UFC middleweight contender Marvin Vettori believes he beat Israel Adesanya when they fought a split decision at UFC on FOX 29 in early 2018. But the only way to prove it is by winning a shot at the middleweight title and running back, because “The Last Stylebender” is still the king of the 185-pound division.
Serving as a ladder on that ride, or perhaps a slide that slides you back to where you started, is middleweight motor scorer Kevin Holland, who may be a legitimate contender at 185 pounds, or just a conversationalist. smooth who knows that sometimes the fastest way to the end. The promised land will attack while the iron is hot.
We’ll find out at the UFC Vegas 23 Main Event, taking place tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, April 10, 2021) inside the APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will air on ESPN +, ESPN, and ABC. , which is why the event has 14 different names depending on the combat sports media that you frequent on a given day.
In the UFC Vegas 23 co-main event, 145-pound standout Arnold Allen will look to win his 10th consecutive fight and 7th under the UFC banner when he collides with once-defeated featherweight puncher Sodiq Yusuff, who likes “almighty”. racked up enough victories to fight his way in pursuit of the division title.
Before we dive into the main and co-main events, be sure to check out the preliminary breakdown of the UFC Vegas 23 card expertly deconstructed by Patrick Stumberg here and here. Resident MMA champion Andrew Richardson did most of the heavy lifting for the rest of the main card right here. For the latest “Vettori vs. Holland” odds and betting lines, click here.
Let’s get to work …
185 pounds: Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland
Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori
Registry: 16-4-1 | Age: 27 | Betting line: -3. 4. 5
Win: 2 KO / TKO, 9 SUB, 5 DEC | Losses: 0 KO / TKO, 0 SUB, 4 DEC
Height: 6’0 “| Reach: 74 ”| Position: Left handed
Significant strikes launched per minute: 4.78 | Astonishing precision: Four. Five%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 3.19 | Shocking defense: 66%
Elimination average: 1.33 (45% accuracy) | Knockdown defense: 78%
Current ranking: No. 6 | Last fight: Victory by unanimous decision over Jack Hermansson
Kevin “Trailblazer” Netherlands
Registry: 21-6 | Age: 28 | Betting line: +285
Win: 12 KO / TKO, 5 SUB, 4 DEC | Losses: 0 KO / TKO, 2 SUB, 4 DEC
Height: 6’3 “| Reach: 81 ”| Position: Orthodox
Significant strikes launched per minute: 4.14 | Astonishing precision: 56%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 2.58 | Shocking defense: 56%
Elimination average: 1.08 (45% accuracy) | Knockdown defense: 51%
Current ranking: No. 10 | Last fight: Loss by unanimous decision to Derek Brunson
Marvin Vettori is the winner of four straight games, including last December’s victory over Jack Hermansson, who was ranked No. 4 at the time of their collision. And yet “The Italian Dream” is somehow sitting below Darren Till, even though “The Gorilla” lost three of their last four and has just one victory at middleweight, a split decision nod. about wrestler Kelvin Gastelum. Even posting funny memes on Twitter seems to be enough to enchant voting members of the media. I’m not one of them, mind you, because saying things like this got me off the panel, but that’s a story for another post. For today’s nonsense, I’ll focus on Vettori’s merits and whether or not he has the skills to surpass Kevin Holland.
To cite the Magic 8 Ball: All signs point to YES.
Holland has been with the promotion for less than three years, but has already racked up 11 Cerrone-style fights, not including his win in Dana White’s “Contender Series” in June 2018. That’s the kind of result you can expect. of a hungry young man. fighters with no belts and no status to lose. Along the way, “Trailblazer” has demonstrated impressive kickboxing and talkative talk that has entertained some and infuriated others. I know that as a fighter, you do whatever it takes to stay in the zone, but one thing I’ve learned in the 15 years I’ve been covering the sport is that any time you spend talking and clowning around is time without concentrating. in the fight.
Something Derek Brunson was able to capitalize on a few weeks ago.
