Ol’ Big Mouth is right back at it against one of the meanest fighters in the UFC’s Middleweight Division, The Italian Dream Marvin Vettori.
Kevin is taking this one on short notice as well. Darren Till got injured just a couple of weeks ago and had to pull out of the fight. This isn’t the best matchup for Kevin but I love his gameness. Also, I think he feels like he owes the fans after such an uninspiring performance in his recent main event loss to Derek Brunson.
He always gasses in the third and sometimes second round. There was no way he was going to go 5 rounds against someone pushing the pace regardless of the position.
I hope Kevin Holland learned from this but hope isn’t exactly the magic word when it comes to sports betting. As a fan of the sport and Kevin…sometimes, we could all benefit from him getting his act together.
— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2021
Marvin Vettori, conversely, has some serious momentum at the moment. He has won 4 consecutive fights in dominant fashion after losing a split decision to Israel Adesanya almost 3 years to the day.
He was able to take down Izzy twice in that fight so it’s hard not to expect he will do the same to Kevin who has notoriously weak takedown defense. Holland barely even weighs 185 pounds with clothes on!
He is a small 170 walking around at 183. GSP was cutting from 194 down to the Welterweight limit before his first retirement. Anthony Johnson cut from 285 to 170 so Holland is not a big guy even for a weight class 15 pounds lighter.
And sometimes, your mind stays strong and you just get bullied in there. I think Kevin has a strong mind. His fight IQ is complete garbage but he has heart. Against a fighter like Marvin Vettori, though, you’re going to need more than heart and an 81 inch reach.
I think Kevin is going to have to put away the Italian Dream to get the win. Vettori going the distance with Izzy, though, tells me that Kevin is likely in for a long night.
Maybe Marvin is much more active than Derek Brunson in top position and rains down some hellbows that bounce the back of Big Mouth’s brain off the canvas.
Let’s take a look at the betting odds provided to us by the good folks over at BetOnline.AG and make a prediction on a winner or perhaps a round total.
Marvin Vettori (-365) vs Kevin Holland (+290)
Man, that is a wide margin! I get it but wow. If Kevin Holland would have been able to finish off Derek Brunson after he rocked him in the first round, where would this line be?
That’s what we have to ask ourselves because Holland was one punch away from dropping Brunson who has been finished multiple times in his UFC career by strikes.
I don’t know about that but he certainly wouldn’t be nearly a 3 to 1 underdog. I would say this line would be Holland (+140) and Vettori (-170) if Kev would have got the early KO on Brunson and never been dominated for 5 rounds on the mat.
That isn’t what happened, though, and Holland showed us once again that he has major holes in his game. I mean, he is training with Travis Lutter for his MMA. Lutter was never a great MMA fighter and his only hope was to get a takedown.
Holland has the opposite style. The only way to beat Kevin is to take him down. If you remember the back and forth Holland had during the middle of his fight in between rounds with Khabib Nurmagomedov, The Eagle told him he had to control his hips.
Khabib was right there and he certainly needed the help. Holland doesn’t strike with his hips back or even stable. His footwork is sloppy and he closes the distance for his opponents far too often and far too easily.
He has excellent reach and he needs to make the most of it. On the end of the punches, there is a lot of power and he needs to keep people there. He can crash the centerline or close the distance sometimes but when he does, he has to keep his hips back.
Holland has the potential to be a world champion but I think he needs to go back down to 170 pounds as well as get in the lab again and employ the help of some stronger MMA minds than his current head coach, Travis Lutter.
Lutter gave this guy a black belt also. I don’t know, man. He certainly doesn’t have a black belt in MMA grappling. I know that.
I would say so, yes. I think the big man is going to finish Kevin Holland, though. He is surely mean enough. What are the betting odds on Marvin Vettori winning this fight inside the distance.
Right now, we are looking at (+120) for The Italian Dream to get the Trailblazer out of there within the 25 scheduled minutes of the fight. I think that is fair but as tough as Holland is, we might want to go against the narrative here.
There is more value there. You can get him by TKO a hefty 5 to 1 payout! I think that may have the most value. The books have him as a 2 to 1 underdog to get the submission victory.
Holland has shown solid submission defense in his career. World class submission fighter Rafael Lovato Jr of Bellator subbed Kevin back on the regional scene when they were both coming up in Texas.
That is nothing to be ashamed of and Brendan Allen got him with a rear naked choke as well a couple of years ago in his last loss before the Brunson fight. Marvin is mean, man. That’s a nasty dude.
I like what I’m seeing with his shadowboxing here as well. His striking is really coming along since moving his camps to Kings MMA training under the legendary Rafael Cordeiro. If you are unaware, Rafael is the man who was chosen by Mike Tyson to train him for his comeback.
Iron Mike could have had any boxing trainer in the world prepare him for Roy Jones Jr but he chose a Muay Thai and MMA coach. That ought to tell you something about King MMA.
Benny Dariush and Giga Chikadze are both looking better than ever and there are several high level prospects just waiting to burst onto the MMA scene at the highest level.
Vettori doesn’t really have any weaknesses other than the fact that he is slow. I am surprised Rafael dos Anjos hasn’t dragged him over to see Nick Curson at Speed of Sport which is also in Orange County.
You guys always have to be on the lookout on IG to see who these fighters are training with as well as listen to interviews. That helps a lot when we are figuring out what kind of mindset they are in.
This could be a very good round for Holland if he can establish his range and keep it. I will actually give Kevin the first round.
Big Mouth is gone…
— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2021
I say he lands so clean ones down the pipe and pops the head of Vettori back causing the judges’ to take notice.
Okay, now it’s about time for Marvin Vettori to start wearing on Kevin pushing him up against the cage and landing strikes before he likely gets a takedown. If it was only Brunson who was able to take down Holland then I would give him more credit.
Darren Stewart got him down. A British guy took him down so it’s likely a bigger stronger Italian will do the same. Jacare doesn’t have the best takedown nowadays and he was able to do it twice.
He, of course, got knocked out by Holland while the Trailblazer was on his butt. Holland still got taken down, though, and he doesn’t even try to get up. I think Vettori can and will smash Kevin Holland.
Forza @MarvinVettori 🇮🇹
— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2021
Vettori wins round 2.
More of the same here. I know every round starts on the feet but it isn’t like Holland has Vettori severely outclassed in the striking department or anything.
Marvin almost gets the rear naked choke but the big strong hands of Holland save him before the bell.
The ⭐️ of 2020!@Trailblaze2top gets another shot at starting 2021 right this Saturday 🗣
— UFC (@ufc) April 5, 2021
I think Marv gets Holland out of there in the 4th. After trying so hard to get the finish by sub, the mean and nasty Italian fighter resorts to hellbows to finish off Big Mouth.
I think this is just Marvin Vettori’s time. Kevin still has some maturing to do as a man, a fighter, and most importantly as a martial artist. There are gaping holes in his game. He gets away with a lot because of his length, relaxed nature, and speed but the Italian Dream is going to close the distance and likely nullify the strengths of the Trailblazer.
I had to take a stab at it. As far as the round totals go, I am staying away because both men have the ability to finish this one at any moment but at the same time, they are each very durable.
The oddsmakers put too much stock into how these guys have been finished in the past. Yes, Holland has been subbed twice and never TKO’ed but Vettori is more of a TKO kinda guy than he is a submission stylist.
Okay, that’s a little much. I will stop and hopefully the referee stops this one too when Holland’s arms start to fade after Vettori dribbles his head off the mat.