UFC 222: Ketlen Vieira vs. Cat Zingano fight preview

Ketlen Vieira (-120)
Age: 26
Nationality: Brazilian
MMA Record: 9-0
UFC Record: 3-0
Notable Wins: Sara McMann, Ashlee Evans-Smith
Notable Losses: None
Last Fight: Submission win over Sara McMann

Fighter Profile: Vieira has come on strong since making her UFC debut, winning all three of her fights including a tapout win over McMann in her last outing. Vieira has shown a very well-rounded game so far as she’s shown a strong wrestling game as well as the ability to ground-and-pound opponents and outstrike them on the feet. She is one of the younger fighters in the top-10 at 135 and with a big win over Zingano would shoot herself into title contention.

Cat Zingano (-110)
Age: 35
Nationality: American
MMA Record: 9-2
UFC Record: 2-2
Notable Wins: Amanda Nunes, Miesha Tate
Notable Losses: Ronda Rousey, Julianna Pena
Last Fight: Decision loss to Julianna Pena

Fighter Profile: Zingano has long been one of the most highly-regarded bantamweights in the women’s division but injuries and personal issues have led to her having not fought more often than once a year since joining the UFC five years ago. When she was healthy she was a monster at 135, finishing fighters like Nunes and Tate in destructive fashion. But it appears she’s slowing down and after getting tapped out by Rousey suffered a bad decision loss to Pena where she showed poor cardio and takedown defense. On paper Zingano is a very well-rounded fighter but considering the lack of activity it’s hard to know exactly where she’s at now.

Fight Breakdown: It’s been years since Zingano impressed me, while Vieira continues to look better and better very time I see her compete. Vieira is the younger fighter, she’s the fresher fighter, and she has all the momentum coming into this fight. Vieira was ultra impressive in her win over McMann and there’s no reason she can’t replicate a similar gameplan here and beat Zingano. I think Zingano has a strong start but as the fight goes on I expect the takedowns to come easier for Vieira and I see her grinding Zingano out and taking home a decision.

Prediction: Ketlen Vieira via decision

Written by Adam Martin.

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