UFC Vegas 55 went down last night (Sat., May 21, 2022) from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring a women’s Bantamweight fight that saw Ketlen Vieira defeat Holly Holm via split decision (see it again here). In the co-main event, Michel Pereira defeated Santiago Ponzinibbio, also by split decision, in what proved to be the “Fight of the Night.”
Biggest Winner: Michel Pereira
Pereira picked up one of the biggest wins of his career, doing enough to escape with a split decision win over Ponzinibbio, who is currently ranked No. 14 in the 170-pound division. In doing so, “Demolidor” improved his win streak to five straight, the longest of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career since 2013-2014. This victory should also be good enough to move him into the Top 15 for the first time in his UFC career, and with it will come bigger and better fights. Pereira is proving that he deserves to bang with the best, and when given the opportunity he makes the most of it.
Runner Up: Ketlen Vieira
In MMA, there are certain fights that put you over that hump, and for Vieira, it was taking out the former women’s 135-pound champion of the world. It wasn’t an easy conquest, but Vieira did just enough to squeak out a close split decision, though many were quick to call robbery. That said, a win is a win and the Brazilian bomber is in that column. In doing so, she gets her second straight victory — both against former division title holders. Furthermore, she improves to 3-1 over her last four outings and will more than likely overtake Holm for the No. 2 spot in the rankings, which could be enough to get the winner of the upcoming title fight between champ Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes, which is set to go down at UFC 277 on July 30, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.
Biggest Loser: Santiago Ponzinibbio
Once considered a legit contender to one day fight for the title, Ponzinibbio is currently in the worst slump of his career, losing two straight and three of four overall. It’s a drastic difference from the seven-fight win streak he enjoyed from 2015 to 2018, where he had a stint in the Top 10 that was inching him closer to title contention. All of that said, his previous two defeats were via split decision, so we could be singing a different tune very easily had one judge scored it the other way. Nevertheless, the Argentinean striker is in danger of losing his No. 14 spot in the rankings to Pereira. If he does get bumped out, getting back in is going to be tough because the 170-pound division is stacked, which means Ponzinibbio will have to work overtime.
For complete UFC Vegas 55: “Holm vs. Vieira” results and play-by-play, click HERE.