The women take center stage again as former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate gets her first main event since she was champion over six years ago. Her dance partner is top contender Ketlen Vieira, who is so touted that she is the favorite per the UFC betting odds.
But if there are few underdogs more dangerous than Tate (19-7-0), who showed in her return fight that she still has plenty left in the tank. With a potential title shot on the line with a win here, the hungrier fighter should emerge victorious here. And that may just be Tate.
- Date: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC Apex Las Vegas, Nevada
- Watch on: ESPN+
Ketlen Vieira vs Miesha Tate
- Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight (135 lbs)
- Rounds: Five (Main Event)
- Moneyline: Miesha Tate -115, Ketlen Vieira -115
- Totals: Over 4½ (-160o), Under 4½ (+130u)
A glimpse at the online sports betting odds shows that Tate and Vieira are getting action. Tate is back to her opening line after briefly dropping to -135. The back-and-forth is justified as these women have identifiable paths to victory here. But for our money, Tate may just be the better dog in this fight.
Tate Flexes Renewed Passion
When Tate hung up the gloves in 2016, she looked worn out. Here was a 25-fight veteran who had shared the octagon against the best the sport had to offer. The five years flew by and other than Amanda Nunes still being the champion, the landscape had changed. Women’s MMA grew. But so did Tate.
Now, Tate is married and a mother of two. She’s appeared in Shark Tank, hosts a Sirius XM talk show, and was even the Vice President of ONE Championship. Life has become more than just about fighting for Tate and that could be good for her, despite purists saying otherwise.
Fighting-wise, Tate still flashed the same skills fans grew to love. She beat up Marion Reneau with her vintage wrestling, landing three takedowns before ground-and-pounding her to a finish. With a renewed focus and skills still intact, Tate will be a sharp bet online.
Vieira: Make-or-Break Fight
While pressure may be alleviated for Tate, Vieira finds herself in a different position. The Brazilian was unbeaten at one point and was one fight away from earning a title shot against Nunes. But now she’s lost two of her last three with Irene Aldana knocking her out cold in one.
The hype is gone before Vieira could even build it up. But a win over Tate in the main event could just get her back on track. The 30-year-old is the superior fighter on paper. She is bigger, younger and has a 92 percent takedown defense. Only Sara McMann, an Olympic wrestler, has successfully taken her down.
Vieira has the potential not only to beat Tate but to dominate her. If she can stuff her takedowns, she can light her up on her feet. But in a five-round affair, Vieira will need to dig deep and find a second gear.
Vieira vs Tate: Who Wins?
This fight has five rounds but could be dictated by a two-act scenario: Vieira wins the first half and Tate rallies to win the second half. Tate may have started strong against Reneau but that isn’t like her. She tends to drop the first round and gets stronger as the fight goes on.
Regardless, heart and endurance have been Tate’s strengths. Even if Vieira stuffs her takedowns, Tate will be able to out-grind Vieira en route to a decision or a late finish. The best UFC bet here may be to catch Tate on the live betting odds.