UFC 279 Preview: Kevin Holland – Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Cunningham
Mar 5, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, UNITED STATES; Kevin Holland smiles after defeating Alex Oliveira (not pictured) during UFC 272 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 279, we are going to see a catchweight bout between two top welterweight contenders. “The Trailblazer” Kevin Holland (23-7, 1 NC) will look to stay perfect against welterweight competition when he takes on “D-Rod” Daniel Rodriguez (16-2).

Rodriguez is fighting for the first time since last August as he’s dealt with a few injuries in the last year. That being said, he enters the octagon tomorrow night riding a three-fight winning streak. After initially getting a denied a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Rodriguez made his debut in 2020.

Since making his UFC debut, Rodriguez has gone an impressive 6-1 with wins over the likes of Kevin Lee, Mike Perry, and Tim Means in his debut. He’s a very dangerous and diverse striker who will give Holland a serious test tomorrow night.

In 2020, Kevin Holland surged to the top of the UFC’s middleweight division after going 5-0. He was only a win or two away from a title shot in 2021, but he hit a major road block. He ran into Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori who exposed his wrestling shortcomings.

Holland took a step back to focus on training and then he made the move to the welterweight division. So far at 170, Holland is 2-0 with two finishes. Rodriguez is his toughest test to date, but The Trailblazer doesn’t seem phased.

UFC 279 Prediction

Now, I think that we are going to see a standup war tomorrow night between Rodriguez and Holland. Both of these men are dangerous strikers but they use their striking in different ways. Rodriguez is very diverse in his attack and throws a lot of hooking attacks.

Big leg kicks and hooks on the inside is going to be key for Rodriguez at UFC 279. Meanwhile, Holland is going to look to use his biggest attribute, his range. Holland is much longer than D-Rod and I think you’ll see him use that extended reach tomorrow night.

Lots of straight shots down the middle with kicks to keep his distance. I actually see Holland having a lot of success from range and frustrating Rodriguez throughout the fight. Both men are going to have moments tomorrow and I think it’ll be a very solid fight.

However, I just like the diversity of range strikes from Kevin Holland. I think he’ll do a good job of keeping the fight at distance and he’ll land the cleaner shots. In addition, he has the jiu jitsu advantage if the fight hits the mat. I see it going the distance with Holland getting the dub.

Prediction: Kevin Holland by Decision