After another loss at UFC Vegas 26, Donald Cerrone to get one more chance

Donald Cerrone

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 26, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) took on Alex Morono (19-7, 1 NC). Morono stepped up as a short-notice replacement for Diego Sanchez who was released by the UFC before the fight.

This was a very dangerous fight for Cowboy to take. Heading into UFC Vegas 26, Cerrone had lost essentially five fights in a row. His last fight against Niko Price was a No Contest, but if a point wouldn’t have been taken away from Price, Cerrone would’ve lost.

Prior to the NC, he was defeated four straight times including getting finished three times in the first round. Cerrone needed a win in the worst way at UFC Vegas 26, but Alex Morono wasn’t going to be an easy fight.

Morono is a hungry welterweight who wanted to take advantage of the moment and that’s what he did. With about a minute left in the opening round, Morono cracked Cerrone with huge right hand that wobbled him.

Cowboy backed to the fence and tried to fend him off, but there was nothing he could do. Morono continued to pour on the shots until the referee stopped in and it was another first round loss for Cerrone. His fourth first round loss in his last six UFC appearances.

One more chance in the UFC

If you ask Dana White who his favorite fighters have been to deal with in the UFC, Donald Cerrone is likely near the top of the list. For years, Cowboy has been the one guy who was always willing to step in and fight anyone at anytime.

However, at 38 years old, Cowboy is starting to show the signs of all those fights. In 2019, Cerrone looked like he was closing in on a UFC title shot. Having won three fights in a row at 155, the promotion gave him Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson dominated the fight and after that Cerrone fought Justin Gaethje. Gaethje knocked him out in the first round and then Cerrone suffered the same fate at UFC 246 when he fought Conor McGregor.

Dana White said the UFC would give Cerrone one more chance, but it’s a must-win. With that, who should he fight? Well, I’m thinking someone along the lines of Bobby Green (27-11-1) or Clay Guida (36-20).

Both of those guys have been around for a long time and have recognizable names. Also, both of those are winnable fights for Cowboy. Someone cut of that cloth should be next and win or lose, Cowboy should strongly consider hanging it up afterwards.

After having winning streak snapped at UFC 259, what’s next for Drew Dober?

This past Saturday at UFC 259, Drew Dober (23-10) had the tough task of taking on Islam Makhachev (19-1). Makhachev is already being called the next Khabib and many are saying he will be a future UFC lightweight champion.

However, Drew Dober is not someone anyone should just look past. Heading into Saturday night, Dober had only lost one time since 2017. That one loss came against top ten lightweight Beneil Dariush.

Dober had won three fights in a row by stoppage. He has very good grappling skills and tremendous power on his hands. On paper, he looked like he was going to be a very tough test for Islam Makhachev at UFC 259.

However, when it came to the actual fight, the odds makers were right. Dober was a massive underdog which made many scratch their heads considering it had been a lengthy layoff for Islam Makhachev.

He didn’t fight in all of 2020 so nobody quite knew what to expect. Well, Makhachev was as advertised. He completely dominated Dober and took him down at will. In the third round, Dober was forced to tap from an arm-triangle choke snapping his UFC winning streak.

What’s next after UFC 259?

After this winning streak, UFC 259 proved to be a humbling moment for Drew Dober. The fight taught him a valuable lesson on the levels to the game of MMA and showed him where he needs to improve if he wants to compete with championship level fighters.

After that kind of a loss, it’s time for a reset for Drew Dober. He will need to take on someone with decent name recognition, but someone outside the UFC rankings. With that, there are a couple of names that come to mind.

One fighter that would make a lot of sense is Bobby Green (27-11-1). Green had a great 2020 where he went 3-1. He had to pull out of his last fight due to some weight issues, but by all accounts, he’s ready to get back into the octagon.

Another fun UFC matchup for Dober could be Clay Guida (36-20). Guida looked very good in his last outing against Michael Johnson. He proved that he’s as tough as ever with a grinding style that just doesn’t stop. Both of these matchups would be good and tough rebound matchups for Dober.

