Saturday, November 26, 2022

Ariel Helwani Predicts Next Women’s BW Title Bout

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani has an idea for who would make the most sense for Amanda Nunes‘ next bantamweight title defense.

Nunes got her revenge against Julianna Peña at UFC 277 in July. She lost the belt to Peña in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history at UFC 269 last December.

As Nunes begins her second reign as the UFC’s bantamweight champion, she has plenty of options for her next title defense. This includes a potential rematch against Peña, along with a superfight trilogy against UFC Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko.

Despite the most talked about options, Helwani believes a matchup against the ‘next woman up’ in the bantamweight division will come to fruition for Nunes.

Ariel Helwani Sees Amanda Nunes Vs. Ketlen Vieira Happening Next

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent segment of The MMA Hour, Helwani made his prediction for who will challenge Nunes next.

“Ketlen Vieira vs. Amanda Nunes,” Helwani predicted.

Ketlen Vieira has earned back-to-back wins over former champions Holly Holm and Miesha Tate in the Octagon. She has won three of his last five fights after winning her first four matchups in the promotion.

Nunes returns to double-champion status although it’s unclear if there’s movement in the UFC’s women’s featherweight division. She last defended the 145lb belt against Megan Anderson at UFC 259.

Helwani’s prediction may hint at the idea that a trilogy with Shevchenko happening next is unlikely. MMA News recently conducted a poll for who Nunes should face next, with 85% of voters picking Shevchenko.

Nunes could potentially return by the end of the year and Vieira may be the next title challenger, according to Helwani. One certain thing is that Nunes doesn’t have a shortage of matchups at 135lbs.

Do you think Amanda Nunes vs. Ketlen Vieira will happen next?