UFC Fight Night: Vieira vs. Tate Preview

UFC Vegas 43 takes place Saturday, November 20 in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will go up against Ketlen Vieira in the main event. Michael Chiesa will take on Sean Brady in the evening’s co-main event.

Miesha Tate surprised the masses with her comeback performance against Marion Reneau earlier this year. The question of whether Tate was still able to compete at the highest level was answered with flying colours as she pounded her way to a TKO victory in the third round. Some questions still remain. Can Miesta compete in the upper echelon in the women’s bantamweight division? That question will be answered in the main event when she makes the walk to take on the #5 ranked Ketlen Vieira on Saturday night.

I do feel like this is a winnable fight for the former 135-pound champion, and if Tate is successful she may be thrown into a title eliminator or quite possibly a title shot itself. It’s crazy even writing that but stranger things have happened. Vieira is no pushover, she is coming off a defeat by the hands of Yana Kunitskaya, a decision that caused a little controversy in the aftermath. The Brazilian will be the bigger of the two in the octagon but what Tate lacks in size she makes up for with an abundance of experience.

Simply standing and banging with an athlete like Vieira, especially when she will have a big reach advantage, is not the way to go. Tate will have watched back the Vieira/Kunitskaya fight back and will have the fight was won and lost in the grappling department. I would expect Tate to want to come in here and clich to work for the takedown sooner rather that later in the battle. Vieira is known to fade in fights and initiating the grappling and make this a gruelling, exhausting fight will work in favour of “Cupcake” rather than her Brazilian counterpart. Tate looked like she could go another three rounds in her last fight so I don’t doubt she will try to make this a fast paced fight. If she has her way, well then thing get interesting at the top of the bantamweight division. If Vieira can implement her gameplan, and that should be a plan to keep this fight standing, she can be the party pooper here. Super interested in this encounter, it will give us a proper indication of where Miesha Tate is at in her career.

The co-main event is a mouth watering affair in the welterweight division as Michael Chiesa takes on undefeated prospect Sean Brady. Chiesa was left disappointed in his last trip to the cage as Vicente Luque snapped his 4-fight win streak by locking in a D’Arce choke in the very first round. “Maverick” didn’t quite look himself in that fight and went on to say he had a ‘mental lapse’ coming into and during the Luque fight. He will look to turn his fortunes around when he faces off with Sean Brady who is undefeated in 14 fights.

Brady doesn’t just win, he gets guys out of there and boasts a 50 percent finishing ratio inside the cage. You have to feel that a win over Chiesa would be the biggest win of Brady’s career and I’m excited to see if he is at a level to get the job done against such a seasoned veteran. A win would go a long way in moving him up the ranks, a finish should she Philadelphia native rewarded with some top-5 competition in his next. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, the task at hand is a very difficult one. Brady always brings the action and I alway enjoy watching him perform. Chiesa will be looking to assert himself with his grappling which will be no surprised to Brady, it will be interesting to see how Brady handles a high level grappler.

Rani Yahya will welcome back Kyung Ho Kang to the octagon after the South Korean two a two year break from competing. Yahya, at 36, is undefeated in his last two and only has suffered defeat once in his last five bouts. Recently married Joanne (Calder)Wood will take on Taila Santos in the women’s flyweight division. Both fighters take this fight at short notice after the fallout of Alexa Grasso. Wood dropped a split decision to Lauren Murphy the last time she competed. Santos has won her last three and took home a unanimous decision win over Roxanne Modafferi in her last outing. UK’s own Davey Grant will be looking to get back into the winners circle as he locks horns with Adrian Yanez in the bantamweight division. Yanez is undefeated inside the UFC and hasn’t tasted defeat since 2018, he is one of the hottest prospects in the promotion right now. Grant was on the wrong side of a decision loss to Marlon Vera earlier this year, the heavy hitting Englishman will be looking to put hands on Yanez and this is a belter of a fight to kick off the main card.

Former Cage Fury FC featherweight champion Pat Sabatini will look to keep his impressive UFC start intact having won his opening two fights since making his debut in March of this year. His opponent, Tucker Luntz, had to win not once but twice on Dana White’s Contender Series to secure himself a UFC contract. Luntz won on his debut, picking up a unanimous decision win over Kevin Aguilar. This should be a fun fight. Rafa Garcia will take on Natan Levy in the 155-pound division. Levy, who fights out of Israel, will make his promotional debut while Garcia is still in search of his first win inside the octagon. Loma Lookboonmee steps in at short notice to take on Lupita Godinez in the women’s strawweight division. Fresh off his 7-second knockout, the fastest in UFC lightweight history, Terrance McKinney looks to take home his 5th this year. McKinney will face off against Frenchman Fares Ziam who is on a two fight win streak of his own. I would expect fireworks in this contest.

Two flyweights will clash when Cody Durden and Qileng Aori lock horns, both will be looking to get back into the win column after losses in their last encounters. Sean Soriano and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke both lost their debuts in the 145-pound division, both will be pushing hard in this fight to get their first win inside the octagon. Luana Pinheiro was successful in her UFC Strawweight debut and she brings a 7-fight win streak in to take on Sam Hughes in the curtain jerker. Hughes has yet to taste victory inside the octagon having lost her first two fights to Tecia Torres and Loma Lookboonmee. There will be a lot of pressure on Hughes here as one more defeat could see her let go from the UFC, she will be eager to pick up the win which would likely to save her job.

Main card (BT Sports / ESPN+, 6pm ET)


Women’s Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira vs. Miesha Tate

Welterweight: Michael Chiesa vs. Sean Brady

Bantamweight: Rani Yahya vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Wood vs. Taila Santos

Bantamweight: Davey Grant vs. Adrian Yanez


Preliminary card (BT Sports / ESPN+, 3pm ET)


Featherweight: Tucker Lutz vs. Pat Sabatini

Lightweight: Rafa Garcia vs. Natan Levy

Women’s Strawweight: Loma Lookboonmee vs. Lupita Godinez

Lightweight: Fares Ziam vs. Terrance McKinney

Flyweight: Cody Durden vs. Qileng Aori

Featherweight: Sean Soriano vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke

Women’s Strawweight: Luana Pinheiro vs. Sam Hughes

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.