UFC Fight Night Results, Highlights: Ketlen Vieira narrowly beats Holly Holm over split decision


Ketlen Vieira doubled her victory over the former UFC champion by defeating Holly Holm in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night. Vieira was sent off at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, after a narrow decision on boxing legends.

Holm and Vieira attacked accurately and often. Vieira made 40 of 45 punches in Round 1 and Holm made 33 of 41 punches. Saturday’s headliners weren’t afraid of each other’s strengths. Vieira willingly competed against a three-weight boxing champion while Holm comfortably wrestled with a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo expert.

Holm found a solid entry point for a double leg takedown from a single leg dump in round two. Vieira countered a single leg and blocked a rear naked choke that embarrassed Holm. The look on Holm’s face reminded me of Hale Mary’s rear-naked choke at UFC 200 by Misha Tate. But Holm was free to argue and gave Vieira a sharp elbow.

Vieira attempted a head kick early in the third round but allowed Holm to push the opponent into the clinch. Holm spent most of the round squeezing Vieira against the fence. It was arguably Holm’s most decisive round until Vieira placed a firm right hand on her chin for 30 seconds at the end of the round. With more clinch work, Vieira couldn’t throw a powerful punch.

Holm pressed forward with his trademark combination of punches but received a large right hook on Holm’s left shoulder. Holm, who was noticeably slower than his previous work, played a big role in the fourth round by defeating Vieira as an assistant. Viera responded well with another clubbing right.

Both women really started in round 5 with a likely scorecard of 2-2. Vieira landed a flush with her spinning back elbow and Holm backed up Vieira with a flush punch in her face. Vieira found the house to the right of the counter, but Holm immediately answered with her left hand. Holm flew three straight all-out kicks in her face at the UFC Apex, which provoked an audible response from a small crowd. Vieira landed repeatedly with an uppercut in her center as Holm started the takedown. Four minutes of reasonable activity followed, followed by a clinch fight in which Holm threw more punches in the final minute. The judges sided with Vieira in a close competition. Two referees scored 48-47 for Vieira and one referee scored 3:2 for Holm.

“I am the next champion of the female bantamweight champion,” Vieira told Daniel Cormier in a post-fight interview. “I’m next, I’m ready, here I am.”

Soon to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Holm never doubted that he was the rightful winner of the fight.

“I thought I won the fight, I gave her two rounds and I feel like I beat everyone else,” Holm told Cormier. “I don’t think it’s a question.”

Vieira could be next in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship. Julianna Pena vs. Julianna Pena at UFC 277. Amanda Nunes 2. She now has consecutive victories against former UFC champions Holm and Tate, as well as victories against other veterans such as Cat Zingano and Sarah McMann. Saturday was her first home loss since her fall to Nunes in the 2019 UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship bout.

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