After delivering another impressive performance against Raquel Pennington at UFC 224, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes openly declared in a post fight interview:
“Ketlen Vieira is definitely next, and I will be ready.”
Now with a month passed since hearing those words from the UFC women’s bantamweight empress, Vieira hasn’t forgotten them, but after seeing Holly Holm defeat Megan Anderson soundly at UFC 225 a couple of weeks ago, she now fears she’ll be passed over in the rankings for the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.
With the win over Anderson, Holm has also created two possible options for herself in terms of championship opportunities. One would be a highly anticipated Cris Cyborg rematch, the other would be a highly intriguing bout with Amanda Nunes.
Nunes, although she originally claimed Vieira to be her next challenger, now seems to have changed her stance as apparently the thought of facing Holly Holm has sparked the interest of the UFC women’s bantamweight champion which she made known via her twitter.
“Let’s do it Holly Holm,” Nunes wrote.
”I’m coming off four wins in the UFC. Four. Four! It looks like Holly Holm’s record has chickenpox with all those red spots. The UFC is really trying to benefit her. She goes up and down in weight, does whatever she wants, and every time she fights is a title fight now? She fought (Germaine) de Randamie, she fought Cyborg, and now she wants to come back to 135? That’s not fair to me and other bantamweights. It’s disrespectful. Amanda has only defended her belt three times. There are good athletes in the division. That’s not cool. My team is with me, they believe I’m ready for a title fight. I’ve been evolving a lot in the grappling and striking area. I’m only 26. The longer it takes, I’m only getting better. I’m saying I deserve it because she said I would be next, and now Holly wins a fight and they want her because it will sell more pay-per-views? It’s not how it should be. We have to have honor and not think only about money.”
”If you talk to someone who really understands about MMA, no doubt that I should be the No. 1 in the ranking,” she continued. “It’s funny that everyone goes down in the ranking, drops off, and they keep Holly there. She’s coming off a win over the No. 10 and stays at No. 1. Who has a longer winning streak at bantamweight than me? That’s unfair. The UFC ranking is unfair. I don’t know why they have a ranking if they don’t follow it.”
“Fenomeno” is willing to get back inside the Octagon whenever is better for the American Top Team star. If the UFC decides to go with Nunes-Holm instead, she will leave her future in her coaches’ hands.
”I’ve worked really hard to get here,” Vieira said. “What if an upset happens and I lose and have to work my way up again? That’s up to my team, if I’m fighting again or waiting. I see myself as the next contender because of what the champion said and all the opponents I’ve beaten. I want my chance, man. If it doesn’t happen now, I’ll leave it to my team to decide.”
The undefeated brazilian also stated that while she definitely respects the other competitors in her division, she admits the championship drama that’s happening currently is lighting a heavy fire inside of her.
”That makes me hungrier because I feel fooled because she created this expectation by saying I would be next and I trusted her because I honor my word,” Vieira said. “If I say something, I’ll honor that. That made me upset, but even more motivated.”