Despite an injured shoulder, Kevin Holland held on to earn a big win at UFC Greenville on Saturday night in South Carolina.
UFC fight night 154 went down Saturday and opening the main card were the middleweights, with the meeting of Kevin Holland and Alessio Di Chirico. Both men entered the night riding on a two fight winning streak with Holland’s latest coming by split decision over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC on ESPN: Barboza vs. Gaethje. Di Chirico’s most recent win came at The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated Finale where he too won a split decision over Julian Marquez
At UFC Greenville, Di Chirico opened with a leg kick and Holland burst forward. They worked against the fence in the clinch. Holland looked to land a Knee and Di Chirico spun free and escaped. Holland kept the pressure on as he moved forward and looked for the jab. Di Chirico landed a left and Holland fired back. Di Chirico answered with an overhand right right combination, but Holland continued to press. Holland looked for a spinning high kick that closed the distance and went right into the clinch again on the retreating Di Chirico. Di Chirico then reversed position and pressed Holland into the fence. Holland this time reversed position, and the two men continued to grapple in the clinch. Di Chirico threw a right that Holland answered with a spinning back elbow as the they broke. The pair went right back into the clinch and Di Chirico landed a big elbow that Hurt Holland. Holland looked to have gone for a flying knee but Di Chirico caught him and sent him to the mat. Holland was quick back to his feet, and threw a high kick that closed out the round.
Lots of action in the first. Come the second, Holland opened with low kick and Di Chirico fired back with one of his own. Holland pressed in and shot the take down. Di Chirico defended and the two continued to clinch. Holland looked for short body shots, Di Chirico answered with another elbow. Di Chirico then landed a short knee to the body of Holland. Holland landed a few short knees to Di Chirico before they briefly separated and exchanged. Holland fired off a pair of kicks before he shot the take down, landing it. However Di Chirico was immediately back on his feet. Di Chirico landed a combination that looked to have hurt Holland. Holland retreated and Di Chirico gave chase with a flying knee that missed the mark. They clinched for a moment again before they separated and exchanged. Holland hit the mark with a hard right but Di Chirico kept moving forward, only to be answered by a combination and flying knee from Holland as the round came to a close. In the corner Holland stated that his right shoulder was dislocated, but he wanted to continue
After a doctor checked Holland out, the third rounded began. Holland now moved forward perhaps with urgency due to his shoulder. He threw the left jab then a low kick. Di Chirico fired a left to the body of Holland and Holland answered with a kick followed by two lefts that found their target. Holland worked a pair of low kicks followed a left to the body. Holland again went in but Di Chirico answered with a right hook that pushed Holland back. Holland got back on the offensive with more lefts and a multitude of kicks. Holland landed a head kick and Di Chirico came back with a hard right hand of his own. Holland just missed the target on a front kick then shot the take down that Di Chirico stuffed — but he transitioned it into a flying knee that just missed. Di Chirico fired off a right hook that found the mark then dropped for the take down that took Holland to the mat. Holland was quick to get back to his feet and the fight came an end as Holland clapped the ears of Di Chirico.
— UFC (@ufc) June 22, 2019
On the scorecards, the unanimous decision went to Holland, who won two rounds with all three judges.
Kevin Holland def. Alessio Di Chirico by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)