Yana Kunitskaya seemed to be less than a minute away from losing out on the scorecards against Ketlen Vieira at UFC Fight Night 185 after spending most of the final round of her back, but she then made the most of a late opportunity to get on top and land heavy blows that would earn her a decision victory.
Vieira throwing straight punches to start. She lands a right hand and then into a takedown attempt against the cage. Kunitskaya defending for now though.
Knee to the body for Vieira as she continues to work from the position and Kunitskaya returns the favor.
Viera looks for a judo throw and manages to bundle Kunitskaya to the mat. Kunitskaya able to stand quickly though and straight back into the clinch Vieira goes.
Knees for Vieira and Kunitskaya responds in kind with three of her own. Vieira tries for the throw, but Kunitskaya reverses the clinch instead. Now there’s knees to the body from Kunitskaya, but then Vieira catches one and drives into the takedown, securing it close to the center of the Octagon.
Vieira in half guard here and looking to move to mount, but Kunitskaya prevents that. Vieira all over her though and gets full mount. Kunitskaya gets her back to half-guard though.
High half guard for Vieira and trying to pass to mount again. Kunitskaya landing a few punches from her back as she continues to main her guard and Vieira settles for ending the round on top.
Kunitskaya putting power into her kicks here as Vieira goes for punches upstairs. Kunitskaya crushes Vieira up against the cage and then manages to get her to the mat.
Kunitskaya in Vieira’s half guard and landing body punches. Vieira trying for a high guard here, but so far Kunitskaya is controlling well on top.
Vieira throws her legs up looking for a triangle choke, but can’t quite get it. More punches to the body from Kunitskaya.
Vieira rolls to her knees and tries for a leg lock. Kunitskaya escapes and opts to go back upright rather than risk losing position.
They clinch again and Vieira goes to the mat and a scramble ensues, with Kunitskaya getting control. The stand again with Kunitskaya remaining clinched up. Back to the mat they go. Vieira on her knees as Kunitskaya lands knees to the thigh.
Hard elbows to the body from Kunitskaya and then some knees too. Vieira back up as Kunitskaya was attempting a head kick. The round ends with Kunitskaya just missing on a spinning kick upstairs.
Leg kick for Kunitskaya. Now a body kick and then back to the inside leg. Now one to the outside of the leg.
Vieira lands a takedown and that’s an important moment for her after being stuck on bottom for most of the last round.
Vieira in half guard and applying shoulder pressure as she’s looking to transition here. Vieira staying very tight to Kunitskaya and then manages to slide into mount.
Half the round remaining as Kunitskaya manages to get back to half-guard. Vieira quickly back into full mount though.
Again Kunitskaya gets to her hip and brings her back to half-guard. Vieira works around to her back now and gets her hooks in. Kunitskaya frees a hook and is working hard to escape here, but Vieira stays tight and secures the hooks again.
Kunitskaya throwing punches behind her to the face of Vieira as her opponent fishes for a possible rear-naked choke attempt.
Vieira with a few punches. Mistake from Vieira as she tries for an armbar and gives up top position to Kunitskaya with not much time remaining in the fight.
Kunitskaya immediately goes to work with heavy elbows as she tries to leave a lasting impression on the judges. Vieira bleeding significantly from a cut and also has swelling as the round ends.
This fight all hinges on how the judges saw that final round, and the judges unanimously agree that Kunitskaya is the winner (29-28 x3), meaning that her late flurry of ground-and-pound was deemed more significant in the judges eyes than Vieira’s lengthy spell of control on top.