Marvin Vettori continued his winning streak in the main event of UFC ON ABC 2 with a wrestle-heavy decision victory over Kevin Holland.
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Leg kick for Holland to start and then another. Front kick to the body now and then another leg kick. He tries for a head kick that’s blocked. A front kick strays to the groin and forces a stoppage.
Vettori walks it off a for a couple of minutes and then they get back to it. Holland back to throwing hard and lands a leg kick.
Holland scores with a punch. Vettori manages to clinch up and presses Holland to the cage. Vettori opts to back up to striking range.
He comes in with a punch. Holland staying very busy with his offense. Vettori back into the clinch again though against the cage. He tries to hip toss Holland to the mat, but it doesn’t pay off.
Vettori working on a double leg now as Holland taunts him. Vettori aborts on that attempt and goes back to striking range.
Vettori landing a few grazing shots, but he’s already sporting some damage to his own face. Vettori back into the clinch. This time he is able to drag Holland away from the cage and onto the mat. Vettori standing over him and Holland attempts to land some upkicks. Vettori drops into his full guard.
Vettori attempting to pass to half guard, but Holland stops that. Holland with a very nice sweep to transition on top and get back upright.
Holland eager to start striking again. Late in the round now and Vettori steps in with a series of punches and back to the clinch.
Vettori taking teh center of the Octagon to start the second, but Holland lands a rangey punch. Big right connects for Holland. Now a body kick.
Good left hand for Vettori and then back into the clinch and lands a takedown close to the cage. Holland hanging onto a guillotine, but Vettori easily shakes that off and starts to work from full guard.
Body-head combo for Vettori. Stifling wrestling from him. Holland tries to utilize the cage, but is stacked awkwardly here as Vettori lands ground-and-pound blows.
More punches from Vettori and then stands over Holland for a moment before dropping back into his guard. 90 seconds of the round remaining.
Holland looking to walk the cage again, but ends up in that awkward stacked position again with Vettori landing hammerfists.
Holland back to being flat on his back, but then scrambles to his knees and tries to stand, only to be dragged back down with authority by Vettori.
Nice elbow lands for Vettori. Now some heavier punches landing as Holland covers up momentarily. Holland gets to his knees and then stands. Holland swats at his left eye which is quickly swelling up at the eyebrow as the round ends.
Holland frustrated inbetween rounds and as his eye starts to swell shut the doctor checks on him before the fight begins again and asks if he can still see out of it. Holland had told his corner he couldn’t but tells the doc he can, so the action continues.
Vettori in on an early takedown attempt and secures it. Vettori passing to mount nicely and he’s in a really dangerous spot now.
Vettori working for an arm-triangle attempt here and he steps off to the side and applies the squeeze. Holland trying to hang on in there and doing so successfully for now.
So much so in fact that Vettori opts to give up on that attempt. Holland trying to wall walk and Vettori stays tight to him in north-south position. Holland scrambles and gets back to his feet.
Straight left lands cleanly for Vettori and then straight into a takedown attempt. He gets Holland down and takes his back as he turtles up. Holland able to work to his feet though and immediately having to defend another takedown attempt against the cage.
Slaps to the ear from Holland in the clinch. Vettori opts to back up now. Holland with a permanently high guard as he tries to protect his damaged eye.
Kick from Holland. Vettori into the clinch again. There’s a brief jockey for position, but Vettori is the stronger in this spot.
Holland gets some space and unloads a flurry of punches that land nicely and knock out his opponent’s mouthpiece. He grins at Vettori. They exchange blows and Holland is getting the better of it, but the horn sounds at the wrong time for him as he was gaining some momentum.
Straight left lands for Vettori. Head kick attempt from Holland. Left scores for Holland. Now a one-two from him.
Front kick to the body for Holland. Vettori in on a double-leg takedown against the cage. He works hard for it and it pays off.
Vettori in half-guard here, but Holland quickly gets him back to full guard. Vettori postures up and there’s a scramble with Vettori ending up back in full guard.
Vettori to half-guard. Holland gets to his knees and is turtled up as Vettori stays on him. Holland stands and Vettori works another takedown and goes straight into full mount this time.
Vettori looking to set up an arm-triangle again, but Holland works him back to his guard. Vettori stifling him and gradually moves back to half-guard.
Vettori moves back to full guard voluntarily. He postures up and Holland attempts upkicks, which Vettori steers clear off and moves back into the guard. Holland wall walking again in the final seconds of the round, but can’t get out.
Holland commits to a big hook but misses. Left hand for Vettori. Heavy straight lands for Holland. He tries to follow up on that, but Vettori quickly ducks into a takedown and brings him back down into his world.
Vettori happy to work from in Holland’s guard now. Holland wall walks, get to his knees and stands, but Vettori is still stuck to him and then pulls him back down to the mat.
Vettori able to step into half guard smoothly. Vettori now able to pass to full mount with less than two minutes remaining in the fight.
He lands some punches, but then to his credit Holland is able to scramble back to his feet. Unfortunately for him Vettori is immediately back to working another takedown and pulls him to the mat yet again.
Holland tries to throw his legs up for a potential submission opportunity and instead has to settle for rolling to his knees and getting upright, but remains stuck against the cage in the clinch in the remaining seconds of the fight.
No doubt about the winner here then, with Vettori getting a comfortable unanimous decision victory (50-44 x3).
So, this went pretty much as many people expected, confirming that Holland’s decision to accept this fight on short notice so soon after being outgrappled by Derek Brunson was a mistake.
To his credit Holland did seem more focused this time out and remains very dangerous when he’s allowed to strike, but his prior five-fight winning streak is becoming an increasingly distant memory and he now needs to take time out to work hard on his takedown defense.