Holly Holm Returns To UFC Vs. Ketlen Vieira
Holly Holm of Albuquerque is set to make her comeback.
On Wednesday, Lenny Fresquez, Holm’s longtime Albuquerque promoter, announced the Holm-Ketlen Vieira fight on a UFC Fight Night card slated for May 21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Holm (14-5) has not fought since defeating Mexico’s Irene Aldana in October of 2020, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Due to surgery for a renal ailment and a knee injury, her bouts against Julianna Pea and Norma Dumont were canceled.
A rematch with Miesha Tate, who stole Holm’s bantamweight (135-pound) championship in 2016 with a stunning fifth-round technical submission, has not taken place either.
Tate was instead defeated by Vieira in her second battle back from retirement by unanimous decision. Tate will now compete at the 125-pound flyweight limit.
As a result, a fight between Holm and Vieira looked to be inevitable. Holm (12-2) has beaten Tate but lost to Aldana, while Vieira (12-2) has beaten Tate but lost to Aldana.
The 19 and a half months between Holm’s victory over Aldana and her scheduled bout against Vieira will be the longest period of inactivity in Holm’s professional combat-sports career.
Holm has fought 56 times as a boxer or an MMA fighter, an average of roughly three per year, since her first pro boxing contest, a third-round TKO victory over Martha Deitchman at Isleta Casino & Resort.
Vieira, 30, became pro in 2014 and won her first 10 fights until being knocked out in the first round in December 2019 by Aldana. She has now defeated Sijara Eubanks and Tate but has been defeated by Holm’s former Jackson-Wink partner Yana Kunitskaya in a unanimous decision.
In December, Vieira is the UFC’s fifth-ranked challenger for Pena’s UFC bantamweight championship, which she won in a surprising upset victory over previous champion Amanda Nunes.
Holm is the No. 2 challenger, having defeated Nunes in the first round in July 2019.
Holm has made it clear that she wants to recover the bantamweight title before retiring from the sport.