UFC Fight Night 206: Holm vs. Vieira Odds, Schedule, Predictions

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2022

UFC Fight Night 206: Holm vs. Vieira Odds, Schedule, Predictions

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    After more than a year-and-a-half away from the Octagon, Holly Holm will make her return against Ketlen Vieira in an important bantamweight main event at UFC Fight Night 206. 

    Julianna Pena's win over Amanda Nunes has broken the division wide open. It seemed Holm would have a hard time ever getting another crack at the title with a first-round TKO loss to Nunes on her record. But with her time away and Pena now holding the strap, she has another championship window. 

    She's going to have to take advantage in this matchup, though. The former champ is now 40 years old and coming off a knee injury that caused her lengthy layoff. 

    In the other corner will be a 30-year-old rising contender in Vieira. The Brazilian started her career 10-0 but has since alternated wins and losses. Her last time out she picked up a unanimous decision over Miesha Tate. 

    Now, she'll have the opportunity to pick up another win over one of the top fighters from the previous era. 

    Here's a look at the complete card and the rest of the highlighted fights on the card. 

Fight Card, Schedule and Odds

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    Main Card (ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET)

    • Holly Holm (-235, bet $235 to win $100) vs. Ketlen Vieira (+190, bet $100 to win $190)
    • Michel Pereira (-140) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (+120)
    • Chidi Njokuani (-265) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+215)
    • Tabatha Ricci (-125) vs. Polyana Viana (+105)
    • Eryk Anders (+160) vs. Junyong Park (-205)

    Prelims (ESPN+, 4 p.m. ET)

    • Jailton Almeida (-600) vs. Parker Porter (+435)
    • Alen Amedovski (+165) vs. Joseph Holmes (-195)
    • Uros Medic (+120) vs. Omar Morales (-140)
    • Jonathan Martinez (-260) vs. Vince Morales (+210)
    • Felipe Colares (-170) vs. Chase Hooper (+150)
    • Sam Hughes (+135) vs. Elise Reed (-155)

Holm vs. Vieira

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    The biggest question in this fight is how much Holm still has left to give. She's 40 years old and has been fighting professionally since 2002 going back to her boxing career. 

    That's a lot of mileage. But it's worth noting that her fighting style is one that lends itself to longevity. She likes to fight at range. She only absorbs 2.8 significant strikes per minute, per UFC Stats

    Still, Father Time is undefeated and eventually comes for everyone. 

    Vieira is a good opponent to find out where Holm's skills rank. She's the kind of fighter Holm would have turned away fairly easily in her prime. She does not have great defense and actually takes more significant strikes per minute (4.07) than she dishes out (3.07). 

    Vieira is fine when fighting someone willing to fight in close quarters. She has some pop in her hands and can win a slugfest, as she showed against Tate. 

    That isn't Holm's game, though. She's going to stick and move. As long as her mobility has not been hampered too much, she should have enough to beat Vieira over three rounds. 

    Prediction: Holm via decision

Pereira vs. Ponzinibbio

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    The jury is still out on whether Holly Holm is done. The judge has all but handed down the decision on the same question for Santiago Ponzinibbio. 

    It's unfortunate, but the Argentinian has not been the same since injuries sidelined him from November 2018 to January 2021. Before the layoff, Ponzinibbio was gaining title buzz. He had a seven-fight win streak and was finishing fights with regularity. 

    Then came the injuries and the layoff. Ponzinibbio came back and was swiftly knocked out by Li Jingliang. He bounced back with a decision win over Miguel Baeza but looked slower and less powerful in a split-decision loss to Geoff Neal. 

    On the other side of the corner is Pereira. He's on a similar career arc as Ponzinibbio but appears to be on the upswing. 

    The Brazilian was known for his wild fighting style when he came to the UFC but has since toned it down a bit and started winning as a result. He's won four straight, with three of those wins coming by decision. 

    Unless Ponzinibbio is able to turn back the clock on Saturday night, this feels like a step on the ladder to see how high Pereira can climb. 

    Prediction: Pereira via first-round TKO

Njokuani vs. Todorovic

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    There's a ton of firepower in the welterweight main card bout between Chidi Njokuani and Dusko Todorovic. 

    Todorovic has won 10 of his 11 career wins by knockout or submission. Njokuani has finished 14 of his 21 career victories. Either way, this one isn't likely going to decision. 

    Njokuani's recent form has made him a sizable favorite. Last time we saw him he knocked out Marc-Andre Barriault in 16 seconds. Paired with his third-round knockout win on Dana White's Contender Series to earn a UFC contract, it's the best two-fight stretch to his name. 

    Todorovic, on the other hand, has seen his stock fade a bit recently. He defeated Maki Pitolo in the first round of a UFC on ESPN card in December, but before that, he dropped back-to-back fights against Gregory Rodrigues and Punahele Soriano. 

    It's not a particularly convincing resume as he goes against a heavy-hitter in Njokuani. 

    Prediction: Njokuani via second-round TKO


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