by doctors, the 30-year-old vowed to return stronger than ever in a message directed to her fans and those sending her positive energy post-fight.
“I have a lot of messages,” Nunes wrote alongside a picture of her in the hospital on Instagram.
“Thank you all so much for your support and love. I’ll respond to everyone when I get home. Thank you to all my fans.
“I felt very good and very strong. I prepared alot for this fight. I knew today was my night, this was my fight.
“But I will come back stronger and show you all again. Thank you UFC and thank you Dana White.”
Despite suffering a fourth straight loss in the UFC, it’s unlikely Nunes will be cut due to the inconclusive nature of her latest defeat.
Once she’s fully healed, MMA fans can expect to see Nunes back in the Octagon.