It was a bit of a coming-out party for Vieira, who needed a signature win over an opponent like Tate to get back on track in the bantamweight division. She battered and bloodied Tate on the feet late in the fight to secure a unanimous decision victory.
During her UFC Vegas 43 post-fight press conference, Vieira revealed that she was a bit awestruck by Tate in the early rounds. She got off to a slow start before pushing the pace later on.
“Miesha was already a champion before I could get my hands in MMA,” Vieira said. “She was already a champion, so I looked up to her. And fighting a legend like that just makes me believe in my skills, makes me mentally more tough and ready for the future.”
Ketlen Vieira Has Entered The Bantamweight Title Picture
Vieira entered the fight having lost two of her last three fights, despite a strong start to her professional career. She most recently suffered a controversial unanimous decision loss to Yana Kunitskaya earlier this year.
Despite her recent struggles, fighting against top contenders hasn’t been a new aspect of Vieira’s UFC tenure. She’s earned wins over former title challengers Cat Zingano and Sara McMann before defeating Tate.
Tate had made her return to the Octagon in just her second fight since ending her retirement from the UFC. She had defeated Marion Reneau at UFC Vegas 31 before falling to Vieira.
With the win over Tate, Vieira is now a potential dark horse in the bantamweight title picture, which is desperate for new talent and contenders to Amanda Nunes‘ throne.
Who do you think Ketlen Vieira should fight next?