Ketlen Vieira vs. Raquel Pennington is scheduled for three rounds in the bantamweight division as a featured attraction on this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
This fight is a pseudo-eliminator for a chance to face Amanda Nunes for the title at some point in 2023.
UFC betting odds have Vieira as a narrow -120 favorite, with Pennington as a +100 underdog despite riding a four-fight win streak.
Here are our picks and predictions for Vieira vs. Pennington at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington fight odds
Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington method of victory odds
|Method of Victory||Ketlen Vieira||Raquel Pennington|
|To win by KO/TKO||+1,000||+1,200|
|To win by Points||+145||+160|
|To win by Submission||+850||+850|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on January 14, 2022.
Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington picks
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington betting preview
Vieira and Pennington are two fighters who are in line for Nunes. That will inevitably change as these two are a fight or two away from locking in a chance to topple the suddenly vulnerable champion. Credit is due for these two, as they’ve consistently performed well against the best of the division and should no doubt put forward a spirited effort against each other.
Though Vieira is 3-2 over her last five fights, she handled her business in beating future hall of fame candidates Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. Going into this fight, Vieira possesses physical advantages such as being taller and longer, and she has a better striking technique when compared to her opponent.
Viera has to hope she can put on a finer performance than her disputed win over Holm. The Brazilian delivers 3.13 significant strikes per minute at 41% accuracy with 1.51 takedowns per 15 minutes at 40%. She’s a pressure-based fighter who can take a shot and bully her opponents around the octagon.
Pennington must reach into her bag of tricks to answer this challenge. With a 2020 loss to Holm well behind her, Pennington has won four straight and might be a fight away from rematching Nunes. As one of the most decorated bantamweights of all time, Pennington is an intelligent fighter who is as resourceful as she is tough.
With excellent conditioning and solid grappling skills, Pennington is consistently tough. She lands 3.93 significant strikes per minute at 50% accuracy and 1.00 takedowns per 15 minutes at 28% accuracy. Pennington is an excellent defender as well, and she’s going to have to weather a few storms to get a win here.
On paper, this is anyone’s ballgame as these two are smart, versatile fighters.
Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington tale of the tape
|Ketlen Vieira||Raquel Pennington|
|135 lbs||Weight||145 lbs|
|68 inches||Reach||67.5 inches|
|13-2 (2 KOs)||Record||14-8 (1 KO)|
Ketlen Vieira vs Raquel Pennington UFC prediction and best bet
Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.
Paramount to a Pennington win is whether or not she can take Vieira down. Being that Vieira has an outstanding 92% takedown defense rate— that all but rules it out. Unless Pennington can get creative with her striking — and she’s not known for that — Vieira’s physical style and striking will be too much for Pennington to overcome.
Though Pennington can grind out a win, she will have a hard time against a stronger striker and a grappler with great BJJ and a judo background. We’ll ride with Vieira to win.
Prediction: Strickland moneyline (-120 at DraftKings)
Best bet: Vieira by unanimous decision
With both fighters known for going the distance and considering their styles, Vieira should prevail on the cards. The fight should be competitive, but Pennington doesn’t make the kind of mistakes that could get her in a rough spot. Vieira might win off activity alone, but Pennington’s defense will keep her out of trouble.
This has the look of a distance fight, and we see a 30-27 or 29-28 score across the board for the Brazilian. My best bet for the fight is for Vieira to win by unanimous decision at +175.
Pick: Vieira by unanimous decision (+175 at DraftKings)