UFC 256 Preview: Kevin Holland – Jacare Souza

Kevin Holland

The second fight on the UFC 256 PPV main card tomorrow night is a middleweight clash between Kevin Holland (20-5) and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (26-8, 1 NC). Holland will be looking to cap off an incredible 2020 where he’s already 4-0.

Kevin Holland has been sensational this year. Holland worked his way into the UFC back in 2018 after winning in Dana White’s Contender Series. His debut fight in the UFC came against former light heavyweight title challenger, Thiago Santos.

Holland lost that fight, but went on to win three straight before being submitted by Brendan Allen last October. In 2020, Holland has looked sensational going 4-0 with three knockouts. His work in 2020 has found him inside the UFC‘s top 15 at middleweight.

Holland will be taking on a legend in this one. Jacare Souza has had a legendary career in MMA. Souza was a world champion in Strikeforce and he holds victories in his career over the likes of Chris Weidman, Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, and Derek Brunson twice.

The 41 year old has done it all minus capturing UFC gold. Jacare will come into this contest on a two-fight losing streak. However, his last fight was a split decision loss to current UFC light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz.

UFC 256 Prediction

A couple of weeks ago, both of these men were preparing for separate UFC bouts. Holland was preparing for Jack Hermansson and Jacare was preparing for Marvin Vettori. However, Holland’s positive COVID test caused the promotion to switch the fights.

This is a very interesting matchup to break down. On the feet, Holland will definitely have the speed advantage. His striking has looked clean and crisp this year. However, the power advantage will go to Jacare who has a career showing off his knockout power.

On the ground, this fight isn’t close. Jacare is one of the best jiu jitsu practitioners in the world. If Holland wants to walk out with his hand raised at UFC 256, he’s going to have to keep this fight on the feet.

One thing I noticed in the Darren Stewart fight is how Holland faded. If Jacare can use his wrestling and grappling to make this fight dirty, I think he has a real advantage in the second and third rounds.

I think you’re going to see Holland have some success from range early. However, I don’t think he’ll put Jacare away. Instead, I think Souza will be able to wear on Holland and get this fight down to the ground eventually. Once there, I think Jacare will show that he’s still got it.

Prediction: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 3