Brazilian Ketlen Vieira stunned former champion Holly Holm in a controversial split decision in their women’s bantamweight bout in the main event of UFC Fight Night 206 in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The cards went 48-47 across the board, two for Vieira and one for Holm.
However, Holm landed more strikes (188-122) and significant strikes (96-85), and was credited with 10:04 in control time. Holm also scored a knockdown with a sidekick in the fourth round.
Vieira, though, nearly submitted Holm with a standing rear-naked choke in the second round.
“I felt [Vieira] had Round 2, but at the end of the fight, I truly felt in my heart that I had won the fight,” Holm said afterwards. “So, I’m disappointed. I really don’t give her three rounds.”
The co-main event of Michel Pereira against Santiago Ponzinibbio in a welterweight encounter delivered plenty of fireworks although there was no thrilling finish.
Ultimately, the judges preferred the power punches of Pereira, who took a split decision with scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 28-29 to extend his winning streak to five.
Chidi Njokuani delivered a statement win as he defeated Dusko Todorovic in the first round after landing a perfectly-timed elbow, while Jun Yong Park beat Eryk Anders on another split decision in a battle of the middleweight veterans.
Tabatha Ricci’s grappling proved to be too much for Polyana Viana as all three judges scored their strawweight contest 29-28 in her favour.