UFC Vegas 19- Ketlen Vieira vs Yana Kunitskaya: Prediction and Fight Analysis

Published 02/19/2021, 8:29 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: (R-L) Yana Kunitskaya of Russia kicks Julija Stoliarenko of Lithuania in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Lewis goes down on February 20 and the co-main event sees a women’s bantamweight clash. Ketlen Vieira takes on Yana Kunitskaya in a crucial match-up that can shape the women’s 135-pound contention going forward. Amanda Nunes has maintained a stranglehold over the division for a meaningful period, and she’ll plan on holding her dominance.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Both women fought once in 2020 and won their respective contests via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. It’s important to build up momentum, and for one of the aforementioned bantamweight, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The division isn’t particularly stacked at the top with contenders, and a statement win will certainly go a long way.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

UFC women’s bantamweights: Ketlen Vieira vs Yana Kunitskaya

The 11-1 fighter in Vieira is 5-1 in her UFC outings thus far, and she’s been a bonafide contender for a significant amount of time. The main thing holding her back is the fact that she hasn’t been particularly active, fighting only once a year. The only time she fought twice in a calendar year was back in 2017.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 27: (R-L) Ketlen Vieira of Brazil punches Sijara Eubanks in their women’s bantamweight bout during UFC 253 inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on September 27, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Ketlen has fundamentally sound kicks and overhands, and she’s displayed a clear sense of defense in her last fight. She’ll have to be wary of Kunitskaya’s front kicks that come in to split right through a tight guard. However, strong maintenance of octagon control coupled with high output should enable her to clinch the win.

‘Foxy’ Kunitskaya’s chase for UFC gold

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Yana Kunitskaya is 3-2 in her last five outings, one of her losses coming to the legendary Cris Cyborg in March 2018. ‘Foxy’ is able to rely on her Muay Thai and puts tremendous pressure against the cage. However, holding Ketlen Vieira against the octagon will be easier said than done, especially in the late rounds.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 08: (L-R) Julija Stoliarenko of Lithuania punches Yana Kunitskaya of Russia in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Kunitskaya will favor her chances to finish off the fight, as she has three times the stoppage rate compared to her opponent. She’ll look to avoid cage walking towards a powerful overhand and opportunities for set-up could present themselves. Chiefly, it all comes down to who can truly impose their gameplan as the fight enters the second half of each round.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Prediction: Yana Kunitskaya to claim a unanimous decision victory

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT