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Vieira pays tribute to ‘great athlete’ Tate, predicts ‘tough fight’ at UFC Vegas 43

UFC Fight Night: Vieira v Kunitskaya Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ketlen Vieira is entering the biggest fight of her MMA career later tonight (Sat., Nov. 20, 2021) at UFC Vegas 43 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the Brazilian contender takes on former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate in the main event. If Vieira is able to defeat Tate she will position herself for a possible title shot heading into next year.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 87 On ESPN+

’BIGI BOY’ BRAWL! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to its APEX venue in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., March 2, 2024, with a Heavyweight showdown between knockout artist and former kickboxing standout, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, welcoming undefeated Contender Series signee, Shamil Gaziev (11-0), to the Octagon proper. In UFC Vegas 87’s ESPN+-streamed co-main event, undefeated Vitor Petrino (10-0) looks to keep his perfect record intact at the expense of the once highly-touted Tyson Pedro in a Light Heavyweight scrap.

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This will be Vieira’s first UFC main event since entering the promotion back in 2016. Luckily, “Fenomeno” will have her chance to make the biggest impact possible as she meets a former champion in Tate with substantial household name value. Tate, despite fighting just once in the past five years due to retirement, remains one of the most popular female fighters in the sport today. It’s a massive spot for Vieira to say the least.

“I was very happy with her return because she’s a great athlete,” Vieira told MMA Fighting. “I found her retirement to be premature but I believe she had her plans, and I was very happy she’s back, another great athlete returning to the UFC. She performed really well, it’s not easy to come back with a win after such a long time away.

“One of my main goals in the UFC, aside from being champion, is to fight the best.”

Vieira, 30, has lost two out of her last three UFC appearances after going 4-0 to start her promotional career. In order to get back on track and work her way towards her first UFC title shot Vieira will need a win over “Cupcake” this weekend in Las Vegas. If she’s able to do that Vieira could line herself up to fight the winner of Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena, which goes down next month at UFC 269.

“If that’s what God wants, I’ll be ready,” Vieira said. “I do believe a victory could put me in this position. That’s one of the reasons why I gave everything I got in this camp and came well-prepared.

“All I can guarantee is I’m ready to fight five rounds. It was a wonderful camp where I had to overcome a lot every single day and believe in myself. I was put at test and went through the worst possible scenario ahead of this fight. The only thing I can tell you is that I’m going for the victory at all times. She wants to become champion again and so do I. It’s going to be a very tough fight for both of us.”

As for the fight itself, Vieira has a really good chance of defeating Tate in her main event debut. Tate may have big-fight experience, but “Fenomeno” is bigger, longer, and possesses really good takedown defense. If she finds herself in control on the feet it may be tough for Tate to turn the tides.

“She’s an extremely experienced athlete that has been though all types of adverse situations,” Vieira said. “Long fights, comeback fights, so nothing I present to her will be new to her, right? That’s the reason why I’m so focused and so confident in the training I’ve done, in what my coaches told me. I’ll listen to my corners and feel the fight. It’s going to be a big fight.” will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 43 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET.

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