Cat Zingano vs. Ketlen Vieira UFC 222 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 3/3/18
Vieira vs. Zingano
UFC: Saturday, March 3, 2018 (T-Mobile Arena)
The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Cat Zingano and Ketlen Vieira fight Saturday during UFC 222 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Cat Zingano enters this fight with a 9-2 record and has won 56 percent of her fights by knockout. Zingano has split her last four fights and is coming off a 2016 loss to Julianna Pena. Zingano is averaging 2.18 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 68.2 percent. Zingano is averaging 2.66 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 87.5 percent. Zingano went from being 9-0 and looking like one of the faces of the women’s side to having serious health issues and losing each of her last two fights. Zingano has fought just twice since her 2014 victory over Amanda Nunes, and this will be her first bout in about a year and a half. At 35 years old, it’s fair to question just which version of Zingano we’re going to get this time around. When in good form, Zingano is a great athlete with effective takedown ability, and she’s comfortable from either top or bottom position. Zingano is also an accurate and powerful striker who has produced knockouts in three of her last four victories. When fighting well and with confidence, Zingano is easily one of the best bantamweights in the world. This will be Zingano’s fourth career fight in Las Vegas.
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Ketlen Vieira enters this fight with a 9-0 record and has won 33 percent of her fights by submission. This will be Vieira’s fifth fight since 2016, and she’s coming off a September win over Sara McMann. Vieira is averaging 2.57 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 32.2 percent. Vieira is averaging 2.29 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Vieira proved her toughness and showed her true potential in her last fight, as she survived some serious ground and pound and was able to reverse position to eventually get a second round submission over McMann. Vieira has shown she has a very strong chin and can take a beating without caving. Vieira is a well conditioned fighter as well and has back-to-back respectable wins, so her resume can no longer be used against her like it was when she first entered the UFC. Vieira has a deep background in Judo, is effective with her leg kicks and is an effective takedown artist who now has four submission victories under her belt. This will be Vieira’s first career fight in Las Vegas.
This is an intriguing fight considering Vieira is in the same position Zingano was before she dropped two bouts and took so much time away from the sport. It’s going to be interesting to see if Vieira can handle the pressure, and what Zingano looks like given she’s been away for so long. You can make a case for both sides, and you probably pick Zingano if you know she’s going to show up and is in championship form. The problem is you don’t know that for sure. Vieira is the safe bet here considering you know what you’re getting, and the fact she just proved herself in a fight many would have lost when eating strikes on her back with no reasonable way out. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen from Vieira lately and this a tough fight back for Zingano.
This fight could go either way, but I’m siding with Vieira, because I know what I’m going.