Saturday, September 26th
UFC Fight Island – Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sijara Eubanks returns just two weeks after her last fight to take on Ketlen Vieira, who is aiming to bounce back from her first ever defeat. Can Vieira get back to winning ways or will Eubanks claim her third win of the year?
Ketlen Vieira (10-1) is a former bantamweight champion in the Big Way Fight and Mr. Cage MMA Championship promotions. She had only been professional for two years and was a 6-0 unbeaten prospect when she made her UFC debut in 2016, which was also her first fight outside Brazil.
Now 4-1 in the UFC, “Fenômeno” suffered her first defeat in her last fight, being knocked out with nine seconds of the first round remaining against Irene Aldana at UFC 245. Vieira has six finishes from her ten career wins but three of her four in the UFC have been by decision, with two split.
The Brazilian has a varied martial arts background, having trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), judo, kickboxing, and wrestling, and holds a four inch height advantage over Eubanks. Despite having more professional bouts than Eubanks, Vieira is six years younger and will be keen to show that her loss was just a blip on her journey as a fighter.
This is Vieira’s first contest of 2020 – she only fought once a year in the last two years so she will be eager to finish the weekend with a win and stay busy over the coming months to move herself closer to the top of the bantamweight division.
Sijara Eubanks (6-4) appeared on The Ultimate Fighter series 26 and made it to the final, but before the American could compete to be the inaugural UFC flyweight champion she had to pull out of the title fight after suffering kidney failure when trying to make weight. After this disappointment, Eubanks finally made her promotional debut in 2018, and has been competing at bantamweight since last year.
“Sarj” is 4-2 in the UFC with all of her contests being scored unanimous decisions win or lose, the last of which took place only two weeks ago and saw her beating Julia Avila. Unlike Vieira, Eubanks has been keeping herself busy and she will be making her third octagon appearance of the year, winning both in 2020 so far having lost both her bouts in 2019.
Eubanks has never been finished and has a BJJ style – despite this she has never won by submission, her two professional stoppages both coming by TKO in the last 20 seconds of the first round. I expect this bout to be contested mainly on the ground, and if Eubanks finds herself in a dominant position she will look to inflict damage to stop the fight rather than looking for a submission.
A win would propel Eubanks into the top ten in the divisional rankings and mark the first three fight win streak of her career. Will her good form of 2020 continue?
Prediction: Vieira by decision.
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