After a loss in her last outing and a lengthy layoff, Ketlen Vieira (11-1) was “very happy” to get a win over Sijara Eubanks at UFC 253.
The bantamweight bout, which went down Saturday on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, saw Vieira back in the win column for the first time since 2018. It went the distance, resulting in a unanimous decision for the Brazilian. She had to go through Fight Week and the bout itself without her head coach, however.
That’s because Andre Pederneiras tested positive for COVID-19, preventing him from being in Vieira’s corner Saturday night.
“I missed having him there,” Vieira admitted post-fight. “He’s very experienced, very knowledgeable. Especially with a change of opponent, I felt like I needed to have him in there to give him the pointers that I needed.”
Luckily, the rest of her team stepped up, and the outcome against Eubanks was what she was looking for. Now, she hopes to build some momentum in a division that has remained stagnant throughout most of 2020.
“I think this win puts me back in the top five,” said Vieira. “I hope to face another tough opponent by the end of the year, and we’ll see what happens next year.”
Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes fights this December — but she’ll be defending her other belt, against Megan Anderson at featherweight. Top contenders Holly Holm and Irene Alanda, who represents the lone loss on Vieira’s record, face off next week.
Watch the full UFC 253 virtual post-fight press scrum with Ketlen Vieira above.