The second iteration of UFC on ABC is this Saturday, and as we’ve seen all too often in the Covid era, the original headlining fight required a late notice replacement. When Darren Till was forced to pull out due to injury, it was Kevin Holland who volunteered to step up on less than two weeks’ notice to take on Marvin Vettori. An opportunity to all but undo his most recent performance against Derrick Brunson, a fight that was the subject of much criticism.
Marvin Vettori (-330) vs Kevin Holland (+265)
Vettori is riding extremely high on confidence and is a very hungry fighter right now. He has great technical ability, but it’s toughness and tenacity to thank for his most recent successes. Holland’s willingness to jump into the pocket and get caught up in a brawl has served him well in the past, but a more cautious approach against Vettori would be wise. The fanduel betting odds have Vettori the heavy fanduel betting favorite, as they should. Vettori is operating at optimal performance right now, coupled with the fact that he has had a proper full training camp and his confidence at an all-time high.
Holland was Mr 2020, coming off of a year that not only saw him tie the record for the most wins in a calendar year, but also produce a knockout that will go down as one of the greatest in UFC history. The momentum he was riding coming into his last fight was immense, but it was promptly brought to a halt at the hands of Derrick Brunson and his grappling prowess.
At the end of the day
The incredibly dynamic striking style of Holland has produced a couple of firsts in MMA, which is incredibly rare and says a lot. Vettori is more of an aggressive, rough and tumble type of stand-up fighter. An athlete who likes to prod forward with aggression, with low output, but decent accuracy. Vettori has fought dynamic strikers before and has done well. Should he decide to engage in grappling, whether standing or on the mat, it’ll work in his favor due to his advantage in size and cardio preparedness. In the end, Vettori will be cognizant enough to stay out of trouble, implement his advantages and win the fight.
Pick: Marvin Vettori
— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2021
Sam Alvey(+160) vs Julian Marquez (-190)
Alvey’s back is against the wall in this one, having gone winless in his last five fights, there is a real possibility that he could be fighting for his job. It’s not even like he has looked awful in a lot of the losses, but not having a win since 2018 is going to be hard on the confidence. Julian Marquez on the other hand is coming off of one of the gutsiest wins we’ve seen so far this year. Marquez is a big powerful guy and has no qualms about slugging it out with anyone in the division. Nor does Alvey, who is happy to take some damage to land that one kill shot.
Alvey is on a brutal skid, entering his 21st UFC fight and having not won a fight in almost three years indicates that his UFC career is winding down. But he has something that not a lot of fighters do, and that’s god-given power in his hands. The ability to put any individual out cold if he can catch them.
At the end of the day
The fanduel odds have Alvey as the underdog, and he is as live of a dog as you can get. The willingness to accept damage to give damage coupled with the holes in Marquez’s striking defense is a recipe for Alvey finding his mark and ending the contest.
Pick: Sam Alvey
Marvin Vettori is near the top of the class in these categories, among active UFC middleweights 📈
👊 Significant Strikes Landed: 592 (3rd)
👊 Significant Strike Differential: 1.59 (2nd)
👊 Significant Strike Defense: 66.4% (1st)
🤼♂️ Takedown Defense: 45.8% (T-3rd) pic.twitter.com/9QswGksg3b
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 8, 2021
Mike Perry (+140) vs Daniel Rodriguez (-166)
The fan-favorite Mike Perry is always entertaining, both inside the cage and outside of it. But it’s the troubles outside of the octagon that has been much to thank for a lot of the downs of his career. His UFC currently stands at 7-7, which is concerning in terms of having longevity in the UFC. But it’s still somewhat surprising to see him as a fanduel underdog, Rodriguez has exposed some holes in his game in terms of his striking defense and cardio efficiency in previous fights. You can say a lot of things about Perry, but one thing you cannot say is that he tends to slow down. He always marches forward and is the aggressor, whether it be in a striking battle or the grappling department.
At the end of the day
Perry is a really good fanduel underdog pick in this fight, he is the brawling type, but has demonstrated very clean and accurate boxing. Rodriguez does well when moving backward, and Perry most certainly will have him on his heels, but Rodriguez has a tendency to stay in the pocket at ill-advised times. Something that will catch up to him against a fighter like Perry.
Pick: Mike Perry
— danawhite (@danawhite) April 8, 2021
Jim Miller(+198) vs Joe Solecki (-240)
What more can you say about Jim Miller, the guy has been fighting in the UFC since 2008 and has 36 Octagon appearances. What’s more incredible is that after all of these years, he hasn’t shown any signs of diminished durability, which is surprising since it’s his durability that has played a big part in taking him so far. The New Jersey Native is well-rounded, but it’s his submission game that’s earned him the lion’s share of his professional MMA victories. As for Solecki, seven of his ten pro wins have come by way of submission, and after just his second fight in the UFC, he is getting his toughest test to date to see where he stands in the lightweight division.
At the end of the day
You know what you get when you fight Jim Miller, you’re going to get a tough as nails fighter who is in your face and pushing the pace. Miller is very aggressive in his pursuit of the submission victory, and more often than not, he is successful. Solecki is fighting a Miller that’s in the stage of his career where the motivation is low, which bodes well for his chances of getting the biggest win of his career. But in the grappling realm, which this fight has a high probability of being in, the experience of Miller is going to win out. Chaulk one up for the old dog.
Pick: Jim Miller
The middleweight division needs fresh challengers, and should Vettori get the win on Saturday night, you best believe people will be talking title shot. Having already fought Adesanya, and the fact that he was able to hold his own in the process will be enough for him to leapfrog the rankings to be next in line should his victory over Holland be impressive enough.