This past Saturday night on the main card of UFC 291, we saw a welterweight battle with a ranking on the line. Michael Chiesa (16-7) was making his return after about two years away taking on the popular “Trailblazer” Kevin Holland (25-9).
This fight was ultimately going to come down to where it took place. Holland has the massive advantage on the feet while on paper, Chiesa had the grappling advantage. However, it should be worth noting that Holland is tremendous on the ground as well.
When the fight started, Holland was able to put a ton of pressure on Chiesa and Chiesa was reacting to everything. Honestly, he just didn’t look comfortable in there. He continuously tried to get the fight to the ground with no success. Holland was hurting him on the feet and then Chiesa sprawled for a takedown attempt.
Upon defending, Holland locked in a d’arce choke and it was deep. After attempting to fight it for a minute, he ultimately tapped giving Holland the win at UFC 291.
What’s next after UFC 291?
This was a huge win for Holland and now he’s jumped into the rankings at 12th. After the fight was over, he hinted that he would like to move back up to 185, but I think the UFC will convince him to stay at 170. He’s just so much more suited for welterweight where he can actually be a top contender.
Let’s just say that his next fight does come at 170. Who should the UFC pair him with? Personally, I love the idea of a quick turnaround for Holland with him potentially fighting Jack Della Maddalena in September in Australia. If Holland and JDM can turn that around quickly, I think that’s a great fight.
Neil Magny is another appealing option for someone like Holland. I also wouldn’t mind Holland fighting someone from the Geoff Neal – Ian Garry fight that takes place later this month. Multiple good options for Holland and all of them are at 170 pounds.