What’s interesting about this couple is that Holland can use some of those antics to his advantage. Vettori, a talented ground fighter with an improved standup, was already a hot fuel to start with and I’m sure “Trailblazer” will be able to get under his skin in a matter of minutes. That said, I don’t know if “fighting angrily” is detriment enough for me to face “The Italian Dream.” Sure, he has had his share of close decision wins in the last three years, but he also managed to do something the Netherlands have not accomplished.
Defeat someone in the Top 5.
Prediction: Vettori def. Netherlands by unanimous decision
155 pounds: Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff
“Almighty” Arnold Allen
Registry: 16-1 | Age: 27 | Betting line: +125
Win: 5 KO / TKO, 4 SUB, 7 DEC | Losses: 0 KO / TKO, 0 SUB, 1 DEC
Height: 5’8 “| Reach: 70 ”| Position: Left handed
Significant strikes launched per minute: 3.19 | Astonishing precision: 41%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 2.00 | Shocking defense: 67%
Elimination average: 1.36 (52% accuracy) | Knockdown defense: 76%
Current ranking: No. 10 | Last fight: Victory by unanimous decision over Nik Lentz
“Super” Sodiq Yusuff
Registry: 11-1 | Age: 27 | Betting line: -145
Win: 6 KO / TKO, 0 SUB, 5 DEC | Losses: 1 KO / TKO, 0 SUB, 0 DEC
Height: 5’9 “| Reach: 71 ”| Position: Orthodox
Significant strikes launched per minute: 6.10 | Astonishing precision: 49%
Strikes absorbed per minute: 4.06 | Shocking defense: 58%
Elimination average: 0.00 (0% accuracy) | Knockdown defense: 72%
Current ranking: No. 11 | Last fight: Win by unanimous decision over Andre Fili
This co-main event battle between up-and-coming featherweight prospects may not have the household name value some fans were hoping for, but it is a very important fight for the 145-pound weight class and will likely determine who belongs on the echelon. higher. of the division. I don’t think anyone is contesting the fact that we need some new names in the Top 10. Also, “Korean Zombie” and Dan Ige have been hired to pull, Yair Rodriguez got a carton of milk by USADA and Max Holloway are caught in a pattern on hold, while Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega play as coach in the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). The sooner we can get things moving the better, and now Arnold Allen and Sodiq Yusuff have a chance to seize that opportunity.
Since making his Octagon debut in June 2015 at the tender age of 22, Allen has looked fantastic, racking up seven straight victories in tough competition. Naysayers have complained that “Almighty” goes to the scorecards in three fights in a row, but that’s because the Tristar product has been fighting tactically, setting up a winning game plan and sticking to it. Meanwhile, Yusuff has only been around half the time, taking his best step forward in Dana White’s “Contender Series” and then followed by four straight wins, two of them by TKO. I guess the hit against “Super” is that he takes a lot of abuse, so his punches absorbed per minute are almost double that of Allen.
It’s hard to criticize a fighter who keeps winning and Yusuff has no reason to doubt what he has been able to do so far in his career. The opposite is Allen’s superiority on the feet, at least from a technical perspective, because if “Almighty” has the footwork to stay out of the red zone, I’m not sure Yusuff has a Plan B. I can’t help it. But think about the kind of shots that both Andre Fili and Sheymon Moraes were able to land on Yusuff and I have Allen ranked above both of them in terms of ability. A “Super” bumrush is always possible and Allen will have to be tired of the incoming fire, I just think Yusuff will get more and more frustrated as the fight progresses, which will only increase the carelessness of his attack. Unless something dramatic happens, I expect the “Almighty” to make a decision quite easily.
Prediction: Allen def. Yusuff by unanimous decision
Remember, the rest of the UFC Vegas 23 top card predictions are HERE.
MMAmania.com will provide round-by-round, step-by-shot LIVE coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 23 card tomorrow afternoon, beginning with ESPN /ESPN + preliminary card bouts at 12 p.m. ET, followed by ABC /ESPN + Main card start time at 3pm ET.
For the latest and greatest news and highlights from UFC Vegas 23, be sure to visit our comprehensive event archive here. To see the full “Vettori vs. Holland” card and the ABC / ESPN + lineup, click here.