Ketlen Vieira picked up a unanimous decision win over Sijara Eubanks after three hard-fought rounds on the UFC 253 pay-per-view (PPV) from Abu Dhabi.
A key women’s bantamweight fight was flying a little under the radar on the UFC 253 card. Heading into the event on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night, not much attention had been paid to Ketlen Vieira and Sijara Eubanks.
That might have been a dangerous oversight. Eubanks had put together back-to-back wins in the 135lb division, and a third would certainly place her close to if not inside the top ten. Vieira, meanwhile, had been in title contention until a loss to Irene Aldana. But the seventh-ranked bantamweight could easily get back there with an impressive win Saturday. Vieira opened up the first round with immediate pressure, clinching up with Eubanks against the cage.
The pair separate and Eubanks gets off a nice leg kick. Another nice shot lands for Eubanks in the form of a right hand. Eubanks continued to find a home for the right hand before Vieira clinched up yet again. A failed takedown attempt from Vieira and Eubanks landed a nice shot to the body. Eubanks countered a shot from Vieira with a nice body punch. A big right hand landed for Vieira, who followed up with a failed takedown attempt. Big shots exchanged from both women inside the pocket, and Vieira snuck in a takedown to end the round.
In the second round, both women tried to find their range before Vieira got in a trip takedown. Vieira worked from Eubanks’ full guard, getting off the occasional ground-and-pound. The referee decided to stand the pair up. A nice kick to the body from Eubanks, and she followed up with a lead left hook. The round came to an end with both women throwing heavy leather, but not landing much.
The third and final round began with some big strike attempts from both women, Vieira connecting on some nice ones to the body. Both women were very tentative with their striking, but when they unloaded, they both did so with very heavy shots. A nice inside leg kick landed for Eubanks, followed by a lead hook to the body. More leg kicks from Eubanks, and she snuck in a body kick as well. Eubanks stuffed a takedown attempt and nearly pulled off a trip takedown on Vieira. Vieira rolled after Eubanks clinched her back and attempted a leg lock, but ate some ground-and-pound to end the round.
Official Result: Ketlen Vieira def. Sijara Eubanks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)