Sam Hughes will be desperate to end her losing streak and taste victory inside the UFC octagon for the first time in her professional career. Coming off of a defeat Luana Pinheiro, she is 0-3 in the UFC currently. So, it’s now or never for Hughes this weekend. Another defeat could mark her ending spell the end of her UFC career.
Meanwhile, Istela Nunes will be aiming to pick up her first win in the UFC. Nunes had an unsuccessful debut against Ariane Carnelossi back in October of 2021. She is currently 3-2 in her last five professional outings but now she has the chance to secure a victory this weekend.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|SAM HUGHES||ISTELA NUNES|
|115.0 lb||WEIGHT||115.0 lb|
Sam Hughes (5-4) will enter UFC Fight Night this Saturday looking to end a three-fight skid and earn her first win under the promotion. ‘Sampage’ last competed against Luana Pinheiro in November 2021 and lost via unanimous decision.
Hughes demonstrated good fighting skills while competing in different promotions (Combat Games, XKO, Battle at the Bay, LFA), before signing to UFC. In December 2020, Hughes debuted in the UFC, where she has not yet been able to achieve victory.
Although she has average fighting skills as a fighter, you need to have better technique and more weapons in your arsenal to use against the more accomplished fighters in an elite level of MMA promotion like UFC. Her grappling is simply weak, she doesn’t possess enough stopping power and her striking is not efficient to win a fight.
On the other hand, Istela Nunes (6-2) will also be looking to secure her first win with the promotion after coming up short in her first UFC bout.
Istela is a former ONE Championship athlete who made her UFC debut last year, in a losing effort against Ariane Carnelossi. She lost the bout via rear-naked choke in the third round. The 29-year-old Brazilian has been playing pro since 2015.
Nunes relies on her Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, but it is in the rack that she works more dangerously. Both of Istela’s early victories were by KO, and 2 failures happened by submissions. She is the better striker with sufficient power, and also good grappling. Therefore, the Brazilian woman should get the win here as she is the better fighter here, statistically speaking.
ISTELA NUNES VS SAM HUGHES PREDICTION
Going into this weekend’s strawweight matchup, Hughes will have a little advantage in the height and reach department. I believe that Nunes will use her efficient striking and sharp Thai boxing to finish Hughes. It’s fair to say that the Brazilian has an advantage in the power and technique area of striking, whilst Hughes lacks in that area.
With that being said, Sam may look to use her wrestling in this fight to keep the fight on the mat and try to outpoint Nunes. But Hughes’ career in the UFC didn’t go well.
The girl can’t cope with average fighters and even her grappling skills are not enough to win the first victory. I think Nunes out skills Sam in all areas of fighting and she has the edge in getting the win against Hughes this weekend.
Prediction: Istela Nunes via unanimous decision