The Ultimate Fighting Championship might be the most popular fighting league in the world right now. Mixed martial arts in general has been experiencing a steady rise in popularity in the 21st century, to the point that right now it is the 2nd most popular combat sport. While boxing is still at the top, MMA might just overtake it in the near future.
The growing popularity of MMA has brought in new fans from all over the world. Many of whom are excited for the sport’s future. And what a future it will be! Already, the first match of 2023 has been scheduled, and it is certainly a doozy.
Vieira vs. Pennington
The match will take place on January 14. Ketlen Vieira will go up against Raquel Pennington in a bantamweight match. Already, people are excited. In fact, most betting apps have already begun to set up odds on the match and are now taking bets.
Raquel Pennington is coming into this bout riding a 4-win streak. She has also prevailed against quite a few former UFC titleholders. On the other hand, Vieira has also defeated a few former champions in recent appearances.
The January 14 fight is going to be the precursor to a fight between Kelvin Gastelum and Nassourdine Imavov. Gastelum is an American middleweight fighter, who currently holds the #1 Middleweight position in the UFC. Nassourdine Imamov is a Russian-French fighter, who currently holds the #12 position. Fans are hoping that he will rise through the ranks by winning the fight on January 14.
With fights like these, it is not at all surprising that the event causes lots of reactions on Twitter. The fans and bettors are excited. And certainly, this set of fights is an excellent way to start off the year.
Ketlen Vieira Combat Profile
Hailing from Brazil, Ketlen Vieira is a bantamweight martial artist competing in the UFC. In 2022, she attained the #2 rank in the bantamweight women’s rankings of the UFC. She also holds the #11 spot in the women’s pound-for-pound rankings as well.
Ketlen Vieira has competed in 15 matches over the course of her 8-year career. Out of the 15 matches, she has only lost two. Her last loss came in 2021, against Yana Kunitskaya. Since then, Vieira has faced off against Miesha Tate and Holly Holm, defeating both former champions by decision and securing her ranking as the 2nd best.
Raquel Pennington Combat Profile
Pennington is an American fighter, who started her career fighting in the Invicta Fighting Championship, before moving on to the UFC. Right now, Raquel holds the #5 spot in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings.
Raquel has an athletic background, having competed in quite a few sports, including basketball, softball, and running. She finally got into mixed martial arts in 2009, at the age of 19. Since then, she has competed in 22 matches over all, so experience is certainly on her side.
Out of these 22 matches, she has lost 8, with the last loss coming in 2020 against Holly Holm. Since then, she has fought in 4 bouts, winning three of them by unanimous decision and 1 by a submission. Throughout her career she has faced champions and great fighters, including Miesha Tate, Amanda Nunes, etc.
January is looking to be an exciting month for UFC fans. We are going to see two fights, both of which are expected to be top tier. However, another significant fight is set for March, in which we might finally see the final instalment in the Kamaru Osman vs Leon Edwards trilogy. Whatever happens, fans are certainly excited.
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