UFC on ESPN+ 56: Tate vs Vieira - Predictions - 11/20/21


Ketlen Vieira vs. Miesha Tate

If this were Tate’s coming-out-of-retirement fight, I’d have a lot more trouble picking a winner. That’s because whenever a fighter comes out of retirement after so long away from the sport, there will be an inevitable pile of questions. Will ring rust be a factor? Are they fighting just for a paycheck? Would old technical deficiencies be even more prevalent? Miesha Tate answered all of those questions last time out. She looked to be in phenomenal shape, she showed that she is still a dangerous grappler, and her stand-up looked largely improved. As of this writing, the weigh-ins are done and she once again looks to be in top condition.

That’s all really bad news for Ketlen Vieira who is probably inferior in all these areas. She was taken down and controlled by Kunitskaya last time out, had no success in the clinch, and hasn’t knocked anyone out or even down in the UFC. So if she can’t knock Tate out, that leaves her grappling to be the only route to victory and I just don’t see it happening. She voluntarily clinched up several times in the last fight and got tripped to the mat because of it. A tactic that Tate has used to great success in the past. Aldana may have shaken her confidence as she melted Vieira in the fight before that so it’s possible that just surviving the last fight will restore some of it but it shouldn’t matter.

It is possible that the majority of the stand up exchanges don’t provide any meaningful moments for either fighter as Tate isn’t exactly a knockout specialist herself. Which could lead to a closer, hard-to-score affair. But there’s no reason for me to think Tate wouldn’t capitalize on those takedown opportunities that Vieira will undoubtedly provide her. I expect Vieira will attempt some leg locks but even if she gets something with promise, we saw Tate let her limbs bend 90 degrees the wrong direction without tapping in the past.

Prediction: Miesha Tate

Michael Chiesa vs. Sean Brady

This should be a great fight. I’ve been on the Sean Brady hype train since it left the station and Michael Chiesa will be a huge step up in competition for him. That’s not to say his previous opponents were easy pickings. All of them possessed unique challenges that Brady overcame to stay undefeated. He won’t however enjoy his usual size advantage as Chiesa at 6’1 is a rangey, athletic, welterweight.

Brady will certainly hold the advantage when it’s on the feet as his boxing is quite solid and way ahead of Chiesa’s. However, Chiesa moves both constantly and with awkward timing which can give fighters with technical striking backgrounds trouble. This is of course all a ploy to force his opponent into a mistake that leads to an easy takedown where Chiesa does his best work. Brady is a solid grappler but his opponents have not really tested his defensive wrestling much so there’s quite an unknown here. Court McGee attempted some takedowns to no success which is why Brady’s takedown defense is a sparkly, inflated 100%. Chiesa will need to score some takedowns and maintain top control for the bulk of each round, OR grind Brady against the cage for long periods in a slog (and if so I take back my “this should be a great fight” comment above).

Because of those reasons I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking a flyer on Chiesa. He has a ton of experience and has been in there with some great fighters. And again, his janky movement could puzzle Brady for long stretches or lead him right into some clean double legs. I’ve just seen him do too many boneheaded things to get himself submitted. That’s a bad notion when going against a BJJ blackbelt under anyone named Gracie. Too many ways to win for Brady vs the one painful way Chiesa can get it done. I’m not rushing to the window to lay this chalk but if forced to pick, I’ll take the Phili native to remain undefeated.

Prediction: Sean Brady

Quick picks in bold.

Rani Yahya vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Joanne Wood vs. Taila Santos

Davey Grant vs. Adrian Yanez


Tucker Lutz vs. Pat Sabatini

Rafa Garcia vs. Natan Levy

Loma Lookboonmee vs. Lupita Godinez

Fares Ziam vs. Terrance McKinney

Cody Durden vs. Qileng Aori

Sean Soriano vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke

Luana Pinheiro vs. Sam Hughes

Author Profile
Donnie Vee

Ever since renting my first UFC VHS at my local video store, I’ve been in love with the sport of MMA. I’ve watched every single fight that has ever taken place under the UFC banner over the past 25 years. Once I started doing incredibly well in fantasy leagues, I realized I could utilize my skills in fight analytics to make a profit on betting. My obsession with researching every aspect of a fight gave me a real edge in finding value. Since then, it's been one profitable year after the next. Watching your favorite sport is good, but getting paid while watching your favorite sport is better.