UFC Fight Night – Vettori vs. Holland
Mike Perry vs. Daniel Rodriguez: The main card begins in the welterweight division with the controversial Mike Perry taking on Daniel Rodriguez. Both of these fighters are coming in off the back of losses that were suffered on the same night last November. In a UFC career that has been littered with controversy, Perry has been unable to put together a consistent streak of wins which he will be wanting to change beginning here. With no wins by submission, it is clear that Perry will be looking for a knockout which makes his fights entertaining to watch. The path to beating Perry for Rodriguez will be to avoid taking a lot of damage and taking the fight to the ground and controlling the position. I think Perry will be able to get the job done here as he has shown improvement in his ability and is no longer just a heavy hitter.
My prediction: Perry by KO
Nina Nunes vs. Mackenzie Dern: A bout in the women’s strawweight is up next which sees the return of Nina Nunes who has been absent since 2019 due to becoming a mother. Her time off from the octagon puts her at a disadvantage against Mackenzie Dern, who fought and won 3 times last year, which will give her a lot of confidence. Dern’s game plan will be simple, as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion it will not be surprising to see her go for takedowns and look to control this fight on the ground. Nunes will need to avoid spending large amounts of time on the floor where she will tire from being controlled and carrying Dern's weight. If she can keep the fight on the feet she will have a much better chance, however, I can only see this going one way.
My prediction: Dern by DEC
Sam Alvey vs. Julian Marquez: Having not won in the light heavyweight division, Sam Alvey drops down to middleweight to take on a short notice opponent in Julian Marquez. Alvey will hope that this move down will give him a new lease of life and hopefully success. This is very much a veteran vs newcomer as this will be Alvey’s 50th fight compared to Marquez’s 11th and Alvey will need all of this experience to get the better of Marquez whose only loss in the UFC has come as a split decision. Both of these fighters have a high knockout win percentage, which is especially impressive considering the amount of fights Alvey has had. I expect this to be a very entertaining fight with both looking for a quick knockout and is my pick for fight of the night.
My prediction: Alvey by KO
Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff: The co-main event brings together two young, promising featherweights who will both be looking to break into the top 10 of the division with a win here. With both holding undefeated records in the UFC, there is a lot on the line as a win for either would see them face a top competitor in the division next. Arnold Allen has shown a more well-rounded approach to his fight game, shown by his variety of wins with 5 knockouts and 4 submissions he is comfortable on the ground as well as standing up. Yusuff, on the other hand, favours a striking match as his numbers show, with 6.1 significant strikes landed per minute on average in the UFC compared to Allen’s 3.19. I think that Allen will be able to make use of his experience and ability to take the fight to the ground to get the job done in this co-main event.
My prediction: Allen by DEC
Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland: This main event brings together a short notice opponent for Marvin Vettori as Darren Till broke his collar bone and Kevin Holland offered himself as a replacement just 2 weeks after his loss to Derek Brunson. It was a smart move by Holland to step in for this main event as it will alleviate some of the criticism he received in his last fight. Vettori is on a big rise in the middleweight division with his split decision loss to current champion Israel Adesanya giving him confidence he can make it to the very top of the division. Vettori will have looked at Holland’s fight with Brunson and seen that taking him down is the key to winning and that if he can get the takedowns and keep him there, he will stand a much better chance of winning than standing and striking. Holland will have also learnt from his last fight and will need to stay off his back. To do this he will need to take advantage of his 7-inch reach advantage to stay out of Vettori’s range and keep him at the end of his jab. I think Vettori will have too much for Holland and will continue his impressive streak in the division. I can see this being similar to the Brunson fight with Vettori favouring the takedowns to control the fight. Kevin Holland has put himself in a win-win position by taking this fight, even if he loses he will get credit for taking the fight on short notice and being so close to his previous fight as well as the criticism of that last fight will be further behind him.
My prediction: Vettori by DEC
Written by Luke Penny