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Ketlen Vieira
Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports
In the Clinch

UFC Main Event Preview: Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira

by Steven Ricciardi
Updated On: May 19, 2022, 2:14 am ET

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The UFC APEX is staying busy with another packed card.  In the main event, Holly Holm takes on Ketlen Vieira to determine who is next in line to fight the winner of the rematch between the Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes.   Holly Holm makes her return to the octagon after almost two years.  At forty years of age, she will have a chance to earn another chance at the title with a win against Ketlen Vieira. 

 

The Skillset of Holly Holm  

Holly Holm is a point fighter who uses a lot of movement to elude her opponent.  Holly prefers to counter-strike and sit back allowing her opponent to lead. She does not throw a high volume of strikes and lacks finishing ability with her hand strikes.  Her boxing is crisp and she tries to keep her opponents on the end of her punches.  She is not going to sit in the pocket and exchange power punches in the pocket.  Holly will mix in leg kicks in the standing exchanges.  She has also used takedowns in two notable wins vs Megan Anderson and Irene Aldana.  Holly recorded four takedowns vs Megan Anderson and five takedowns vs Irene Aldana.  If this fight stays standing, it could very well look similar to Holly’s fight vs Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 in which de Randamie won the slightest of decisions to win the UFC Featherweight Championship. In this fight against de Randamie, Holm used a lot of movement to strike and get out of harm's way.  Holm recorded more leg strikes, especially from distance, than she did in targeting the head and body.  

The Skillset of Ketlen Vieira

Ketlen Vieira is a power puncher.  She does not throw a lot of volume on the feet.  Similar to Holly Holm, she likes to counterstrike.  She will predominantly counter-strike and aim for the head of her opponent. Ketlen throws with power when her opponent enters the pocket to move them back and control distance.  Ketlen will mix in takedowns and looks to control her opponent from the top position.  

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The Stats

  • Ketlen Vieira is ten years younger than Holly Holm
  • Holly Holm averages 3.16 strikes landed per minute while Ketlen Vieira averages 3.07 strikes landed per minute
  • Holly Holm averages 0.81 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 30% takedown accuracy
  • Ketlen Vieira averages 1.71 takedowns per 15 minutes with 90% takedown defense

 

Picking a Winner

My pick to win the Main Event: 

  • Holly Holm

My best bet for the Main Event: 

  • Prop: Holly Holm by Points (-110) 

 

This fight has decision written all over it.  Holly Holm is a veteran fighter who controls pace very well.  She will use the clinch to slow this fight down and look to work trips to get top control.  Holly Holm has a plan A and a plan B.  Her plan A includes dragging Ketlen Vieira down to the ground to obtain top control.  Miesha Tate tried to earn takedowns on Ketlen Vieira but Ketlen’s takedown defense was too good based mostly on her strength advantage.  If Holly Holm is able to earn those takedowns early you can expect her to rinse and repeat that strategy over the course of five rounds.  Holly’s plan B includes movement on the feet and striking to score while mixing in clinch work to tire Ketlen out.  Ketlen Vieira has never made 135 pounds in the UFC.  She has missed weight and routinely weighs in at 136 pounds.  We should be on the lookout for weight cut issues from Ketlen Vieira since she is a thick, muscular fighter.  Holly Holm by points is the best bet but there is not much line value in that prop. 

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Steven Ricciardi

Steven Ricciardi is a Combat Sports betting analyst for NBC Sports EDGE. He started Jersey Boys Sports Media to cover MMA events such as the UFC, PFL and Ring of Combat. His podcast started in 2018 which covers UFC betting and MMA DFS. You can follow Steven Ricciardi on Twitter @CombatSportsNBC