Ketlen Vieira vs. Raquel Pennington Set for UFC’s 2023 Debut

Ketlen Vieira, UFC
Ketlen Vieira, UFC Vegas 43 Weigh-In Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

The first UFC card of 2023 will have a key women’s bantamweight fight going down.

Ketlen Vieira (13-2) is set to face Raquel Pennington (14-8) at the event on January 14, 2023. MMA Fighting was first to report news of the booking, which both fighters later confirmed on social media.

Pennington is undefeated in her last four fights, having picked up wins over Marion Reneau, Pannie Kianzad, Macy Chiasson (while moonlighting at featherweight), and most recently, Aspen Ladd. A fifth straight win could land her back in the title hunt, after coming up short against Amanda Nunes in 2018.

All of Pennington’s losses inside the UFC have come to former, current, or future champions, including Nunes, Holly Holm (twice), Jessica Andrade, and Germaine de Randamie.

Vieira has won two straight, with both victories coming against former champs in Holm and Miesha Tate.

Currently, Pennington sits in the #5 in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, while Vieira comes in at #2.

The UFC’s January 14, 2023 Fight Night event is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, with middleweights Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov facing off in the main event. The following match-ups have been reported for the card:

  • Kelvin Gastelum vs. Nassourdine Imavov
  • Jeff Molina vs. Jimmy Flick
  • Allan Nascimento vs. Carlos Hernandez
  • Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Geoff Neal
  • Ketlen Vieira vs. Raquel Pennington