UFC: Bobby Green – Jim Miller called off

UFC 258 has lost it’s second main card fight this week. The promotion announced this evening that the lightweight matchup between Bobby Green (27-11-1) and Jim Miller (32-15, 1 NC) has been called off.

As mentioned, this is the second main card fight to be scrapped this week for UFC 258. Earlier in the week, the highly anticipated bantamweight clash between Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera was called off. That fight was scrapped due to a positive COVID test.

There were some signs of doubts for this matchup that developed earlier today. 23 of the 24 scheduled fighters made the walk to the scale earlier today with very few issues. However, Bobby Green was the last one to weigh-in for UFC 258.

This fight between Miller and Green was put together just a few weeks ago and it appeared that Green had trouble cutting weight. Ultimately when Green stepped on the scale, he weighed in at 156 pounds and the fight was on.

However, questions started forming when Green and Miller didn’t appear for the post weigh-in staredowns. Dana White announced that Bobby Green had collapsed in the back and doctors were taking a look at him. The UFC 258 matchup was then in serious danger.

What’s next for the UFC?

A couple of hours after that incident, the UFC announced that Green was not cleared to fight. The fight has been called off after Green collapsed backstage after an extremely difficult weight cut.

Again, I feel like the short-notice nature of this fight played a role in the weight cut. However, we don’t and probably won’t know what exactly happened. At this time, there has not been any word on if the UFC will try to remake this fight.

With Green and Miller off the main card, Ricky Simon (17-3) and Brian Kelleher (22-11) has been promoted to the UFC 258 main card. This fight should be very entertaining and is a solid choice to replace the Miller-Green matchup.

UFC 258 Preview: Jim Miller – Bobby Green

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 258, we will see a fun matchup between veteran lightweights. Jim Miller (32-15, 1 NC) and Bobby Green (27-11-1) will go head-to-head tomorrow night to kick off the PPV main card.

Bobby Green is coming off of a loss heading into UFC 258, however, 2020 was overall a big bounce back year for Bobby Green. A frustrated Green had gone back-and-forth about retirement given the way some decisions had gone against him in the UFC.

Nevertheless, Green decided to bite down on his mouthpiece and fight in 2020. He started the year off incredibly at 3-0. Green looked like he was inching towards a ranking before he lost a decision to Thiago Moises. Green’s looking to get back on track tomorrow night.

Jim Miller has been with the UFC since 2008 and he’s fought a who’s who of the lightweight division. If there’s been a top contender that’s emerged over the last decade, they’ve likely fought Jim Miller at some point.

Miller comes into this contest at 3-3 in his last six fights. One of those losses came against top contender, Charles Oliveira. Miller last fought at UFC 252 where he lost a decision to Vinc Pichel.

UFC 258 Prediction

Both of these veteran lightweights are looking for a bounce back win at UFC 258. For Green to get the win tomorrow night, he has to stay loose with his striking and he needs to be careful of his front foot.

Given Green’s boxing ability and his wrestling skills, he’s normally very heavy on his front foot. This could be a problem against a guy like Jim Miller. Green needs to be a little more loose on that front foot and look to strike from the outside.

Jim Miller needs to go right after the lead calf of Bobby Green at UFC 258. We’ve seen how devastating powerful calf kicks can be and Jim Miller has great calf kicks. While Green is going to have an advantage from the outside, Miller needs to add up some calf kicks.

If he’s able to do some damage to the lead leg, then he can transition into his grappling. When it comes to the fight tomorrow night, I really like Bobby Green in this matchup. At this stage of their careers, I believe that Green will stay loose and score enough points from the outside to win a decision.

Prediction: Bobby Green by Unanimous Decision

UFC books short-notice fight between Bobby Green and Jim Miller

UFC 258 has added a very solid lightweight contest to it’s card. MMA Junkie was first to report this afternoon that the promotion has booked a fight between “King” Bobby Green (27-11-1) and Jim “A-10” Miller (32-15, 1 NC).

