What’s next for Miesha Tate after UFC Vegas 43?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 43, Miesha Tate (19-8) fought for the second time since making her return. Standing in her way was top ten contender Ketlen Vieira (12-2).

Tate made headlines the week of the fight with her comments about UFC champion Amanda Nunes. Nunes of course defeated Tate to win her first title back at UFC 200 when she brutalized ‘Cupcake’.

Tate has pointed to the fact that she wasn’t in the right headspace at that time in her career. However, she believed she was the best version of herself entering Saturday night and she said she was going to be the one to take Nunes out. 

However, before she could do that, she had to take out Vieira. Tate fought extremely aggressively on Saturday which is normally how she fights. However, she didn’t find the same success as she did when she returned earlier this year.

Vieira was very crisp with catching Tate as she came in. The former UFC champion looked bloodied and battered after the five-round fight. In the end, the judges gave the decision win to Vieira.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 43?

Now that Tate has suffered a setback, it’s time for her to reset. Had she won on Saturday, she might’ve been looking at a UFC title shot given her popularity in the sport and the lack of appealing challengers to Nunes.

However, Tate has to go back to the drawing board after this loss. She could be out for a while with a medical suspension potentially keeping her out up to six months with facial fractures from the fight.

When Tate does return, who should the UFC pair her against? Well, some have suggested that the promotion should pair her against Holly Holm (14-5) for a rematch. These two first fought back at UFC 196 when Holm was champion.

Tate rallied and choked out Holm in the final round to become champion. While this might be appealing, I’m not sure it makes a ton of sense given the fight that Tate just had. However, I wouldn’t put it past the UFC.

Another potential fight could be the loser of the Raquel Pennington – Julia Avila fight. The loser of that fight would be in a similar position as Tate and it would be a good fight for her either way.

Holly Holm out, Aspen Ladd in against Norma Dumont at UFC Vegas 40

UFC Vegas 40’s main event is changing once again. Originally the promotion was planning on next weekend’s card being headlined by Miesha Tate and Ketlen Vieira. However, the UFC scrapped that after Tate tested positive for Covid-19.

From there, the UFC shifted the featherweight contest between Holly Holm and Norma Dumont (6-1) as the main event. However, we learned last night from Ariel Helwani that Holly Holm has injured her knee and is out of the UFC Vegas 40 main event.

Holm’s injury is not considered to be severe. The former champion is wanting to get back into the cage either at the end of this year. The UFC has already moved on from this news and they’ve found a replacement for Holm.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report last night that the UFC has tabbed Aspen Ladd (9-1) as the replacement for Holm. Ladd was supposed to fight last weekend at UFC Vegas 38, but her fight was cancelled after an alarming weigh-in where Ladd came in heavy.

UFC Vegas 40 New Main Event

Aspen Ladd has been considered to be one of the top female prospects in the UFC since making her debut a few years ago. Her lone loss came against former UFC champion Germaine de Randamie.

However, outside of that loss, she’s been sensational. Now, we haven’t seen Ladd compete in almost two years. She’s always struggled to make 135 pounds. That was evident last week when she tried to hit the scales.

She’s not going to have to worry about the weight which might produce the best Aspen Ladd we’ve ever seen. That said, she’s going to have a tall order in front of her next weekend.

Norma Dumont will come into UFC Vegas 40 having won back-to-back fights since losing her promotional debut. Her last win was a victory over former title challenger Felicia Spencer. If she’s able to defeat Ladd next weekend, she could perhaps only be a win away from giving Amanda Nunes a new featherweight contender.

UFC: Holly Holm injured and out of Julianna Pena fight

A highly anticipated matchup in the UFC‘s women’s bantamweight division is off. We learned tonight that former bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (14-5), has sustained an injury and is out of her May matchup against Julianna Pena (10-4).

Julianna Pena tweeted out the news about the Holm injury as she was watching UFC 259. At this time, there is no word on what the injury is for Holly Holm or how long she will be out of action.

