The debut of Brazilian prospect Luana Pinheiro did not go as planned earlier tonight (Sat., May 1, 2021) at UFC Vegas 25 live on ESPN2/ESPN+ from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nev., as the 27-year-old was struck with an illegal upkick by veteran Randa Markos in the first round.
Both women’s strawweight fighters came out firing with Pinheiro landing the more meaningful shots. The Brazilian eventually scored some beautiful throws to score some damage from top position. Markos proved tough and even caught Pinheiro on the feet. That was until Pinheiro poked Markos in the eye and the fight was briefly stopped.
Markos took some time to regroup but continued the fight and blitzed Pinheiro with a flurry of punches. Pinheiro regained control with another throw, but as she postured up in top position Markos was there for a vicious illegal upkick. It connected flush with Pinheiro’s chin and the prospect fell back in a tizzy. Doctors came in and the fight was eventually stopped with Markos losing by disqualification.
Check out the aftermath of the fight below, which includes Pinheiro’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, carrying her backstage:
This wasn’t the result that Pinheiro was looking for, but the “Contender Series” standout looked really dangerous leading up to the illegal upkick. Markos is a veteran who has fought a long list of top contenders so it was impressive to see Pinheiro in control so early. It was unfortunate she couldn’t cap off a solid UFC debut.
For complete UFC Vegas 25 results and coverage click here.