Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, is ready to get back in the Octagon.
Targeted to be “The Preacher’s Daughter’s” dance partner in her return is the resurgent Brazilian, Ketlen Vieira (12-2). Per Ariel Helwani, the pivotal 135-pound contender clash will headline the UFC’s May 21, 2022, “Fight Night”-themed event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Holm, 40, last fought in Oct. 2020, putting on one of her best career performances. Her dominant unanimous decision over Irene Aldana (watch highlights) put Holm on her first win streak since she became a UFC champion with an unblemished record (10-0) in 2015 (now 14-5).
The storyline has laid itself out perfectly for Holm to earn herself her fifth UFC title opportunity, as she was booked to face the new champion, Julianna Pena, in May 2021. The injury bug bit Holm, leading to the cancelation of their would-be matchup. As a result, it led Pena to a title shot where she stayed true to her word and dethroned Holm’s last successor in Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 (watch it).
Injuries continued to hamper Holm because she was also forced out of a 145-pound featherweight clash with Norma Dumont later in the year (details here).
With Holm’s momentum slightly halted because of inactivity, her next opponent in Vieira has regained some of her own after a shortcoming to Yana Kunitskaya. The 30-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Judo blackbelt appeared in her first UFC main event in Oct, 2021 when facing another former UFC titlist in Miesha Tate, where Vieira bloodied “Cupcake” to a unanimous decision.