Marvin Vettori gets unanimous decision win over Kevin Holland

Wrestling proved to be Kevin Holland’s kryptonite against Derek Brunson a few weeks ago, and that very public insight proved the route to victory for Marvin Vettori on Saturday night.

Holland started the five-round contest brightly against his short-notice opponent, getting the better of Vettori on the feet by utilising his significant reach advantage and landing punches and kicks from range.

Vettori initially struggled to get within range of Holland, who replaced Darren Till after he withdrew from the bout with a broken collarbone, but his doggedness soon paid dividends.

Holland showed more resistance to the takedown in this fight than he did against Brunson, but “The Italian Dream” eventually found a way to get his man down towards the end of the second round and that became a recurring theme in the fight.

The Italian continually took Holland down for the rest of the contest, setting a UFC middleweight record with 11 in one bout, and almost secured an arm triangle choke to finish the fight in the third.

“Big Mouth” was able to survive that dangerous submission attempt, though he wasn’t able to resist those takedowns and find a way back to his feet when he needed to.

After that third-round near-miss, Vettori looked happy to ground his opponent, control Holland on the floor and do enough to keep referee Herb Dean happy enough to avoid being stood back up again en route to a unanimous decision over five rounds.

Vettori called out UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya for a rematch after his victory. While his performance was dominant, it’s unlikely he impressed enough to move ahead of the victor of the upcoming title eliminator between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum in the title pecking order.

In the night’s co-main event, Arnold Allen showed off his well-rounded skills to get the nod from the judges against upcoming featherweight talent Sodiq Yusuff.

The pair looked well matched throughout the contest, but Arnold secured the fight’s first two rounds on the scorecards with two big moments.

In the opening stanza, Allen dropped Yusuff with a counter left hand, but the latter somehow recovered and immediately resumed his offense. In the second, Yusuff got stunned with a head kick and one again managed to survive.

In the third and final round, the pace slowed but Yusuff was the aggressor as he attempted to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However, his efforts weren’t enough as the bout’s time elapsed and the cageside judges scored the contest to England’s Allen.

In another main card bout, Mackenzie Dern showed that she is beginning to piece things together to live up to the hype that surrounded her name when she first started competing in mixed martial arts.

The Brazilian made light work of Nina Nunes in her first fight back since giving birth to her daughter in 2020. Dern, also a mother, secured a takedown in the first round and cut through Nunes’ guard like butter.

She managed to secure full mount and snatched Nunes’ arm to force the armbar submission with just seconds remaining in the opening round.

Dern is fast becoming the UFC strawweight contender we thought she would be and put the 115-pound division on notice with this commanding performance.


UFC on ABC 2: Vettori vs. Holland full results

Middleweight: Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland by unanimous decision after five rounds
Featherweight: Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey by technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:07 of round two
Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Ansaroff by submission (armbar) at 4:48 of round one
Welterweight: Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry Decision by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Joe Solecki def. Jim Miller by unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Mateusz Gamrot def. Scott Holtzman by KO (punches) at 1:22 of round two
Catchweight: John Makdessi def. Ignacio Bahamondes by split decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Jarjis Danho def. Yorgan De Castro by KO (punch) at 3:02 of round one
Bantamweight: Jack Shore def. Hunter Azure by split decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Luis Saldaña def. Jordan Griffin by unanimous decision after three rounds
Light Heavyweight: Da Un Jung def. William Knight by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Impa Kasanganay def. Sasha Palatnikov by submission (rear-naked choke) at 0:26 of round two