Miesha Tate’s comeback march toward the bantamweight title is set to make a violent pit-stop in Las Vegas on Saturday night when the former champion faces Ketlen Vieira. We make our picks for the main event of UFC Fight Night: Vieira-Tate.
A champion in both Strikeforce and the UFC, a reinvigorated Tate made her triumphant return to the octagon at UFC on ESPN 26 in July. She scored a TKO victory over Marion Reneau in the co-main event. An excellent wrestler with a heavy top game, Tate was able to take Reneau’s back before pounding her out with a barrage of unanswered punches to the side of the head.
Coming off a four-year retirement, Tate showed little ring rust against Reneau. As such, she thrust herself back into the bantamweight title picture.
Uninterested in becoming a rung on the ladder of Tate’s climb to a title shot, Vieira excels when she’s setting a dizzying pace and is bullying opponents in the clinch. Once penciled in on a shortlist of title contenders, “Fenomeno” carries an 11-2 record in her seven-year career. Four of those wins came via submission, and two via TKO/KO.
Here are my picks and predictions for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night women’s bantamweight title-eliminator between Vieira and Tate (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).
Vieira vs. Tate Fight Info
Date/Time: Saturday, November 20, 6 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
Vieira vs. Tate Odds Analysis
Vieira opened as a -160 favorite at some books, while Tate could be found as high as +140. The odds have evened out since then. Vieira is a -115 favorite at DraftKings, while Tate is a slight underdog at -105.
Miesha Tate Betting Profile
Forged in the hellfires of HOOKnSHOOT, Strikeforce, and the UFC, few 135-pounders are as battle-tested as Tate. “Cupcake” has faced a murderer’s row of elite fighters since she first stepped into the cage as a professional in 2007. She has claimed victories over Marloes Coenen, Sara McMann, Liz Carmouche, and Holly Holm. Tate’s signature, dramatic comeback victory over Holm served as the peak of her MMA career, as she finally captured the UFC women's bantamweight title.
Tate, who rose to fame as the unsuccessful nemesis to former world conqueror Ronda Rousey, claimed the title from the woman who had violently ended Rousey’s reign of terror four months earlier.
The Xtreme Couture product would soon lose her championship to current “baddest woman on the planet” Amanda Nunes, and then drop another bout to Raquel Pennington. The then 30-year-old Tate hung up her four-ounce gloves in the UFC following the loss to Pennington, before gloriously ending her four-year retirement with the aforementioned victory over Reneau.
Ketlen Vieira Betting Profile
Tasting sweet victory in her first four trips to the Octagon, including wins over McMann and Cat Zingano, Vieira was on the shortlist of potential contenders for Nunes’ bantamweight crown. Unfortunately, she was viciously expelled from that list when an Irene Aldana left hook completely derailed the “Fenomeno” hype train at UFC 245.
Since then, Vieira has alternated wins and losses. She claimed a unanimous decision triumph over Sijara Eubanks at UFC 253, before dropping a unanimous decision to Yana Kunitskaya five months later. Vieira missed weight by two pounds prior to her loss to Kunitskaya.
Vieira vs. Tate Betting Picks
To win: Tate (-105) ★★★
Method of victory: Tate by decision (+200) ★★
SEE ALSO: All UFC Picks and Predictions
Tate to win (-105)
There isn’t much that Vieira can do to Tate that she hasn’t seen before. The crafty veteran is a good enough wrestler to neutralize Vieira’s grappling game, and her championship-level experience will pay dividends should the bout be dragged into the murky waters of the fourth and fifth rounds.
Tate by decision (+200)
As mentioned earlier, Tate’s chances of emerging victorious grow exponentially as the fight heads into the championship rounds. It won’t be a cakewalk for “Cupcake,” but she’ll survive some potentially dicey situations en route to a hard-fought, 25-minute unanimous decision victory.
SEE ALSO: All UFC Odds and Lines
Vieira-Tate picks made on 11/18/21 at 9 a.m. ET.