The news of this fight between lightweight veterans comes on the heels of learning that the co-main between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall is off. No word yet on if this fight will end up on the UFC 258 main card.

Jim Miller is as tough as they come and he’s been with the UFC since 2008. Miller just keeps on going at 37 years old and competed inside the octagon three times during 2020. However, Miller only went 1-2 in those three fights.

That 1-2 stretch followed a 2019 that saw Miller go 2-0 inside the octagon. While not at the top of the division, Miller has still proved that he’s a tough out in the UFC‘s lightweight division. We last saw him at UFC 252 when he lost a decision to Vinc Pichel.

UFC Resurgence for The King

Heading into 2020, Bobby Green didn’t know if he was going to compete in the UFC anymore. Green was flirting with retirement after several decisions had gone against him and he had gone 1-5-1 in his previous seven fights.

The King decided to take a fight in the middle of the year against veteran Clay Guida. Green was able to pickup a decision win. He then followed that fight up with two additional wins to put him on a three-fight win streak.

Green decided to take one more fight inside the octagon in 2020 against Thiago Moises. That night, Green came up short and his UFC winning streak was halted at three. However, going 3-1 in 2020 has motivated Green to try and climb back up the ranks.

It’s amazing that these two veterans have never crossed paths despite their lengthy runs with the promotion. Well, we will finally get to see the two of them square off at UFC 258 in what promises to be a very fun matchup at 155.

UFC: Donald Cerrone wants to return to lightweight in February

Donald Cerrone

One of the most entertaining fighters in the history of the UFC is not done yet. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15-1, 1 NC) has had a legendary career inside the octagon. The 37 year old holds virtually every record in the UFC.

Whether it’s the number of wins, number of finishes, or the number of bonuses, you’ll find Cowboy at the top. However, Cerrone has hit a really rough patch in his career. This patch really came out of no where over the last year.

At UFC 238, Cerrone took on Tony Ferguson. Going into that contest, Cowboy had won three in a row and a win would have likely given him a title shot. He had looked better than ever and carried a ton of momentum into that contest.

However, Ferguson got the better of him. After he lost to Ferguson, Cowboy was knocked out in the first round by Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor. Back in May, Cowboy returned to welterweight where he fought former UFC champion, Anthony Pettis.

Cerrone lost a decision that night, however, many people believe he won that fight. Then he took on Niko Price back in September and fought to a draw. In reality, Cerrone lost the fight, but Price had a point taken away which led to the draw.

UFC’s Cowboy nearing the end?

After the Niko Price fight, UFC president Dana White said he needed to have a talk with Cerrone. Despite having been close to a title shot just one year prior, Cerrone had gone 0-4-1 in a span of 15 months.

Factoring that in with the number of battles Cowboy had been in and you could make the argument that it might be time to walk away. However, the UFC‘s Cowboy isn’t going to go out like that.

If you follow Cerrone on social media, you can see that he’s training hard for his return. He posted on Instagram yesterday that he is returning to the lightweight division and he wants a fight in February.

I started thinking of potential opponents, and I actually like Cerrone against Bobby Green (27-11-1). Green had a sensational 2020 inside the octagon. Back in October he lost to Thiago Moises, but he’s still 3-1 since June.

Neither man is ranked in the UFC‘s lightweight division, but the name recognition of both makes for a good pairing. My guess is that we will see the UFC move to book Cerrone sooner than later and I wouldn’t be shocked to hear Green’s name.

UFC Vegas 5 Recap: Derek Brunson derails the Shahbazyan hype train

Derek Brunson

The UFC made their Las Vegas return tonight. Headlining the first card back in the United States was a middleweight contest between Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0) and Derek Brunson (20-7). UFC Vegas 5 was highly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint.

Derek Brunson breaks Edmen Shahbazyan

In the main event of the evening, Derek Brunson was looking to spoil the party for the 22 year old UFC phenom, Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was headlining his first card while Brunson was headlining his fourth.

As the first round started both men were just feeling the other out. Brunson started the action with a couple of kicks. Shahbazyan landed a crisp right which Brunson countered with a body kick.