Holm had one of the best performances of her career last October on Fight Island. She looked better than ever and she appeared to be heading for another shot at the UFC bantamweight title.

To get that shot at the title, she was going to have to beat Pena. Pena is currently ranked sixth in the bantamweight division while Holm is ranked second. At this time, there are rumblings that the promotion might do something different with Pena, but this entire situation is fluid.

What will the UFC do?

Depending on the injury news, the UFC could always rebook this fight at a later date. If the injury is relatively mild and the fight can be pushed back to June, I could see the promotion moving in that direction.

However, if Holm is going to need more time, the promotion will likely look at different options for Julianna Pena. Pena has been very vocal about her desire to fight two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (21-4).

Nunes just defended her featherweight title at UFC 259. However, Pena has a steep uphill climb to convince the promotion to give her the next bantamweight title fight. The reason is because the number one ranked contender, Germaine de Randamie (10-4) just put her to sleep in October.

My guess is that De Randamie will likely get the next shot at the bantamweight title. Yes, she’s fought Nunes and lost twice already, but she’s the most deserving. You can’t give Pena that shot when she was just put to sleep by De Randamie.

I know she’s coming off of a loss, but perhaps a fight with Irene Aldana (12-6) could be next. Or even a shot against Aspen Ladd (9-1). Both contenders are ahead of Pena in the rankings and would make for quality opponents.

UFC books Holly Holm – Julianna Pena

The UFC has finalized a big matchup in the women’s bantamweight division. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that the promotion has finalized a matchup between former bantamweight champion, Holly Holm (14-5), and former Ultimate Fighter winner, Julianna Pena (10-4).

The fight will take place at a UFC Fight Night on May 8th. For Julianna Pena, she will be looking to pickup her second straight victory after getting choked out by Germaine de Randamie. Pena just fought at UFC 257 where she pulled off a submission victory over former title challenger, Sara McMann.

Of course, Pena made headlines with her callout after the fight. For some reason, Pena called out the UFC champion, Amanda Nunes, while suggesting that the champ had been ducking her. However, it’s worth noting that every time Pena has been in a title eliminator, she has lost.

Nevertheless, the callout fell on deaf ears because she was never going to get a title. However, she does get a big step up in competition and if she wins her next fight, it will be hard to deny her of a UFC title shot.

UFC title eliminator?

Pena isn’t getting a shot at the title next, but she is getting a crack at a former UFC champion. Holly Holm is one of the most decorated fighters in women’s combat sports. Holm is a former world champion in boxing and her career highlight came at UFC 193 when she knocked out Ronda Rousey to become UFC champion.

However, since that moment, Holm hasn’t been able to climb back to the top of the mountain. She lost her title in her first title defense to Miesha Tate. After that loss, she’s had three more shots at the title. Once at bantamweight and two shots at the title at featherweight. She came up short in all three attempts.

Holm defeated Raquel Pennington in early 2020 by decision, but the fight was not impressive. Many were wondering if Holm was past her prime. However, in her last performance, she looked better than ever. Holm took on the tough, Irene Aldana. She put on a clinic that night and almost got the finish.

It was a brilliant performance over five rounds by the former UFC champion. Now, Holm will go head-to-head with a hungry Julianna Pena. Considering where things are at in the bantamweight division, it would be difficult to deny the winner of the fight of a title shot. Perhaps Germaine de Randamie will get the next shot, but these two ladies are right behind that.

Does Julianna Pena deserve a title shot after UFC 257?

This past weekend at UFC 257, Julianna Pena (10-4) took on Sara McMann (12-6) on the prelims. After losing the first round, Pena performed very well on Saturday night and ended up pulling off a rear-naked choke in the third round.

It was a big win for Julianna Pena and the win put her at sixth in the UFC‘s bantamweight rankings. However, the headlines weren’t surrounding the performance. The headlines were around the post-fight interview.

After the fight was over, Pena called out the UFC‘s two-division champion, Amanda Nunes (20-4). Pena said that Nunes was ducking her and that a fight between the two women needed to be made.

