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UFC Vegas 43 features a main event between Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira. This event is scheduled for the Apex in Las Vegas. The Apex has a smaller cage which should play a role in this matchup.
The Skillset of Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate is a former UFC Bantamweight Champion. She has shared the octagon with Holly Holm, Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes. She retired and took five years away from fighting before returning to the octagon in June to defeat Marion Reneau. Tate is back with the purpose of fighting for the UFC Bantamweight Championship once again. She’ll have a case to fight the winner of Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena with a strong showing here vs Ketlen Vieira.
Miesha Tate is a grappler. She relies on her wrestling to take her opponent down. Once she secures position on the ground, Tate will work her ground and pound from top control and is an opportunistic submission grappler. On the feet, Tate has average striking ability and average power. She did look good on the feet in her latest fight against Marion Reneau. She showed good movement and popped her jab. She landed 25 of 43 strikes in round 1 vs Reneau in a round that largely played out on the feet. She mixed in headshots and body shots.
The Skillset of Ketlen Vieira
Ketlen Vieira trains at the Brazilian Gym Nova Uniao. She has seven UFC fights and has only outstruck her opponent once in those fights, that opponent was Ashlee Evans-Smith. Vieira likes to take her opponents down and look for submissions. She is big for the weight class and has power in her punches. Her striking attack is one-dimensional, she strikes for the head and looks to connect with her right-hand power punches.
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- Ketlen Vieira holds a two-inch height advantage and a three-inch reach advantage.
- Vieira averages 2.66 strikes landed per minute with a 36% accuracy while Tate averages 2.13 strikes landed per minute with 42% accuracy
- Both fighters average over 2.1 takedowns per 15 minutes
- Vieira has 92% takedown defense
The Path to Victory
Both fighters have a path to victory in this fight. This fight won’t be contested for long on the feet. Ketlen Vieira has the power advantage with her striking. She will do more damage if they are striking at range for prolonged periods of time.
Ketlen has approached fights differently when you go through her tape. She should be grappling but she doesn’t have the gas tank to do that for 3 rounds. She spent the entirety of round 1 striking with Irene Aldana and got knocked out in the last 30 seconds of the round. Ketlen did have some success striking with Aladana and caught her with a few jabs leaving Aldana’s face red and blotchy. This fight is scheduled for 5 rounds so she will not have the gas for a 5 round grapple fest. She needs to keep it standing and try to win rounds by accumulating more damaging head strikes.
Miesha Tate has wrestling experience and her game plan is going to involve clinching up with Vieira and looking for takedowns. Tate’s night becomes easier once she drains Vieira’s gas tank. Vieira and Yana Kunitskaya fought a grappling heavy 3 rounds in February and Vieira was visibly tired by round 2. Vieira was so tired she was only credited with seven significant strikes since she spent her time in top control resting instead of striking.
I have a strong take on this fight but I suggest everyone wait on betting this fight until we see weigh-ins. Ketlen Vieira weighed in at 138 lbs vs Yana Yunitskaya. I want to see her make the Bantamweight limit on Friday.
Miesha Tate will win this fight with a grappling heavy gameplan and drain Ketlen Vieira’s gas tank. Tate will look to push Vieira against the cage early and use clinch strikes to loosen her up before securing takedowns. Miesha Tate is currently lined at (-105) and I will be playing that line on Friday after I see the weigh-in results. I also like a sprinkle on Tate by KO/TKO (+750) to take advantage of Vieira gassing and not defending against Miesha Tate’s ground and pound strikes.
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