Ketlen Vieira wanted her first UFC championship opportunity next, but that has to wait until after her fight against Raquel Pennington.
Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck of MMA Fighting reported that Vieira and Pennington are expected to share the Octagon at an upcoming UFC Vegas 67 Fight Night scheduled for Jan. 14, 2023, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Pennington has since confirmed the fight on her social media.
“Now that the news is out! LFG,” wrote Pennington on Twitter. “Can’t wait to be back in that Octagon!”
Vieira has won three of her past four fights. ‘Fenômeno’ suffered a unanimous decision loss to Yana Kunitskaya at UFC Vegas 19 but rebounded with back-to-back wins over former champions in Miesha Tate and Holly Holm at UFC Vegas 43 and UFC Vegas 55. Following the win over Holm, Vieira hinted at waiting for the winner of Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Peña 2 at UFC 277 in July.
When the ‘Lioness’ won and reclaimed the UFC bantamweight championship, the Nova União product proposed a fight against Nunes at UFC 283, the pay-per-view event in Brazil, but it would appear the UFC has a different plan.
Pennington returned to bantamweight in her previous outing against Aspen Ladd at UFC 273 this past April. ‘Rocky’ defeated Ladd by unanimous decision, extending her win streak to four. She also has wins over Marion Reneau, Pannie Kianzad and Macy Chiasson in that run.
Vieira and Pennington are ranked at No. 2 and No. 5 in the bantamweight division, respectively.
The UFC Vegas 67 Fight Night event is headlined by a middleweight fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov. Other featured bouts include Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov and Jeff Molina vs. Jimmy Flick. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more updates to the event as they become available in the coming weeks.