UFC Fight Night: Analysis on an Absolutely Stacked Card of Fights
The UFC is back after a short break with a great afternoon card this Saturday. We have a fun main event between ranked middleweights. 185 pound workhorse Marvin Vettori was looking to take Darren Till’s #6 spot in the division, but Till was forced to pull out due to a broken collarbone. The one and only Kevin Holland is stepping up on short notice to save the card and bounce back from his performance against Derek Brunson 3 weeks ago. We have a banger of a co-main event between rising contenders Arnold Allen & Sodiq Yusuff. Plus, an undercard filled with hyped debutants, slug fests & prospect vs veteran type of fights.
The Main Event Analysis
Starting with the main event, we have an interesting fight between Vettori and Holland. Kevin is getting right back to it, looking to right his wrong in his last fight against Derek Brunson. Kevin was criticized for his last performance because people felt he wasn’t focused and taking it as seriously as he should’ve. He was as advertised; talking to Brunson the whole time, talking to Dana White and Khabib in the crowd between rounds, showed a lack of urgency to get up from bottom despite almost knocking Derek out & dominating the fight on the feet. I think it’ll be good for Kevin to return this quickly because not many fighters get to wash the taste of a loss out of their mouths this fast. Kevin has said in many interviews that he does his best work when active and fighting often. His keys to beat Vettori are like the Brunson fight and would only take some slight adjustments for Kevin to make. It’s a good chance for him to wipe the short memory of the fans and even some of the bosses at the UFC who can have a very “what have you done for me lately?” mentality.
Marvin Vettori is no slouch at all though. He’s going to be much more intense and aggressive than Brunson was to Kevin. Training out of King’s MMA in Southern California, under the legendary Rafael Cordeiro. Marvin holds a 6-2-1 record in the UFC and is currently on his best run with a 4-fight win streak including his 1-week notice dominant victory over Jack Hermansson, who was top 5 in the division at the time. His last loss was 3 years ago in a very close split decision to current champion Israel Adesanya, who he held down and controlled in the second half of the fight. So, he’s grown his skillset so much since then. Marvin is just an absolute barbarian, who is now adding in more control to his aggression.
He does his best work when pressuring his opponent with boxing and take downs. Quick punch combinations, step in knees, and the occasional round house or front kick. He has a great ability to stay in the pocket in his opponents face and find the perfect range to catch them right at the end of his punches. His grappling is incredibly powerful as well. Good single-leg takedowns, good awareness in the clinch to use his strength and drag his opponents to the ground. Very heavy top pressure with complementary ground and pound. He has great chokes with his best one being his guillotine. You can just see how strong his squeeze is when he has his opponents wrapped up. Along with great submission defense and ability to get up from off his back. Tie all these skills in together with good cardio and gameness, Marvin is a very promising contender in this middleweight division.
What To Expect
I feel this will be a much more interesting fight than Holland vs Brunson. Kevin must stay focused and keep the fight on the feet. His lengthy striking could give Marvin trouble. Kevin must manage his distance better in this fight. Stay long, snipe, and reset his feet back away from Marvin after he lands. Don’t over commit on hooks and crash in, which would leave him open for Marvin to get under hooks which could result to him getting controlled in the clinch or put on his back. Marvin has to immediately get in Kevin’s face. Smother him so he can’t use his long kicks and punches. Kevin is dangerous but the Brunson fight was only 3 weeks ago, so his grappling skills aren’t going to change overnight. Use some of the same strategies as Derek did against Kevin. Marvin has the advantage in the clinch, takedowns, & top control. Marvin also has better cardio than Brunson so I feel that he will put more of a pace on Kevin. I think this will be a much more locked in Holland against an even tougher opponent in Vettori. A win for Kevin would grab back most the momentum lost and could even result in getting some of the top guys in the division Derek is supposed to get. A win for Marvin could do the same, possibly even a fight against Brunson.
The Co-Main Event
Next up, we have a great co-main event between undefeated 145lb contenders. The Englishman Arnold Allen takes on the Nigerian Sodiq Yusuff. Training at one of the best camps in the sport, Tristar Gym in Montreal, under Firas Zahabi. Arnold Allen has blossomed into a grizzled contender, reaching a 7-0 record in the UFC. Filled with great wins like former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Milendez, Nik Lentz, his come from behind front choke victory of fellow prospect Mads Burnell, & Makwan Amirkhani. Arnold has been slowly climbing the ladder of the featherweight division, sharpening his game one fight at a time. He’s transformed into a well-rounded veteran, with great striking, movement, grappling, and most importantly intelligence. Arnold may have his toughest fight in front of him with Sodiq Yusuff though. Sodiq has a 4-0 record in the promotion running through guys like Gabriel Benitez, Andre Fili, Sheymon Moraes, and his absolute trench fight with fellow prospect Mike Davis. Sodiq is a clean, explosive power striker. He’s dropped every opponent he’s faced and is stepping up his competition every fight. This is going to be an extremely competitive fight. Should be a great display of power, combinations, speed, and high fight IQ between both gentlemen, a true coin flip of a fight.
The Rest of the Card
The rest of the card is filled with fun fights with something for everybody. You want brawls and slug fests? We got a 185lb fight between Julian Marquez & Sam Alvey who are both know for their phone booth fights. We also got a 205lb fight with South Korea’s Da Un Jung who's going up against Connecticut’s William Knight, which should be a fun fight between two big & powerful strikers.
I think the best brawl on the card and my pick for fight of the night is a 170lb fight between one of the biggest characters in the company, Platinum Mike Perry, & the scrappy Daniel Rodriguez. This is my lock for pure entertainment. Perry comes with insane power and doesn’t know how to be in a bad fight. Rodriguez, who never takes a step back, comes in with very crisp boxing combinations.
Prefer grappling? We got one of the best female BJJ players in the sport in Mackenzie Dern who's taking on Nina Ansaroff in a 115lb fight between two top 10 contenders. A 155lb fight between New Jersey legend and submission artist Jim Miller who's taking on the promising Joe Solecki. A 135lb fight with the undefeated Jack Shore up against Hunter Azure. You like slick strikers? We got a 155lb fight in which Tae Kwon Do specialist John Makdessi will take on the hyped debutant Ignacio Bahamondes, who’s coming off of a beautiful front kick knock out on the Contender Series.
Then, we have the debut of Luis Saldana, who reminds me a lot of Yair Rodriguez, starting his run at 145lbs against Jordan Griffin. Maybe you like watching fighters who show all of the three phases of the sport? Dana White has got you covered. We got a 185lb bout between promising Russian Aliaskhab Khizriev making his debut against young contender Kyle Daukaus. We got a fantastic 155lb fight between action fighter Scott Hotlzman & the former KSW two division champion Mateuz Gamrot. As I go down this whole card, I’m just realizing this is such a stacked card that could easily fly under the radar. Keep your eye on it for fun brawls and finishes! We’re in for a great night!
Our UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs Holland Betting Guide will be out Thursday night before the fight. If you plan on placing bets, take a look at that first for some extra betting analysis. We'll also have our UFC Show where we discuss some of the bigger fights of the night which will be out Friday afternoon. UFC fans, thanks for reading!