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Ketlen Vieira calls for title shot after scoring split decision win over Holly Holm in UFC Vegas 55 main event

Ketlen Vieira wants a title shot of her own after taking out another former champion with a split decision win over Holly Holm in the UFC Vegas 55 main event.

Despite facing a noted striker, it was Vieira who seemed to win the majority of the exchanges on the feet, especially when it came to her boxing. While Holm racked up a ton of control time in the clinch, Vieira’s ability to do damage when she could work at distance really seemed to be the difference in the fight.

Once the fight was over, the judges scored the fight 48-47 on two cards for Vieira, which got her the win while the third judge gave the same 48-47 score to Holm.

“I came here to knock her down, she came to stall, and I was in doubt,” Vieira said. “I respect her a lot but I’m the one with the glory of God here.”

The striking exchanges actually didn’t last long at the start of the fight with Vieira looking for a takedown and Holm thwarting her attempt before moving into the clinch against the cage. From there, Holm was content holding onto an underhook and peppering away at the Brazilian with inside punches and knees to the body.

With urging from her coaches to avoid a similar position as the fight moved forward, Vieira was better at keeping the distance and working from the outside until she saw an opening to swoop in for a takedown. While Holm hit the canvas, she was quick to scramble back to her feet, which never allowed Vieira to gain much momentum with her grappling game.

That changed seconds later with a takedown attempt from the former bantamweight champion, which nearly ended the fight after Vieira snatched a standing rear-naked choke that had Holm’s face turning several shades of red. Because Vieira didn’t have control over the body, Holm was able to resist enough to eventually turn her shoulder over and break free from the submission.

In a restart as the third round got underway, Vieira started connecting with a hard right hand that was catching Holm with consistent accuracy. Again and again, Vieira was landing the better punches with several stinging combinations snapping the head around on the boxing Hall of Famer.

Holm’s best weapon on the feet ended up being a well-versed kicking game, which continuously gave Vieira problems. Holm snapped off a pair of front kicks in succession late in the fight, which fended off Vieira’s aggressive striking offense.

With a close fight throughout, Holm tried to pull away in the final round by outworking her opponent but that also came after Vieira had already done a lot of damage on the feet. When the decision went against her, Holm was understandably upset because she was confident that she was leaving with a win on her record.

“I thought I won the fight,” Holm said. “I gave her round two and I felt I won all the rest of the rounds. I really felt like I won the fight. I didn’t feel it was a question. I wanted obviously to be more active from the clinch. I was still able to control her in those areas.

“I feel like I won the fight so I kind of have to figure out what’s going to happen now.”

As for Vieira, she’s now picked up back-to-back wins over Holm and Miesha Tate, which potentially moves her one step closer towards her first attempt at becoming UFC champion. She’ll now turn her attention to the UFC 277 main event on July 30 where Julianna Pena faces Amanda Nunes in a rematch with the bantamweight title up for grabs.

“Listen everybody — I’m the next champion in the bantamweight division,” Vieira shouted. “I’m next, I’m ready, I’m here!”