Nunes immediately clapped back on Twitter saying, “Ducking? You couldn’t even make yourself a contender for me.” The notion that Amanda Nunes is ducking Julianna Pena is completely ridiculous and the callout didn’t make sense from that perspective.

I completely understand calling out the UFC champion. However, the reality is that Nunes has never dodged Pena. In fact, Nunes is correct in that Pena has lost both of her title eliminator fights that would have earned her a shot. So after her win at UFC 257, does Julianna Pena deserve the next shot?

A UFC title shot for Pena?

The simple answer her is no. Julianna Pena’s win at UFC 257 does not warrant a title shot. We can’t forget the fact that Pena was just put to sleep by Germaine De Randamie (10-4) a few months ago.

Julianna Pena is 2-2 since 2016 and neither one of those wins came against top five competition. That resume doesn’t warrant a shot at the UFC bantamweight title and the greatest of all time in Amanda Nunes.

For Pena to get a title shot, she’s going to need to beat someone in the UFC’s top five. However, I will say that nobody in front of her would make for a more compelling matchup against Nunes.

Nunes has already defeated de Randamie twice and she knocked out Holly Holm (14-5). The two most compelling contenders outside of Holm and de Randamie are Pena and Aspen Ladd (9-1). Ladd is currently recovering from a knee injury.

I think the best play for the UFC is to pair up Holm against de Randamie for the second time. In addition, they should book Pena against Aspen Ladd. The winner of Ladd and Pena would provide a compelling new challenger for Amanda Nunes. However, to be clear, Julianna Pena shouldn’t jump the line.

UFC: State of the Amanda Nunes divisions entering 2021

As we get ready to enter 2021, the UFC‘s bantamweight and featherweight divisions are still controlled by the GOAT, Amanda Nunes (20-4). Nunes has held both titles since December of 2018 when she knocked out Cris Cyborg at UFC 232.

Since making her UFC debut back in 2013, Nunes has gone 13-1 with her lone loss coming to Cat Zingano. That fight occurred when Nunes will still coming into her own inside the octagon.

After that loss, she’s hardly looked human. Only Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie have even been competitive. Every one else has been destroyed by Nunes inside a UFC octagon.

In 2020, we only saw the two-division champion once. She defended her featherweight title against Felicia Spencer back at UFC 250. It was one of the more one-sided title fights you will ever see in the UFC.

Nunes was scheduled to face Megan Anderson (11-4) at UFC 256, but she had to pull out of the fight. The fight has been rescheduled and Megan Anderson will get her shot at the two-division champion at UFC 259.

UFC Bantamweight & Featherweight Overview

Nunes has said that she plans on being very active in 2021. She wants to defend both of her titles and her current plan is to fight at bantamweight after this first title defense against Megan Anderson at featherweight.

After Anderson, it’s not clear on what’s next for Nunes at featherweight. The UFC has been trying to acquire talent for that division, however, they still don’t have enough to even fill out the rankings.

Bantamweight is a different story. The clear number one contender in the division is de Randamie. Germaine de Randamie made her UFC debut back in 2013 and she has only been defeated twice in the octagon.

Both of those losses came to Amanda Nunes. Last December, the two fought at UFC 245. Nunes clearly won the fight, but de Randamie showed that she has the ability to stand up with the champion. De Randamie just fought and put Julianna Pena to sleep with a choke in October.

A fight that I could see the UFC doing is the rematch between de Randamie and Holly Holm. Holm is the former bantamweight champion and she’s won two straight. Her last performance against Irene Aldana was sensational.

Holm and de Randamie fought for the featherweight title back in 2017 with de Randamie edging that one out. I could see the UFC putting those two together in a title eliminator while Nunes defends at featherweight.

While these divisions won’t see a lot of fresh faces and new contenders, it’s still going to be fun watching Nunes continue her UFC reign in 2021. Maybe someone can pull off a miracle and dethrone her. Time will tell on that one.

