UFC 291 Preview: Kevin Holland – Michael Chiesa

Sep 10, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Khamzat Chimaev (red gloves) fights Kevin Holland (blue gloves) during UFC 279 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Kicking off the main card tomorrow night at UFC 291 is a showcase in the welterweight division. 12th ranked Michael Chiesa (16-6) returns as he will look to hold onto his spot in the rankings as he takes on the entertaining Kevin Holland (24-9).

We haven’t seen Chiesa since November 2021 as he’s been out dealing with a number of injuries. He’s finally back healthy and ready to go tomorrow night. While he’s still ranked 12th, he enters UFC 291 on a two-fight losing streak so he will look to get back in the win column tomorrow night.

Speaking of getting back in the win column, that’s what Kevin Holland did in his last fight. After losing two straight to Khamzat Chimaev and Stephen Thompson last year, Holland bounced back well in April when he took on Santiago Ponzinibbio. Holland was able to score the third round knockout earning this shot against Chiesa.

UFC 291 Prediction

A big part of this fight is going to come down to how good Chiesa’s offensive wrestling is. With the time away and back issues, I’m wondering how good his grappling control will be. Holland has been the victim of strong wrestlers in the past who have been able to take him down and control him.

Holland also has very good Jiu Jitsu so I think Chiesa would have a hard time submitting him. If Chiesa is going to win at UFC 291, it’s not going to be a crowd pleasing performance. It’s going to be a lot of clinch work along with a lot of top control. However, if Holland wins, it’s going to be because this fight stays on the feet.

If they are striking, Holland has a huge advantage. In addition to just being the bigger and taller fighter, Holland is much more polished with his striking. He also has way more power in his shots. The ground fighting could end up being a wash, but the feet is not even close.

I just don’t like the idea of Chiesa coming back to face a guy like Holland. I think Holland is going to hurt him on the feet and get him out of there before the final bell sounds at UFC 291.

Prediction: Kevin Holland by TKO – Round 2

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