The battle of who gets the next title shot in the UFC women’s bantamweight division continues to heat up. This situation no longer just involves former champion Holly Holm.
This is according to top contender Ketlen Vieira, who is currently ranked second in the division when looking at the official UFC rankings.
Now, with us being currently in the entertainment era of the Las Vegas-based promotion, some could make the argument that rankings do not mean what they used to be because the UFC will book the biggest fights possible in order to get the most revenue out of it despite what the rankings look like.
Just last week, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes took to her official Twitter account to call out Holm for a fight as Holm as expressed interest in moving back down to bantamweight to fight for the strap that Nunes holds.
This led to UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg tossing her name into the hat to fight Nunes.
Vieira opened up in an interview with MMA Fighting about why she believes she should be next in line for a title shot because she is 4-0 in the promotion.
”My team and I worked really hard for this opportunity,” Vieira told MMA Fighting. “They want to put her and Holly, but we’ve worked hard to get there. If I’m the No. 2 in the ranking that’s because of my work, not because the UFC kept me there like they did with Holly Holm. I have a lot of respect for Holly Holm, she was the champion. I respect every fighter, but you can’t simply move up and down in weight and leapfrog me. The only girl she’s beaten recently at bantamweight is Bethe Correia, who I have a lot of respect for as well, but she’s the No. 10 in the ranking. (Holm) had two losses, beats Bethe and stays at No. 1? That’s illogical. (Nunes’ team) say she’s (next because she’s) the No. 1, but it’s easy to stay at No. 1 beating the No. 10 and the UFC keeping you there.
”Amanda Nunes said I would be next. I honor my word, I have character, my family taught me to honor my word. As a champion and an example for thousands and thousands of Brazilians, she should honor her word. If she had no interest in fighting me, she shouldn’t have said many, many times that I was next. I’m coming off a win over Cat Zingano, the only woman to beat her in the UFC. I wasn’t out there saying I was next, she said it, she said I deserved it because I was coming off a win over Cat Zingano.
”I’m coming off four wins in the UFC. Four. Four! It looks like Holly Holm’s record has chickenpox with all those red spots. The UFC is really trying to benefit her. She goes up and down in weight, does whatever she wants, and every time she fights is a title fight now? She fought (Germaine) de Randamie, she fought Cyborg, and now she wants to come back to 135? That’s not fair to me and other bantamweights. It’s disrespectful. Amanda has only defended her belt three times. There are good athletes in the division. That’s not cool. My team is with me, they believe I’m ready for a title fight. I’ve been evolving a lot in the grappling and striking area. I’m only 26. The longer it takes, I’m only getting better. I’m saying I deserve it because she said I would be next, and now Holly wins a fight and they want her because it will sell more pay-per-views? It’s not how it should be. We have to have honor and not think only about money.”
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