UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez

Kevin Holland?!

Didn’t he just fight a couple of weeks ago?

You may have missed it if you were on a beer run or even a long pee.

It took just 39 seconds for Kevin Holland to dispose of Anthony Hernandez at the UFC’s last event in Jacksonville on the 16th of this month.

I don’t think he will be able to dispatch Daniel Rodriguez that quickly but Kevin is a better all-around fighter.

Holland has the potential to be one of the best fighters in the UFC at 170 pounds.

Wait, didn’t he compete at middleweight against Anthony Hernandez?

Yes, he did.

Trail Blazer actually weighed in at just 182 pounds signifying that he doesn’t even have to cut to make the weight.

I don’t know, though.

Kev is 6’3 with an 81-inch reach!

How is the man only 182 pounds?

I am way skinnier than him and I’m 6’1 with a 73-inch reach and pretty lean at 165.

Khabib Nurmagomedov weighs more than 182 pounds and he, of course, fights at 155.

Either way, it “appears” that Holland shouldn’t have much trouble cutting down to 170 pounds for Saturday’s fight with Daniel Rodriguez.

Daniel has very solid hands and kicks as well. He is a disciple of Joe “Stitch ‘Em Up” Schilling who has also trained Cowboy Cerrone late in his career and cornered Donald as well.

My former Muay Thai coach used to train Schilling back in the day when Master Toddy’s was the place to be in Las Vegas with people like Kevin Ross and Gina Carano training there full-time.

Even the “Iceman” Chuck Liddell and Australia’s “John” Wayne Parr would frequent the gym.

I remember meeting Joe for the first time at a Muay Thai event at one of my favorite venues, The Pearl at The Palms.

He was the most intimidating guy I’ve ever seen with the broadest shoulders and meanest mug.

When I look at Daniel Rodriguez, I see a similar fighter, a less skilled fighter but still a dangerous dog in there.

Let’s look at the betting odds for this matchup provided by BetOnline.AG and make our predictions on a winner or round total.

Kevin Holland (-205) vs Daniel Rodriguez (+175)

Over 2.5 Rounds:
-115
Under 2.5 Rounds
-115

Daniel Rodriguez, despite being 33 years old, is just 11-1 in his mixed martial arts career.

D-Rod had his first fight just over 4 years ago and has mostly been competing under the Combate Americas banner.

Combate has some really good talent.

I have done a lot of corner work for various guys and girls with that promotion.

All I can say is pure 100% class.

I haven’t yet made it to a UFC corner but Combate Americas was by far the most professional mixed martial arts organization I’ve ever dealt with.

The CEO of the promotion is also the co-creator of the UFC.

Campbell McLaren, born in Scotland and educated at MIT, has a knack for putting on fights and if you ever get the chance to attend a Combate Americas show, you will understand why.

Just a little trivia there for ya.

Daniel Rodriguez is a rough and tumble fighter. I don’t expect him to be finished easily unless he takes a hard knee or a kick to the head.

Maybe Holland can hurt him to the body but Daniel is a southpaw, so he will probably have to do it from the clinch.

There is a path to the liver against a southpaw from range, though, and that’s the front kick.

Holland has used it to his advantage in the past but normally when the opponent is squared up and the bread basket presents itself.

Even though it’s the closed side, it is still the front side for a southpaw so the stabbing right front kick can get in there.

Rodriguez turns his body a lot, though, so Holland may have a hard time landing it until he can slow D-Rod down.

For Kevin to win, he is going to have to use his superior length, 7 inches actually, and win the clinch battle.

Holland could potentially take Rodriguez down as well and I’m not sure how well Daniel would be able to defend submissions.

There are roughly 3 ranges in fighting-long range or kicking range, mid range or punching range, and the clinch.

Holland wins this fight if it is contested mostly in long range and/or in the clinch.

Where Kev will likely face the most trouble is in punching range. I do give D-Rod the advantage in boxing technique as well as power.

Rodriguez has a bad habit of turning his body on his punches, particularly on his jab. If you’re just boxing, go for it.

When you’re striking with 8 limbs, though, especially against a longer opponent, this becomes a problem.

The jab is the least threatening weapon you have and you’re going to sacrifice your defensive stance to land it?

Your opponent can counter hard with a low kick to the outside or even better, a body or head kick to your open side.

D-Rod has been able to get away with it because his hands are that good and his kicks are also technical and strong.

The length of Holland will be a lot to deal with for Rodriguez. I think that will lead to him closing the distance hard and getting himself taken down to the mat.

I don’t know how and I definitely don’t know when but I feel good enough about Kevin Holland winning this fight to warrant a solid wager.

To get a 5% edge on the sportsbooks, we would need to cap Kevin Holland at (-270) which implies a probability of 72%.

That’s 5 points higher than the implied probability of his current betting odds of (-205).

Get those bets in now, guys, and enjoy the fights on Saturday night from the desert!

My Pick
KEVIN HOLLAND
Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.