Ketlen Vieira busts up Miesha Tate in decision win at UFC Vegas 43

Former women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate faced No. 7 ranked Ketlen Vieira in the UFC Vegas 43 main event on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Tate came out of retirement and returned to the Octagon in July for the first time since November 2016. She defeated Marion Reneau by TKO. With the win, Tate jumped back in the divisional rankings at No. 8.

Tate had difficulty getting inside Vieira’s reach and length. Tate dictated the pace but was met with right hands as she tried to close the distance. She pressed forward and connected with shots of her own but Vieira’s punches clearly did more damage.

Tate also found success with her right hand throughout the five-round fight. She pressed forward with combinations while Vieira was comfortable countering. Late in the second frame, Tate began looking to get the fight to the ground.

In the third round, Vieira continued to find a home for her right hand. Tate struggled to get Vieira to the canvas but ended the frame strong in the clinch delivering knees to the body of Vieira.

In the final two rounds, then damage was evident on the face of Tate. By the end of the fight, Tate was cut below her left eye that was nearly swollen shut, and bleeding from the nose.

UFC Vegas 43 live results: Ketlen Vieira vs Miesha Tate

After 25 minutes of fighting, the judges scored the fight for Vieira by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 48-47, 48-47, and 49-46.

“That’s what I’m here for. I’m here to fight the best. Respect my skills. I’m here to go the long haul. We’ll to be a champion one day,” Vieira said following the win. “I’m here to be respected as one of the best and only to fight the best in the world.”

Tate’s goal in returning to fight was to regain the title that she once held. That goal hit a serious speed bump on Saturday.

“I did my best tonight came up short. She was the better woman. Hat’s off to her. She’s great,” Tate said in her post-fight interview.

“This is just a moment in time,” she said. “We all have moments in time in our lives. This is a moment and opportunity for me to grow. I had a great time tonight. It was an awesome opponent. What else can I say? I get to go home, kiss my two kids. Life is good.”