Ketlen Vieira: Miesha Tate ‘still the same’ after ‘premature’ retirement, eyes title shot with UFC Vegas 43 win
Ketlen Vieira is hitting the first main event of her UFC career on Saturday night against former 135lb champion Misha Tate, and she sees the potential repercussions for the title at stake.
Tate retired from the sport after losing streak to Amanda Nunez and Raquel Pennington in 2016, but decided to resume her MMA career earlier this year. Vieira cannot compare the recent performance of her opponent with the past, but noted that she believes that Tate is “still the same Misha Tate from all time.”
“I was very pleased with her return because she is a great athlete,” said Vieira MMA Fighting. “I thought her retirement was premature, but I think she had her own plans and I was very happy that she was back, another great athlete is back in the UFC. She performed very well, it is not easy to come back victorious after such a long absence.
“One of my main goals in the UFC, besides being a champion, is to fight the best.”
Tate, who finished with Marion Reno in July this year after almost five years in retirement, has won MMA victories over the likes of Holly Holm and Marloe Coenen.
Vieira calls his clash at UFC Vegas 43 with Tate “the most important fight of my career so far” and believes that beating the former UFC title holder and Strikeforce could lead to a top five but doesn’t want to think about the future.
However, the Nova Uniao fighter also believes an impressive win could mean an immediate blow to gold against December title winner Amanda Nunez against Julianna Pena.
“If God wants it, I’ll be ready,” Vieira said. “I believe that victory can put me in this position. This is one of the reasons why I gave everything I got in this camp and came well prepared.
“All I can guarantee is that I’m ready to fight five rounds. It was a wonderful camp, where I had to overcome a lot every day and believe in myself. I passed the test and went through the worst possible scenario before this fight. The only thing I can tell you is that I always go to victory. She wants to be champion again, and so do I. It will be a very tough fight for both of us. “
Unlike Tate, Phenomeno has never fought five-round fights in her MMA career. Vieira admits that this is one of Tate’s advantages over her at UFC Vegas 43 – and this is the reason why Vieira prepared hard for Saturday.
“She is an extremely experienced athlete who has gone through all kinds of adversity,” Vieira said. “Long fights, fights in comebacks, so whatever I present to her won’t be new to her, right? This is why I am so focused and so confident in the training that I have done, in what the coaches have told me. I will listen to my angles and feel the struggle. It will be a big battle. “