Two-time Muay Thai World Champion Istela Nunes made a spectacular return at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS in Guangzhou, China.
On Saturday, 7 July, the Brazilian clashed with six-time Philippine Wushu Champion Gina “Conviction” Iniong, in an atomweight clash to close out the evening’s preliminary card.
They both showcased their world-class striking skills all throughout the three-round affair. In the end, Nunes used her high-octane style to pull away with a unanimous decision victory.
Nunes — a former ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger — expertly utilized her size and reach advantage to her favor in the first round.
She kept Iniong out of range with a heavy stream of kicks from the outside, and she often forced her rival to overcommit to her strikes in an effort to close the distance.
Towards the end of the opening stanza, “Conviction” dropped Nunes with a counter right hand. The 25-year-old Brazilian, however, was able to recover, and fired back with a combination against the ropes.
The pair started off the second frame a little more cautiously, but the action soon picked up, with the atomweights trading heavy blows at the center of the ONE ring. Iniong pushed the pace, applied more pressure, and put together more combinations.
Nunes increased her aggression in the third and final stanza, and quickly landed a pair of head kicks.
The Filipina desperately tried to change the complexion of the bout by going for a handful of takedowns, but her taller adversary defended well against them and kept the match upright, where she continued to utilize her reach advantage to great success.
Right at the end, the Brazilian connected with a sensational jumping roundhouse kick to the side of Iniong’s head, which punctuated an exceptional striking performance.
After three rounds of action, Nunes did enough to sweep Iniong on the judges’ scorecards.
The Rio de Janeiro, Brazil native improves her record to 7-1 (1 NC), and finds herself back in the World Title picture.