Marvin Vettori went to his wrestling to run through Kevin Holland, securing over 10 takedowns in the main event of UFC Vegas 23 to keep his winning streak alive.
Marvin Vettori just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to opponents. They seem to fall through like lemmings off a cliff. And just when the Italian finally landed a big name, is his second straight UFC main event at this Saturday’s UFC Vegas 23 (UFC on ABC 2, the promotion’s second outing on the broadcast network), it all went up in smoke.
Darren Till, his planned opponent, was forced out. A broken collarbone the culprit. Kevin Holland, the trash talking, always game for a fight middleweight who earned Fighter of the Year in 2020, stepped up. But while the fight and event were “saved,” the stakes had changed. No longer was this a potential title eliminator. At least, it didn’t feel that way.
Still, putting on a strong performance can change a fighter’s fate in a heartbeat.
A few body kicks from distance fired in from Holland to start the fight, then a teep kick hit Vettori below the belt and halted the fight early on. After a pause in action, Vettori pushed forward and clinched Holland against the cage, eventually taking him down. Vettori was keeping heavy pressure on Holland from top position, but Holland was able to roll out from underneath him. Holland was slinging hooks from distance with success on the feet as the round came to an end.
A heavy straight punch landed for Holland right out of the gate and Vettori put an end to that quickly by taking Holland down. Like the first round, Vettori was constantly making adjustments and keeping the active Holland underneath him in guard. Vettori was delivering steady ground and pound, causing some swelling on Holland’s left eye. Holland was able to get to his feet at the end of the round and Vettori kept him locked in the clinch.
Holland was having troubles with his vision and was immediately hit with a double-leg takedown. Vettori quickly mounted him and began working for an arm-triangle. Holland was able to survive and Vettori moved to north-south. Holland got back to his feet, was hit with a combination and taken down again. They returned to the feet soon after, and Holland let his hands go and caught Vettori with a few solid shots, one popping out his mouthpiece.
A left straight caught Holland right out of the gate and Holland answered with a wild combination. Like clockwork, the takedown came and Vettori was on top again. He moved to mount and began to try an arm-triangle that didn’t come to fruition. Another full round of pressure and ground-and-pound from Vettori.
Holland staggered Vettori in the beginning of the round, but another takedown came and Holland was on his back again. Holland got up, but Vettori never let go and down he went again. Vettori got to mount and Holland squirmed away, but it was another full round of control for the Italian.
Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland by Unanimous Decision (50-44 x3)