One MMA pioneer’s attempted comeback was a younger fighter’s opportunity on Saturday.
Ketlen Vieira took full advantage in her matchup with Miesha Tate, defeating the former champion by unanimous decision in Las Vegas.
The fight had been Tate’s second since returning to the UFC after a four-and-a-half year layoff from the sport following her loss to Raquel Pennington in 2016. After defeating Marion Reneau in July, Tate found a stiff challenge in Vieia, the No. 7 ranked bantamweight in the UFC.
The majority of the fight was close, but by the fifth round, Tate’s face showed considerable damage thanks to Vieira’s strong boxing. Per the UFC’s stats, Vieira landed 54 out of 136 strikes to the head, while Tate focused more on the body and grappling.
The win figures to keep Vieira, who was emotional after the fight and asked to train with Tate in Vegas, among the contenders in the bantamweight division. She had entered the bout with two losses in her last three fights, but is on an upward trajectory again.