MMA

Brazil’s Rafael Nunes earns his first ONE Championship win

Rafael Nunes, Yuji Shimada, Eric Kelly

Rafael Nunes, Yuji Shimada, Eric Kelly

Rafael “Indio” Nunes, 30, of Brazil was unsuccessful during his ONE Championship debut in 2014. More than three years later, he came back from a hiatus and earned his first win under the promotion.

Nunes made his professional MMA debut on July 24, 2010. He won at “MF 7- Rally Brazil” in Sao Paulo, Brazil via unanimous decision against his fellow Brazilian fighter Leandro Gigante.

From 2010 to 2013, Nunes maintained an undefeated record. After Gigante, Nunes defeated nine other opponents namely Marcio Sapo, Giliarde de Lima, Marco Estevam, Fabio Defendenti, Jose Ricardo Galheta, Carlos Prates, Udi Lima, Jose Lucas Fabiano de Melo and Claudiere Freitas.

With an undefeated record of 10 wins and 0 loss, Nunes joined ONE Championship. On July 11, 2014, he fought his first bout under the promotion at “ONE: War of Dragons” where he had his first MMA loss.

In the main event of “ONE: War of Dragons,” which took place in Taipei, Taiwan, Eric “The Natural” Kelly, 35, of the Philippines defeated Rob “Warrior of God” Lisita, 34, of Australia. Right before the main event, Nunes lost to Koji “The Commander” Ando, 32, of Japan via rear-naked choke submission.

On January 26, 2018, Nunes returned to the ONE Championship cage. He battled it out with Kelly in the featherweight division at “ONE: Global Superheroes,” which took place in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

The featherweight bout between Nunes and Kelly at “ONE: Global Superheroes” ended at 1:31 of Round 2 when the Brazilian fighter submitted his Filipino opponent via D’arce choke. Watch a clip of their fight here:

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