UFC Vegas 43 is in the books and the women’s bantamweight division may have a fresh contender on its hands.
Last night (November 20, 2021), Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira took part in a 5-round edge-of-the-seat main event featured on ESPN+. With title aspirations hanging in the balance ever so delicately, these two motivated 135-pound fighters put on a show in the Apex. Overall the main event was an exciting back-and-forth affair with plenty of ebbs and flows throughout the contest. Vieira’s ability to sit down on her punches while in the pocket seemed to be a deal-breaker with judges at UFC Vegas 43. However, Tate had plenty of moments. The striking of “Cupcake” vastly improved since her last stint in the UFC when she faced Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 back in 2016.
The former bantamweight champion was on her way to securing a title shot against Amanda Nunes before suffering defeat to Vieira. While she would come up short in the important match-up at UFC Vegas 43, Tate’s standup looked polished and her kickboxing/Muay Thai appeared sharp during exchanges.
In addition to the thrilling UFC Vegas 43 main event, the co-main event was a pivotal welterweight chess match between the bouncing-back Michael Chiesa and streaking Sean Brady. The veteran savvy of “Maverick” showed itself many times, but the wrestling pressure of Brady took over the majority of the first two rounds. During the pressurized contest, Chiesa surprised many with his ability to string combinations together. The former lightweight’s fluidity in the striking department improved dramatically in a short amount of time.
Despite losing by unanimous decision to Brady, many are adamant that Chiesa’s stock actually went up with a loss to a legitimate threat at 170-pounds. With welterweight champion Kamaru Usman watching from the sidelines, the broadcast even admitted that the match-up was somewhat of a job interview for the gold Usman continues to carry around his waist. With a 5-0 record intact in the UFC alone, the 15-0 Sean Brady appears to be a genuine problem at welterweight.
In addition to both of the marquee fights, one barnburner that flew under the radar all week was Davey Grant taking on rising contender Adrian Yanez. The fight would not disappoint. The pair of 135-pound gunslingers stood and traded for much of the contest. With so much damage incurred on both sides, the fight showed durability and toughness from both bantamweight athletes.
Following the event, Adrian Yanez and Davey Grand were awarded ‘Fight of the Night’ honors after Yanez took the victory by split-decision. As far as the ‘Performance of the Night’ bonus goes, well, Talia Santos earned it emphatically when she stopped Joanne Wood. The fight didn’t last long, and after Santos dropped the Scottish fighter, she was able to explore the club-and-sub route to secure a rear-naked choke victory.
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