State of the bantamweight division after UFC Fight Island 4

UFC Fight Island 4 was a big night for the women’s bantamweight division. On the main card you had four of the top six contenders in the bantamweight division in action. The champion, Amanda Nunes, had her eyes on the action on Saturday.

In the main event of UFC Fight Island 4, Holly Holm (14-5) took on Irene Aldana (12-6). A fight that was being hyped up as a competitive striking match proved to be anything but. Instead of a competitive fight, Holm completely dominated Aldana over the course of five rounds.

The former UFC bantamweight champion made a big statement on Saturday. Earlier in the evening the top ranked bantamweight contender, Germaine de Randamie (10-4) was also in action. The former featherweight champion took on Juliana Pena (9-4).

This fight proved to be much more competitive than the main event. Both ladies had clearly won a round entering the third in final round. Pena tried to be aggressive, but she ended up getting caught in a guillotine choke. The former UFC champion tightened the choke and put Pena out.

It was a big night for the top two contenders in the bantamweight division. Both de Randamie and Holm were very impressive, however, there’s not a clear number one contender after Saturday. However, there appears to be a clear path for what’s next.

What should the UFC do?

The greatest women’s fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes, will be defending her featherweight title later this year at UFC 256. The double champion is expected to drop back down to defend her bantamweight title at some point in 2021.

With Nunes planning on returning, the path for the UFC is pretty clear. The promotion needs to pair up de Randamie and Holm again after Saturday night. These two ladies have history that dates back to UFC 208.

Holm and de Randamie headlined that PPV which crowned the first UFC women’s featherweight champion. De Randamie won on the scorecards, but it was a fight that was littered with controversy. De Randamie hit Holm after the bell following multiple rounds.

While de Randamie won three rounds, many believed she should’ve had a point taken away which would have made the fight a draw. Instead, de Randamie walked out as the UFC‘s featherweight champion. However, nobody felt great about the result.

There has never been a more perfect time to run this fight back. These two are the top ranked contenders in the bantamweight division, and it’s going to take some time before Nunes is ready to defend the title. The winner of the rematch would present a clear top challenger for the GOAT.

Holly Holm makes a statement at UFC Fight Island 4

In the main event of tonight’s UFC Fight Island 4, former champion Holly Holm (14-5) took on Irene Aldana (12-6) in a bantamweight contest. Both of these ladies were looking to make their case as a top contender in the UFC bantamweight division.

Both of these ladies came into tonight after winning in their last fight. Aldana had won five of her last six fights including a highlight reel knockout over Ketlen Vieira. Holm came into the contest coming off of a lackluster win over Raquel Pennington earlier this year.

As the main event started, it was very apparent that the former UFC bantamweight champion was there tonight to make a statement. Aldana was looked at as the next challenger to Amanda Nunes‘ title, but Holm was having none of it tonight.

Aldana seemed to be looking for one big power shot early on, but Holm was lighting Aldana up with combinations. Holly Holm used constant pressure and constant flurries to stifle Irene Aldana in the first round. Holm also started mixing in her wrestling late in the first round.

Throughout the rest of the fight, Holm continued to overwhelm Aldana. Whether it was big flurries on takedown attempts, Aldana had no room to breathe. In the third round, Holm got Aldana down and mounted her. Holm was able to land massive shots in the mount.

The confidence level was never there tonight for Irene Aldana. In the final couple of rounds, Aldana tried to push forward, but Holm peppered her with counter shots as she tried. A truly dominant performance for the former UFC champion who won the fight by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45).

What’s next for Holm after UFC Fight Island 4

Holly Holm made a massive statement at UFC Fight Island 4. There were a lot of people, including myself, who had been down on Holm. Especially after her last performance against Raquel Pennington. However, Holm shut everyone up tonight.

It was a very well-rounded performance from the former champion. So what is next for Holly Holm? Despite the dominant victory, I don’t think that she’s ready yet for another shot at Amanda Nunes. Holm was knocked out in the first round by Nunes at UFC 239.

In my opinion, the perfect fight would be the rematch with Germaine de Randamie (10-4). De Randamie fought earlier in the evening and put Juliana Pena to sleep. These two ladies fought back at UFC 208 and the fight was littered with controversy.

