The matchup, contested at 135 pounds, was first reported by Ariel Helwani and confirmed by multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans. The bout is in the process of being finalized. The May 21 event is expected to take place at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Holm returns to the cage after a knee injury forced her to withdraw from a matchup against Aspen Ladd this past October at UFC Vegas 40. She was replaced by Norma Dumont, who defeated Ladd via decision in a major upset.
The former champ most recently fought in October 2020, when she delivered a dominant win over Irene Aldana to up her current winning streak to two bouts. The former boxing and MMA champ has put another title on her list of priorities before hanging up her gloves.
Standing in Holm’s way is Vieira, a longtime contender at 135 pounds who delivered another big win by outpointing ex-champ Miesha Tate – the opponent who captured Holm’s title – in her most recent appearance this past November at UFC Vegas 43. That put her back in the win column after a loss to Yana Kunitskaya delayed her title hopes.
Vieira was an obvious choice for a title shot when she earned wins in her first four UFC appearances. But a knockout loss to Aldana left her to regroup. A win over Holm would certainly strengthen her case for a shot at gold.