Preview: UFC Fight Night 185 Main Card - Vieira vs. Kunitskaya

By: Tom Feely
Feb 18, 2021

Women’s Bantamweight

#6 | Ketlen Vieira (11-1, 5-1 UFC) vs. #7 | Yana Kunitskaya (13-5, 3-2 UFC)

ODDS: Vieira (-265), Kunitskaya (+225)

This may seem like an odd choice for the co-main event slot, but a win here figures to put Vieira firmly in the title mix. Vieira is an odd fighter, as the Brazilian’s style does not seem like it should work as well as it does. She is a fairly plodding pressure fighter who does not have much in the way of technical acumen. Vieira more than makes up for that in size, power and durability. Her punches may not be pretty, but they have enough behind them that she can effectively get opponents to back up and get smothered by her clinches and wrestling. Vieira looked like an imminent top contender after a 2018 win over Cat Zingano, but a rash of injuries robbed her career of any momentum and left her out of action for over a year and a half. It did not get much better upon her return, as she suffered a shocking knockout loss to Irene Aldana. However, “Fenomeno” rebounded with a one-sided win over Sijara Eubanks in September and looks to continue her winning ways against Kunitskaya. A former Invicta Fighting Championships titleholder, “Foxy” made her UFC debut as a sacrificial lamb for Cristiane Justino before returning to her natural weight class. There, she has gotten by on much the same approach as Vieira. While Kunitskaya is nowhere near the same level of plodder, she gets by on a lot of aggressive clinch work and overpowering her opponents in often-ugly fashion. This figures to be a grind of a fight, and while Kunitskaya’s speed should give her the initiative, Vieira looks to be the much less movable fighter and should be able to take over exchanges and control of the bout. The pick is Vieira via decision.

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