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Ketlen Vieira ‘can’t make mistakes’ vs. Holly Holm: ‘She expects me to take her down’

Bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira feels prepared to take on former champion Holly Holm on May 21.

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Ketlen Vieira is set to face Holly Holm on May 21.
Ketlen Vieira is set to face Holly Holm on May 21.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC women’s bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira has a big challenge ahead of her in May. Paired up against former champion Holly Holm for a main event bout at UFC Vegas 55, the Brazilian hopes this opportunity gets her close to a title shot.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Vieira praised Holm’s striking skills, but knows her opponent is not a unidimensional fighter anymore. Although Ketlen is more known for her grappling skills, the Brazilian points out that she needs to be ready for anything against an athlete such as the ‘Preacher’s Daughter.’

“I’m moved by challenges,” Vieira said. “I like that, it keeps me focused, hungry, I know I can’t make mistakes. Holly has a really solid striking game, she’s a big name in boxing and kickboxing and I believe I have a good grappling game. She’s very experienced. Sometimes she feels like things are difficult on the feet and she tries to grapple you. She does MMA really well. I’m sure she expects me to take her down, so I need to be ready to impose my gameplan and I’ve been practicing quite a few.

“According to the rankings, I could (get a title shot with a win over Holm),” Vieira said. “If I beat the number-two athlete and number one is already fighting for the title, then there could be a few changes and I’d end up in Holm’s place. If I beat a top fighter like Holly, a former champion who has fought in different divisions, I think it puts me on the verge of a title shot.”

In her last outing, Vieira (12-2) defeated another former champion in Miesha Tate, back in November 2021. The victory was preceded by a unanimous decision loss to Yana Kunitskaya, back in February of the same year.

Now, VIeira is expected to meet Holm at UFC Vegas 55’s main event, on May 21. The card is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, Nevada.