UFC Vegas 16: Kevin Holland Out of Main Event, Marvin Vettori Targeted as Replacement

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UFC Vegas 16 Kevin Holland
Kevin Holland, UFC Vegas 12 Weigh-In Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Kevin Holland is out of the UFC Vegas 16 main event against Jack Hermansson next week due to a positive COVID test and the UFC is looking at Marvin Vettori as a possible replacement.

Surging UFC middleweight Kevin Holland will not get a chance to go for a historic fifth straight victory in 2020 as news broke on Saturday that he is out of the main event next week against Jack Hermansson due to a positive COVID test. First reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the UFC is looking to have fellow middleweight contender Marvin Vettori step in to fight Hermansson. Vettori was set to fight Jacare Souza at UFC 256 the following week.

Jack Hermansson (21-5) is looking to break into the title picture despite having had two opponents now fall out of the fight on December 5. Hermansson is 5-1 in his last six fights with victories over Jacare Souza, Gerald Meerschaert, and Kelvin Gastelum. His last loss came against fellow top contender Jared Cannonier last year. Hermansson had originally been set to fight Darren Till next Saturday before an injury removed “The Gorilla” from the bout. The UFC then came forward with Holland as a replacement earlier this month before this morning’s news broke.

Marvin Vettori (15-4-1) is looking to take another big jump in the rankings himself as he rides a three fight win-streak going into the bout. Should he step into the fight, it would be a bigger opportunity than his current opponent Souza as Hermansson was expected to be in a potential title eliminator. A veteran of the UFC since 2016, Italy’s Vettori has amassed five victories in the UFC. Of his two losses in the Octagon, one came at the hands of current undefeated middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya in the champion’s second fight in the promotion. A victory for Vettori may not get him to a title shot himself, but it would certainly set the stage for him to challenge the likes of top contenders Paulo Costa and Jared Cannonier potentially in his next outing.

The card is still in place with 11 bouts regardless of whether a replacement is found for Hermansson. Other fights on the card include Matt Wiman vs. Jordan Leavitt, Ovince Saint Preux vs. Jamahal Hill, and the retirement bout of former title challenger Bethe Correia against Wu Yunan.

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