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Thursday, Apr 08, 2021

UFC Vegas 23: Will Kevin Holland Upset Marvin Vettori?

Kevin Holland (photo via UFC / YouTube)

Marvin Vettori has been on quite the impressive roll in recent months, and as a result, he’s a significant favorite heading into his bout Saturday with Kevin Holland. But, could ‘Trail Blazer’ halt Vettori’s rise at UFC Vegas 23? And pull off an upset win?

Vettori’s rise

Early on into Vettori’s UFC run, the Italian fighter came up short against Antônio Carlos Júnior, and then he dropped a decision to the now ruling middleweight king, Israel Adesanya. Although on paper, he went 1-2-1 in his first 4 UFC fights, he turned heads by pushing Adesanya to his limits.

Ever since his split decision loss to ‘The Last Stylebender’, the 27-year-old Vettori has done nothing but win. Vettori has gone 4-0 since the Adesanya loss, and he’s defeated Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Karl Roberson and Jack Hermansson along the way.

The win over Hermansson was particularly impressive, as he outscored the dangerous grappler and top contender, en route to a clear cut, decision win.

Holland’s looking to rebound

It wasn’t long ago that Holland had considerable buzz surrounding him, even more so than Vettori, thanks to a five fight winning streak. In December, Holland’s stock reached new heights, after he knocked out ‘Jacare’ Souza in electrifying fashion.

On account of that run, the 28-year-old American was booked for a pivotal fight with contender Derek Brunson last month. Brunson’s explosiveness and wrestling ruled the day in their fight, however, and Holland lost via unanimous decision.

How does Holland score an upset?

As UFC Vegas 23 nears, Holland is a sizable underdog on the betting lines, and that’s likely because we’ve seen Vettori turn to his wrestling and top game while facing notable strikers in the past. Vettori did so against Karl Roberson, and he also took Adesanya down a couple of times in their fight.

Holland, meanwhile, has shown he’s vulnerable to takedowns. His takedown defence, according to UFC Stats, is just 51%. Similar to laying bets on WWE matches, this makes the fight even more compelling for UFC bettors.

It’s also worth noting that Vettori has demonstrated he’s no slouch in the striking department either.

But, if Holland takes his time, puts his 7 inch-reach advantage to work, and fights Vettori from the outside, his chances of scoring the upset will rise dramatically. Especially if he’s able to squash a takedown attempt or two early on.

If that doesn’t happen, and if Holland gets reckless, then ‘Trail Blazer’ could very well be looking at back-to-back defeats.

UFC Vegas 23 will be hosted by the Apex Facility in Las Vegas.


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posted by FCF Staff @ 10:08 am
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