Miesha Tate’s hopes of reclaiming the UFC women’s bantamweight title were dealt a major blow when she was defeated by Brazilian contender Ketlen Vieira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 198 in Las Vegas.

After a four-and-a-half-year hiatus, Tate made a victorious return to the cage with a third-round TKO of Marion Reneau as “Cupcake” handed “The Belizean Bruiser” the first stoppage defeat of her career.

But in Tate’s second bout of her UFC comeback, things didn’t go quite as she’d hoped as, after a gruelling five-round battle waged mostly on the feet, she found herself edged out on the scorecards by Vieira at the UFC Apex.

Vieira bossed the striking exchanges early, and expertly stuffed Tate’s takedown attempts. But as the fight wore on, Tate started to gain a foothold. It meant that, when the two women went toe to toe in the final round, the fight was still very much up for grabs.

But, after the bout went all the way to the scorecards, the three octagonside judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 in the Brazilian’s favour as Vieira wept with joy at the biggest victory of her UFC career.

In the co-main event, undefeated welterweight Sean Brady propelled himself into contention in the UFC’s 170-pound division with a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over seasoned contender Michael Chiesa.

The Philadelphia native improved his record to 15-0 with a performance full of confidence as he showcased his grappling skills against noted grappler Chiesa, and only found himself any real danger in the final round, as “Maverick” threw caution to the wind after clearly losing the first two rounds.

Bur Brady kept his composure and weathered the late storm to earn scores of 29-28 on all three cards and put himself in striking range of the division’s leading contenders.

The main card also saw Brazilian flyweight Taila Santos claim a stunning short-notice win over longtime contender Joanne Wood.

Wood, nee Calderwood, was looking to score a decisive victory to finally earn herself a shot at the 125-pound title.

But it was Santos who picked up the impressive finish as she twice dropped the Scot before eventually earning the stoppage victory with a rear-naked choke in the closing seconds of the first round.

There were also decision wins for Brazilian bantamweight grappler Rani Yahya and Houston striker Adrian Yanez, who overcame Kyung Ho Kang and Davey Grant, respectively.

UFC Fight Night 198: Official Results

Main Card

  • Ketlen Vieira def. Miesha Tate via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46)
  • Sean Brady def. Michael Chiesa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Taila Santos def. Joanne Wood via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:49
  • Rani Yahya def. Kyung Ho Kang via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Adrian Yanez def. Davey Grant via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card

  • Pat Sabatini def. Tucker Lutz via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Rafa Garcia def. Natan Levy via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Loopy Godinez def. Loma Lookboonmee via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Cody Durden def. Aoriqileng via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Shayilan Nuerdanbieke def. Sean Soriano via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Luana Pinheiro def. Sam Hughes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Photo credit: UFC/Getty