Saturday night’s main event fight between top contenders Holly Holm and Ketlen Vieira set off some fireworks. However, those fireworks weren’t from the fight but instead from a controversial decision. Vieira walked away with the split decision victory over Holm, which left many UFC fans and many fighters unhappy with the decision. Whether fans agree or not, Vieira adds another one to the win column.
Holm was clearly unhappy with the decision and voiced her frustration to Daniel Cormier following the fight. “I thought I won the fight,” Holm told Cormier inside the octagon. “I gave her Round 2, and I feel like I won the rest of the rounds. I always feel like I can do more and be more perfect, but I thought I won the fight. I don’t feel like it was a question.”
#UFCVegas55 Official Scorecards: Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira (@KetlenVieiraUFC)
See every scorecard from #UFCVegas55 here ➡️: https://t.co/KGZKTNFMgT pic.twitter.com/6oxKqb4Duu
— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 22, 2022
Competing for the first time in 19 months, Holm dropped a close split decision to Ketlen Vieira on Saturday in the main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The judges scored the fight 47-48, 48-47, and 48-47 for Vieira, who dropped to her knees in tears when Joe Silva announced the result. Round 1 was hectic, with Holm in the clinch, which would become a theme for 25 minutes, but Holm didn’t inflict much damage.
The fight picked up in Round 2 and beyond, with Vieira often finding her timing on counters when Holm attacked. Holm was nearly finished in the second when Vieira caught her in a standing rear-naked choke that turned Holm’s face purple, but without hooks, she managed to sneak her left arm out and turn into the choke.
Holly Holm shared her thoughts after the split decision loss at #UFCVegas55 pic.twitter.com/o4zPkO6qZC
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 22, 2022
That proved to be the most significant moment of the fight, although both women had their moments trading. Despite the controversy, both fighters will be looking to the future, which will be different for the two. Vieira will be on the quest for a title shot. Holm is running out of time, but solid victories could find herself back in the title conversation. Let’s see what’s detailed next up for the two.
With the victory over Holly Holm, Vieira will likely be the number one contender for the Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes winner. Peña had a huge upset win in December when she made Nunes submit to capture the Bantamweight championship. They will square off at UFC 277 at the end of July for a rematch. If Nunes is to recapture the title, Vieira might have to wait on a title shot if it goes to a trilogy. If she can’t get her title fight, she could have a rematch against Irene Aldana or even go against Raquel Pennington. Raquel Pennington is ranked above her and on a four-fight win streak. I’d make Pennington vs. Vieira next as a title eliminator.
Many thought Holm was the well-deserved winner of the fight, but it’s a loss on the scoresheet at the end of the day. While the 40-year-old fighter could hang up the boots, it seems she has plenty of energy left in the tank to keep going. There are numerous fighters in the division she hasn’t shared the octagon with. When available, bouts with Yana Kunitskaya, Sara McMann, Aspen Ladd, or even Julianna Pena (should she lose her belt) would make sense, even if most of those fighters were coming off wins. A couple of wins strung together, and she could be right back to challenge for a title.
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