UFC: Ramona Pascual’s struggles continue with quick TKO loss in Las Vegas
- Pascual took on Brazil’s Tamires Vidal on Saturday night in Las Vegas, and was stopped by a knee to the body in round one
- Currently the lone Hong Kong-born fighter on the UFC roster, the 34-year-old is now 0-3 in the promotion
Hong Kong’s Ramona Pascual is still winless inside the UFC’s Octagon.
The 34-year-old bantamweight, currently the only Hong Kong-born fighter competing for the UFC, returned to action against Brazilian “Bulldozer” Tamires Vidal in the opening bout of the promotion’s latest event inside the Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Pascual got off to a good start, landing a series of leg kicks, a pair of hooks, and a knee in the opening minutes of the fight. But after fighting off a takedown attempt against the cage, she found herself on the defence as Vidal walked forward with power shots.
Things then took a quick turn for the worse when Vidal landed a flying knee to the midsection, causing Pascual to double over in pain, and referee Chris Tognoni to waive off the fight at the 3:06 mark of the opening round.
“My nickname is bulldozer, because that’s what we always have to do,” Vidal told commentator Daniel Cormier through an interpreter after her quick win.
The loss pushes Pascual (6-5) to 0-3 in the UFC, after a pair of unanimous decision losses to Brazil’s Josiane Nunes and Panama’s Joselyn Edwards, both at featherweight. That skid could spell the end of her time with the promotion, particularly after she missed weight for her fight with Vidal by one pound.
The 24-year-old Vidal (7-1), a former football player, was making her UFC debut, and delivered as a slight betting favourite by beating Pascual. The lone loss on her record came at the hands of her fellow Brazilian Karol Rosa, now the UFC’s No 9-ranked bantamweight, in 2019.
Later in the evening, on the event’s main card, Chinese featherweight Shayilan Nuerdanbieke posted a first-round TKO victory over American Darrick Minner.
Seconds into the first, Minner, 32, seemed to injure his knee on an attempted kick. After throwing the same kick again, he stumbled backward in discomfort.
Nuerdanbieke, sensing his foe was compromised, cranked up the offence with a flying knee that landed flush to the face. Minner collapsed to the canvas, and after a torrent of ground strikes from the 28-year-old Chinese fighter, referee Mark Smith jumped in to stop the fight at the 1:07 mark.
Nuerdanbieke (39-10) is now on a three-fight streak, with unanimous decision wins over Sean Soriano and TJ Brown in his next most recent fights. Minner (26-15) is on a three-fight skid.
In the card’s co-main event, No 13 welterweight contender Neil Magny (27-9) defeated fellow American Daniel Rodriguez (17-3), the division’s No 14 contender, with a third-round D’Arce choke.
Magny, 35, now holds more wins than any other fighter in UFC welterweight history.
Headlining honours for the card went to a clash of 35-year-old Brazilian strawweights, as No 3 contender Marina Rodriguez (16-2-2) risked her spot against No 7-ranked Amanda Lemos (13-2-1).
In a notable upset, Lemos defeated Rodriguez with a volley of third-round hooks. The win instantly established her as one of the top contenders for the strawweight title.
The belt will next be on the line when American champion Carla Esparza defends against Chinese superstar Zhang Weili at UFC 281 on November 12 in New York City.
“Put me in as the backup for the title in New York,” Lemos said in her post-fight interview, offering to serve as an understudy for Esparza and Zhang.