On paper, both of these ladies deserve a title shot. However, given their history with Nunes, it’s hard to build up the fight. I think the UFC should pair these two, and the winner would generate a clear number one contender in the bantamweight division.

UFC Fight Island 4 Preview: Does Holly Holm have one more title run in her?

Tomorrow night, the UFC returns for their fourth fight night card on Fight Island. In the main event of the evening, we have a women’s bantamweight contest between former champion Holly Holm (13-5) and Irene Aldana (12-5).

Holm just turned 38 years old a couple of months ago, but the former UFC champion wants to capture gold one more time before she hangs it up. Saying this week at the media day that she wants to retire as UFC champion.

Irene Aldana is looking for the biggest win of her UFC career tomorrow night. Aldana is coming off of a huge knockout of Ketlen Vieira back in December last year at UFC 245. A win over Holm could give Aldana a shot Amanda Nunes.

Holm vs Aldana Prediction

This is a very intriguing matchup on paper for the UFC. Aldana has really crisp boxing skills which could give her some big moments on the feet. However, she’s going up against an elite striker who’s a former world champion in boxing.

Despite her credentials, Holm has been more of a point fighter in her UFC career. She has two highlight reel headkick knockouts, but outside of that, it’s usually not the most entertaining fight when Holm is in the cage.

She didn’t impress anyone back at UFC 246 in her rematch with Raquel Pennington. Holm used a lot of grappling and clinching to point her way to a decision. Even when she’s striking, she uses kicks to score points and keep range versus doing serious damage.

Aldana has very good pop in her hands. She can crack with the best of them at 135 pounds. Her knockout of Vieira is truly something special to watch as she used a jumping left hook to floor the previously unbeaten Brazilian.

Aldana is a very intriguing fighter in the division considering she’s won of the few that hasn’t fought Amanda Nunes yet. She’s 5-1 in her last six fights with the lone loss being a very close split decision loss to Raquel Pennington.

In this fight, I’m not really liking Aldana’s chances. While she certainly has the skills to get it done, I’m afraid she’s going to be out-pointed by Holm. Look for Holm to use her kicks and mix in some grappling to keep Aldana guessing and off her game.

Prediction: Holly Holm by Unanimous Decision

Rest of UFC Fight Island 4

There are some pretty decent fights on the UFC Fight Island 4 card. It’s not the sexiest card in the world, but there are some interesting fights. One of the earlier fights in the evening features the return of Carlos Condit (30-13) taking on Court McGee (19-9).

The fight I’m really looking forward to is the bantamweight contest between Germaine de Randamie (9-4) and Julianna Pena (9-3). To me this fight is better than the UFC Fight Island 4 main event. I think whoever wins the most impressively out of those two contests could be the next UFC title challenger.

UFC: Holm – Aldana is off; Shahbazyan – Brunson will headline Aug. 1 card

The UFC has lost it’s main event for their return to Las Vegas. It was reported today that Holly Holm (13-5) vs Irene Aldana (12-5) is off after Aldana had to pull out.

As referenced in the tweet, the UFC has promoted the middleweight clash between Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0) and Derek Brunson (20-7) to the main event.

UFC’s new main event is a fan favorite

When it was first announced that the UFC would return to Vegas with Holm-Aldana as the headliner, there was a lot of criticism from fans.

The fight was not sexy at all when it comes to a main event. The fight rivaled Calvillo-Eye in lack of popularity among the MMA fans.

This new main event is an absolute banger. Shahbazyan is arguably the most exciting prospect in the UFC. At just 22-years old, Shahbazyan already looks like a future world champion.

Every test that has been thrown his way, he’s passed with flying colors. He had a massive challenge against Brad Tavares at UFC 244, and Shahbazyan knocked him out in the first round.

Brunson is a tough out for anyone in the middleweight division. If Shahbazyan can get passed Brunson, you can be assured he’s only a fight or two away from getting a shot at UFC gold.