Miesha Tate‘s comeback hit a road block in the shape of Ketlen Viera at UFC Vegas 43. The former ONE Championship executive dropped a decision to the Brazilian in their bantamweight bout which headlined the event at the Apex Centre.

Vieira came into the bout ranked at #7 and returned to winning ways having lost a unanimous decision to Yana Kunitskaya in February. Tate spent three years as vice president of ONE Championship and had two children during her hiatus.

She returned to the octagon in July where the scored an impressive third round TKO against Marion Reneau. The American found it difficult to close the distance in the opening round while Vieira found some joy with the right hand. The Brazilian though, was criticised by her corner for going for a late takedown which Tate defended easily.

Heavy shots

In the second round, Vieira was able to let her hands fly as she began to touch Tate with some heavy shots. The former champion did land a lovely teep to the face but too often found herself backed up by the strikes of Vieira.

Both women found joy with the right hand in the third, but it was Tate who was fighting on the front foot. However, she did eat some solid left uppercuts and hooks from Vieira when leaning in – as well as some big counter shots with the right.

When ‘Cupcake’ did go for a takedown up against the fence, ‘Fenomeno’ showed stout defence. Tate ended the round strongly with knees in the clinch.

Tate planted a strong right hand early in the fourth, before completing her first takedown of the fight. Both women landed big shots when they returned to the centre of the octagon. Tate initiated the Thai clinch and found joy with the knees while Vieira responded with body shots.

Right hands

In the final round, Tate began to really pay the price for trying to get on the inside as she ate some monster right hand counters from Vieira. Both fighters continued to land but it was a big knee to the body followed by a solid right hand from Vieira that left Tate busted open.

Tate continued to throw some stout right hands of her own, but Vieira’s range and power was telling as all three judges awarded her the decision. The 30 year old’s record climbs to 12-2, while Tate slips to 19-8.

After the fight, Vieira said,

“I’m here to fight the best, and Miesha Tate is one of the best of all time. She was setting up the takedown and I did not want to be taken down… I felt confident in the last two rounds and let my game go. I’m going to be the champion one day.”

Best of the rest

Shayilan Nuerdanbieke scored a unanimous decision win against Sean Soriano in their featherweight fight. ‘Wolverine’ had lost his UFC debut against Josh Culibao in May but produced an excellent all-round performance here to extend his record to 20-7.

Kyung Ho Kang (17-9) and Loma Lookboonmee (6-3) didn’t fare so well. Both lost by decision with the former beaten by Rani Yahya (28-10) in a bantamweight bout and the latter losing to Lupita Godinez (7-2) in a strawweight contest.

UFC Vegas 43, Las Vegas, November 20th
Ketlen Vieira def. Miesha Tate via Decision (Unanimous)
Sean Brady def. Michael Chiesa via Decision (Unanimous)
Taila Santos def. Joanne Wood via Decision (Unanimous)
Rani Yahya def. Kyung Ho Kang via Decision (Unanimous)
Adrian Yanez def. Davey Grant via Decision (Split)
Pat Sabatini def. Tucker Lutz via Decision (Unanimous)
Rafa García def. Natan Levy via Decision (Unanimous)
Lupita Godinez def. Loma Lookboonmee via Decision (Unanimous)
Cody Durden def. Qileng Aori via Decision (Unanimous)
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. Sean Soriano via Decision (Unanimous)