Ketlen Vieira defeats Miesha Tate by unanimous decision in UFC Fight Night main event

Ketlen Vieira defeats Miesha Tate by unanimous decision in UFC Fight Night main event

The long-awaited return of Miesha Tate was stopped. Ketlen Vieira defeated Tate, one of the most popular female fighters in MMA history, by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Vieira used his backlash and length to win the battle on his feet and bleed Tate in the fifth and final round.

“That’s what I’m here for, I’m here to fight the best,” Vieira said through an interpreter. “Respect my abilities.”

ESPN ranks Vieira No. 8 in the world in women’s bantamweight entering Saturday’s fight.

Tate is the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion who returned after a five-year hiatus in July with a TKO victory over Marion Reneau. With a win, Tate hoped to earn a title shot against longtime rival Amanda Nunes, but will have to return to the drawing board.

“I’ve always dreamed of being in a main event against a legend,” Vieira said. “To be able to live that moment and get a victory, I have no words to express it.”

The fight had many close rounds. Vieira admitted that she was undecided from the start. Tate was the aggressor and landed hard shots in the early rounds. Vieira, however, always seemed to have an answer. The first round was a draw, with both women landing great rights. In the second, Vieira began to take more pace, landing combinations.

Vieira maintained that momentum in the third round, landing a beautiful combination of a left hook and right uppercut multiple times. Tate bounced back in a solid short round, landing a hard forehand early in the round and then a takedown later. Vieira really came out on top with her punching combos in the fifth round, punishing Tate and making her bleed with a big right hand. By the end of the fight, Tate had a swollen left eye, a bloody nose, and a bruised face.

“The real thing is enjoying the ride,” Tate said. “This is just a moment in time. We all have moments in our life … What else can I say? I can go home and kiss my two kids. Life is great.”

Tate was transported to the hospital after the fight for a CT scan to her head and face, according to the UFC.

Vieira (12-2) came into the fight after losing two of his last three fights, the most recent being a unanimous decision loss to Yana Kunitskaya in February. He is now 2-2 in his last four bouts. The Brazilian was 10-0 before this recent stretch. Vieira, 30, has career wins over Cat Zingano and Sara McMann.

Tate (19-8) returned from retirement on July 17 with a third-round TKO victory over Reneau, Tate’s first TKO / TKO in the UFC. Tate retired in November 2016 after back-to-back losses to Nunes and Raquel Pennington.

Tate, 35, won the UFC women’s bantamweight title at UFC 196 in March 2016 with a fifth-round submission win over Holly Holm and lost it to Nunes at UFC 200 four months later. “Cupcake” is also known for her highly publicized feud with Ronda Rousey, which included two grudge fights.

Only Nunes has more wins in the UFC women’s bantamweight division since 2016 than Vieira, who has six wins during that span, tied with Irene Aldana and Pennington.

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