Thiago Santos put on an entertaining scrap with Kevin Holland tonight at UFC 227, before emerging with a unanimous decision victory.
Low kick for Holland and then a body kick. Now a stomp to the knee of his opponent. He goes for a flashy kick, but then Santos jumps into a hard body kick.
Santos coming forward looking for a takedown attempt, but then Holland tries for a flying omaplata submission. He then changes things up looking for a potential armbar and Santos scrambles and then gets on top and starts dropping down bombs.
Holland doing his best to defend himself as Santos continues to work hard ground and pound. He stands over Holland, who tries some upkicks, before Santos drops back down again and lands more shots.
Two minutes of the round remaining and Santos starts to land cleanly with a few punches and Holland can’t afford to take too many of them.
Holland with a few elbows from his back. Santos back to dropping bombs on him, but then Holland finally gets space and is able to stand. He doesn’t seem entirely happy though, pawing at his eye as if it’s hurt.
Holland trying to get back into the striking battle, but a little too wild, while Santos lands hard again in the final seconds of the round.
Santos landing a couple of hard body kicks to start the second round. He goes for another just as HOlland throws too and it’s the latter who gets caught with a stray kick to the groin that forces a brief stoppage.
They get back to it and Holland lands a nice glancing kick. However, after pretending to be rocked Santos comes back and lands a bigger head kick of his own. Holland takes it well too though.
Santos in on a takedown and lands it. Holland talking to him on the mat as he’s been doing several times during the fight. But then he scrambles and gets back to his feet.
Santos with some more hard kicks and punches. He clinches up against the cage and drags Holland to the mat. Holland on his knees and Santos is landing some punches and then some knees.
Big knee as Holland stands. However, Holland then lands a big spinning backfist. Santos seemed hurt by that, but then gets back to working for a takedown.
Holland working a kimura and goes to the mat with it. Santos avoids that, but Holland is now on top. He’s looking for submissions here, but Santos is hanging in there and avoiding them for now, leaving holland on top in side control as the round comes to a close.
Body kick for Santos. Left hand for Holland. Head kick attempt from Santos. Big body punch for Santos. Now a capoeira kick from the Brazilan upstairs that lands, but not hard enough to really hurt his opponent.
However, Santos soon looks for a takedown and lands it. He starts to land punches from half-guard. Holland partially giving up his back, but Santos ends up in full mount instead and is looking for a potential arm-triangle choke.
Santos lets go of that and looks for ground and pound, but then Holland manages to scramble and eventually is allowed back to his feet.
Santos landing big strikes and Holland counters with a takedown attempt that’s stuffed. Santos keeps him down and patiently works to improve his position, soon moving to full mount.
A few punches land. Holland gets him back to half-guard. Santos working back to an arm-triangle choke now and manages to get to side control.
It looks good, but somehow Holland manges to roll out. Santos potentially working another choke here, but Holland scrambling again and gets to his back, with Santos remaining on top in the final seconds of the fight.
Fun fight then and Holland deserves credit for his part in it, but Santos clearly got the better of two rounds and emerges with a unanimous decision victory (29-27 x2, 29-26).