UFC Fight Night 206 – May 21, 2022: Ketlen Vieira vs Holly Holm

Fight Study (5/21/22)

The bantamweight division will be on full display when the division’s 5th ranked contender, Ketlen Vieira, takes on the 2nd ranked contender, Holly Holm, with the winner being on the fast track to a title challenge. Both fighters are coming off of wins, and it is Holm who has been cast as the significant favorite in this matchup. She is also the more expensive DFS play, and she can be rostered for $9,100 on DraftKings and $23 on Fanduel. Vieira is available for $7,100 and $13 respectively. As the Main Event, this fight has been scheduled for 5 rounds of MMA action, and current odds make this matchup a -225 favorite to go the distance on Saturday.

Vieira has a career record of 12-2 with 2 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission, and 6 wins by decision. After beginning her professional fight career with 10 straight wins, Vieira is just 2-2 over her last 4 fights. During that span, she has losses to Yana Kunitskaya and Irene Aldana. Aldana finished her by KO in the first round. Vieira doesn’t present a significant threat on her feet with her last finish by KO/TKO coming in December of 2017. She is a skilled grappler, but she has just one submission in the UFC to date. That finish also came in 2017, however, and her ability to submit elite fighters is very much in question. Her last 3 wins have all come by decision. To defeat Holm, she will likely have to win favor with the judges and survive the championship rounds – to date she has just one fight that has gone beyond the third round. Her only two losses to date have been against fighters her height or taller. Holm and Vieira both stand 5’8″ in height.

Holm is a former champion, and she is known best for ending Ronda Rousey’s win streak in the UFC at 12 consecutive wins. Her professional record stands at 14-5 with 8 wins by KO/TKO and 6 wins by decision. She has never won by submission in her career. She relies on her technical striking – mixing in punches and kicks – putting her length to good use inside the octagon. Against Rousey, she was able to maintain her distance and landed a head kick when the opportunity presented itself against a fighter who had scored 10 finishes in 10 fights up to that point. Holm is a heavy favorite for her ability to dictate fights to her opponents while avoiding danger. In her last fight, she dominated Aldana (who KO’d Vieira) for 25 minutes with her crisp kickboxing. She figures to do the same with Vieira, and her 6 career 5-round fights give her a decided edge in the later rounds. At the age of 40, however, it is only a matter of time before her age becomes a factor.

Holm figures to dominate the striking portion of this fight. She is a skilled boxer, and she mixes in her kicks to keep even the best fighters at bay. In fact, she has only lost to Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg over the past 5 years. Vieira must take this fight to the ground to be successful. This will not be easy, as penetrating the distance against Holm is a very difficult task. Vieira doesn’t have the power of Nunes or Cyborg, and Holm will incessantly stick and move against her in this fight. One look at Holm and it’s easy to see that her conditioning plays a big role in her ability to wear down opponents with her steady attack of jabs and kicks. This will be amplified over the course of a 5 round fight. Until the signs of age begin to show up in the octagon, I can’t see why this fight shouldn’t go similarly to the Aldana fight in October of 2020.

The only real deciding factor in this contest is whether or not Holm is going to be able to bring value to her salary. She is the most expensive play on Fanduel and the second most expensive on DraftKings. Against Aldana, she had her career-best 132.68 FP performance. However, this result is part of a wide range of fantasy results for her. Over her last 5 fights, she has scored 132.68, 65.25, 5.00, 107.29, and 24.52 FP while going 3-2 over that span. It is her inconsistency that makes me wary of her here. Still, her performance against Aldana shows her potential in a 5 round fight. For this reason, I prefer Holm on both platforms and in all formats, but with caution. Her salary calls for discretion when rostering her in DFS contests. Vieira is worth a small number of lineups in mass multi-entry contests – mainly for her ability to secure submissions against a fighter with zero wins by submission.

That’s all for this edition of Fight Study. Good luck with your lineups! For more advice on DFS contests for MMA, click HERE.

About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and the NFL. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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