There are a couple of basic truths when it comes to mixed martial arts, and one is that Holly Holm is never far from a title shot.
Returning to action at UFC Vegas 55 after a year and a half on the sidelines, the former women’s bantamweight champ looked to extend her win streak to three straight against Ketlen Vieira. That would put her in striking distance of yet another shot at gold — but Vieira could likely take her place with a strong performance.
Round 1 began with both fighters very aware of each other’s power. Between leg kick trades, and quick jabs it was pretty even early on. Then Vieira shot in for a takedown, but wasn’t able to finish it clinching with Holm on the fence. Holm reversed position and the rest of the round was Vieira attempting throws and both fighters trading knees and short shots.
Round 2 was more of the same until Holm shot in on Vieira, got thrown to the ground, popped back to her feet and clinched on the fence. Vieira was able to secure a choke and just when it looked like Holm was about to tap she was able to get her head out of danger. She then reversed the position and put Vieira on the fence and that’s how the round ended.
Round 3 The fighters traded early before they went back to clinching on the fence with Holm using good head positioning to keep Vieira on the fence. Late in the round, on a break, Vieira was able to land a right hand that may have hurt Holm. Holm immediately grabbed onto Vieira and put her on the fence clinching and landing knees to the body as the round ended.
Round 4 less clinching and more striking. Holm continues to use her flurry attack to try and get close to Vieira who was happy to land right hands on the counter. Vieira seemed to land clean right hands on Holm all round long, but the round ended in the clinch once again.
Round 5 looked just like the fourth with both fighters happy to strike early but Vieira with more urgency. Both Holm and Vieira landed big shots on each other, but Holm continued her game plan of putting Vieira on the fence. The fight ended in the clinch on the fence.
Official Result: Ketlen Vieira def. Holly Holm via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)