Las Vegas, NV — A very happy, very grateful Ketlen Vieira said following UFC Vegas 55 on Saturday that she’d always dreamed of fighting Holly Holm.
Now, she’s not only fought her — she’s secured a win over the former UFC women’s bantamweight champ.
“I still remember and admire her. When I had the dreams of coming to the UFC, I watched her shock the world and beat Ronda Rousey,” Vieira (13-2) recalled following Saturday’s event, speaking back stage at the UFC Apex. “Just like other fighters, Miesha Tate and others, I’ve always wanted to fight and be a part of this. So obviously ever since I started, I’ve always wanted to fight her.”
There was a bit of a judging controversy in the fight, which ended in a split decision. But to Vieira, the win was meant to be — and she added that she felt Holm tap during a choke early in the fight. Vieira trapped the neck while the pair were standing alongside the fence; Holm looked to be in some significant discomfort, face turning red.
“I felt pretty good about that; I thought that she actually was doing a little light tap,” suggested Vieira. “I saw the ref come in close, and when I looked over to see him come in close, that’s [when] I think she took the opportunity, because I looked away from what was going on— and she escaped me. But God’s plan can’t be denied.”
With the bantamweight title set to be on the line when Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes run it back at UFC 277 this July, Vieira is in an interesting spot. She has back-to-back wins over former champs in Holm and Miesha Tate, but losses to other contenders like Yana Kunitskaya and Irene Aldana.
Asked about a rematch with Aldana, who defeated Kunitskaya in her last outing, Vieira declined. Instead, she’ll wait for the title opportunity.
“I don’t think it’s necessary [to fight Aldana], because I just beat someone [Holm] that just beat her. So I feel that I’d rather take my time, go back to the gym, and keep evolving, keep getting better. Because I win a lot, I’ve been close to number two all the time,” Viera stated.
“I will take whatever time is necessary, and just wait for the winner there [between Pena and Nunes].”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 55 post-fight media appearance by Ketlen Vieira above. More coverage from the event can be found below.