Marvin Vettori replaces Kevin Holland in UFC Vegas 16 headliner

June 13, 2020; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Marvin Vettori of Italy celebrates after his submission victory over Karl Roberson in their middleweight fight during UFC Fight Night at the UFC APEX. Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today it was announced that Kevin Holland had tested positive for COVID-19 and was out of his UFC Vegas 16 headliner. Jack Hermansson (21-5) was going to remain in the headliner, but an opponent hadn’t been finalized.

Ariel Helwani was reporting that the UFC was leaning towards Marvin Vettori (15-4-1) as the replacement. Vettori was scheduled to take on Jacare Souza at UFC 256 in just a couple of weeks. However, bout agreements hadn’t been sent out as of this morning.

Well, MMA Junkie is now reporting that the proposed matchup is finalized. The UFC has booked Marvin Vettori against Jack Hermansson in the main event of next Saturday’s UFC Vegas 16 card.

In many ways, this fight is better than the original matchup with Kevin Holland. Unlike Holland, Vettori is in the top 15 of the UFC‘s middleweight division. This is the third proposed opponent for Hermansson for his headliner next weekend.

UFC Vegas 16’s New Main Event

Vettori will go into next weekend as the UFC‘s 13th ranked contender at middleweight. The only man to have gotten the better of Vettori over his past five fights is the current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.

This is a massive opportunity for The Italian Dream. Vettori was already scheduled for a big bump up in competition, but getting a headlining spot was something that Vettori simply couldn’t pass up. It also will earn him more props with the UFC.

As mentioned above, this is the third scheduled opponent for Jack Hermansson. Originally, The Joker was supposed to take on Darren Till. This was a huge fight, but it fell through after Till suffered an injury. 

That is when the promotion shifted to the Kevin Holland fight. Holland is a fighter of the year contender having gone 4-0 in 2020. However, today’s news of the positive COVID test has thrown that off.

You have to respect Hermansson for being willing to take on any challenger in his UFC main event. Hermansson is looking to pickup his second consecutive win after dominating Kelvin Gastelum over the summer.