UFC Vegas 43 is set to be a thrilling event! “Cupcake” Miesha Tate returns to action for just the second time since her comeback, and top to bottom the main card and the prelims are looking solid. Not to mention Loopy Godinez is making history with the fastest three-fight turnaround in the modern era.
Young stars will face battle-tested veterans, and you will soon see how pivotal these matchups are for their respective divisions. So, join us, as today we analyze the main card and break down the action!
UFC Vegas 43 Main Card Breakdown
Davey Grant (11-5, 4-3 UFC) vs Adrian Yanez (14-3, 3-0 UFC)
Opening up the main card with a bang will be Davey Grant and Adrian Yanez. This bantamweight banger features Yanez coming in hot with a seven-fight win streak dating back to 2019. Grant is 3-2 in his last five and is coming off a loss to Marlon “Chito” Vera. While holding the least impressive record of the two, it’s important to note that every time “Dangerous” Davey Grant steps in the cage, carnage ensues.
The same can be said for Yanez, which is likely why UFC matchmakers went with this fight to open up the main card. With Yanez, not only is he 3-0, all three victories come via highlight-reel finish knockout. The only person with a bigger KO streak is actually the heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, with five.
Grant vs Yanez will likely be a striker’s delight. Look for Yanez to apply the pressure and Grant to be there every step of the way. While Yanez’s win streak most likely won’t die at UFC Vegas 43, don’t be surprised if his knockout streak does. “Dangerous” has proven almost impossible to finish via KO/TKO, although if anyone could do it, Adrian Yanez can.
Prediction: Adrian Yanez via Unanimous Decision
Joanne Wood (15-6, 7-6 UFC) vs Taila Santos (18-1, 3-1 UFC)
Following Yanez vs Grant, we are blessed with Wood vs Santos. Formerly Joanne Calderwood, “Jojo” has recently tied the knot to John Wood and is now Joanne Wood. 2-3 in her last five, “Jojo” has historically struggled to put together a winning streak in the UFC.
At 125lbs however, Wood is 6-3 and seemingly shows a lot more promise in this division. She’s tied for second-most knockdowns in divisional history (behind Ariane Lipski), and her performance at UFC 238 against Katlyn Chookagian was record-setting. Wood’s 68 leg kicks were the most ever landed in a single three-round UFC fight!
Taila Santos took this fight as a late-notice replacement to Alexa Grasso in October, however, don’t count her out. All three of her victories are over phenomenal talent, and this speaks to the potential and prowess of Santos. She’s got wins over Molly “Meatball” McCann, Gillian Robertson, and Roxanne Modafferi. Her last out against Modafferi she landed more than 70% of her strikes and Santos outstruck Modafferi 118-43.
Prediction: Taila Santos via Unanimous Decision
Rani Yahya (27-10-1, 12-4-1 UFC) vs Kyung Ho Kang (17-8, 6-2 UFC)
Rani Yahya is a submission ace with serious skills. 3-1-1 in his last five, Yahya is tied with “Chito” Vera for most stoppage victories in the UFC/WEC bantamweight division with nine. Furthermore, 21of his 27 total career victories come via submission, making Yahya someone to be feared on the ground!
“Mr. Perfect” Kyung Ho Kang is back in action, and he’s riding a three-fight winning streak that dates back to 2019. The story with Kang is really the time off. He took an almost four-year break from 2014 to 2018. He came back to fight twice in 2018 and went 1-1. The following year in 2019 would see him fight three times, giving him his previously mentioned winning streak as he would go 3-0. Now, it’s been another gap of inactivity as it’s been almost two years since we have seen Kang last.
It’s worth mentioning Kang has his fair share of submission wins. He also historically finds himself on the right side of split-decision wins, having won three out of four total in his UFC tenure.
This fight could possibly result in a grappling stale-mate and play out on the feet, although expect Yahya to definitely try his luck grappling throughout all three rounds.
Rani Yahya via First-Round Submission
Michael Chiesa (18-5, 11-5 UFC) vs Sean Brady (14-0, 4-0 UFC)
Things heat up in our co-main event as Chiesa and Brady take the cage. Both fighters are known for always delivering high-paced intense action, so this battle has the potential to be one of the greatest of the year.
Michael Chiesa has been dominant since his move up to the welterweight division in 2018. He was undefeated at 170lbs until his latest bout against Vicente Luque. Chiesa would get caught in a D’arce choke three minutes and twenty-five seconds into the first round, snapping his streak.
On the other side of the cage at UFC Vegas 43 will be Sean Brady. Brady is a complete monster riding a 14 fight winning streak dating back to 2014, although you could call it 2012, and 18 fights if you want to count amateur bouts.
This will be the greatest test of Brady’s career and also could be one of the most pivotal fights of Chiesa’s. For Brady, a win here definitely asserts himself as one of the welterweight elites. Beating Chiesa could act as the key to unlocking a shot against someone in the top five. While for Michael “Maverick” Chiesa ending the streak of Brady would improve his stock tremendously. Almost erasing the damage the loss to Luque did to Chiesa’s title aspirations.
Expect this one to be over in an instant, or to be a war. This fight is extremely important to both men and neither will want to go home the loser! Chiesa has experience on his side and might be the better grappler of the two, while Brady will most likely prove to be the more physically dominant and explosive of the pair.
Prediction: Michael Chiesa via Unanimous Decision
Miesha Tate (19-7, 6-4 UFC) vs Ketlen Vieira (11-2, 5-2 UFC)
Last but not least, our main event features “Cupcake” Miesha Tate back for the second time since her return from retirement. On the other side, a young, hungry challenger looks to defeat a former champion.
Ketlen Vieira will be fighting in her first main event this Saturday. The young Brazilian started her career off with a big 10 fight win streak, however, is 1-2 in her last three fights.
“Cupcake” retired in 2016 but made a comeback in 2021 against Marion Reneau, finishing her via KO/TKO in round three.
This is an extremely important fight for both ladies. For Tate, another win not only just gets her closer to a title shot, but proves she can still beat elite young talent. While for Vieira this could completely change her career. If she could beat “Cupcake” she would now have a win over a historic legend in Women’s MMA. This would definitely be a trademark win for her and sabotage this comeback of Tate.
Prediction: Miesha Tate via Unanimous Decision
Who do you think wins and loses? Drop your UFC Vegas 43 predictions below in the comments!
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