Brunson looked incredibly patient to start looking for his openings. Brunson shot forward with a couple of big shots and landed a takedown. Shahbazyan was able to work his way back up to his feet but ate some big shots.

Shahbazyan started throw massive shots which opened the eyes of Brunson. Brunson remained patient almost seeming to fight in slow motion at times. Shahbazyan threw a knee that Brunson used to clinch him. Close first round that I give to Shahbazyan.

Brunson opened the second round with a leg kick but Shahbazyan landed a massive body kick to counter. Shahbazyan looked to be going more to the body in the second.

Brunson started really looking to grapple early on in the second round. Shahbazyan landed another massive body kick and a couple of shots. Brunson then landed some big shots of his own before trying for another takedown.

Shahbazyan really started to look tired about three minutes into the round. Brunson really started pressing the action when Shahbazyan looked tired. Brunson landed another takedown on an exhausted Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan started taking massive shots. Dominant second round for Brunson.

In the final round, Brunson immediately pressed forward landing big shots. Shahbazyan crumbled. Herb Dean called a stop to the action after Shahbazyan showed nothing. Statement win for Derek Brunson.

Jennifer Maia Armbars her way to a UFC title shot

The co-main event of the evening featured a women’s flyweight contest between Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (14-4) and Jennifer Maia (17-6-1). Calderwood elected to stay active against Maia despite having a UFC title shot guaranteed once Valentina Shevchenko heals.

As the fight started, Calderwood immediately started looking for kicks. Maia was pushing forward looking for big 1-2’s. Maia started landing some big shots early on. Calderwood took a couple of clean shots down the middle that got her attention.

Maia was finding a home for her right hand a ton in the first two minutes. Calderwood kept looking for kicks to keep the distance and score points. Calderwood caught a kick from Maia and used it to take the fight to the ground.

Maia looked for some submissions off of her back, but couldn’t get anything to stick at first. Calderwood just looked content to hold top position. Out of no where, Maia throws up an armbar. She locked it in and Calderwood was forced to tap.

Crushing defeat for Calderwood who was supposed to fight for the title in June. With that win, Maia will likely be next for the champion. In fact, the champ had something to say about her win.

Vicious knee leads to a finish for Vicente Luque

The third fight of the main card had fight of the night written all over it. The UFC paired welterweights Vicente Luque (18-7-1) against Randy Brown (12-3).

Early on in the first round, Luque landed a massive leg kick that got Brown’s attention. Luque continued to spin Brown around with a couple of additional calf kicks early. Brown started landing a crisp jab that reddened the nose of Luque.

Luque continued to pepper the lead leg of Brown with inside and outside calf kicks. Brown stepped in but was met with a massive right that floored him from Luque. Luque let Brown back up to his feet with about two minutes left.

Brown seemed to get his feet back under him and started landing jabs again. Luque was just stalking Brown near the end of the round. Brown was rocked again which forced him to shoot for a takedown. The round ends and it was a clear one for Luque.

As the second round started, Brown landed a massive body kick to start things. Brown looked more comfortable to start the second landing some decent combinations off the jab. Luque dropped Brown with a calf kick about a minute into the round.

Luque allowed Brown to get right back up. Brown tried firing off his jab to keep Luque off of him. Luque continued to plot forward just stalking Randy Brown. Brown did start to gain momentum back with some good knees in the clinch.

With about a minute left in the round, Brown got a big takedown into side control. However, Luque was able to get right back up. Luque clinched up with Brown and landed a massive knee that floored Brown. A few follow up shots ended the fight. Great finish for Vicente Luque.

Bobby Green wins entertaining scrap with Vannata

The main card was kicked off by a rematch between lightweights Bobby Green (25-10-1) and Lando Vannata (11-4-2). The two men fought to a draw back at UFC 216 in 2017.

Both men were talking before the fight even started. They both took the center and immediately started trying to figure out their range. Green looked really smooth in the opening minute evading shots and landing some good counters.

Both men stepped forward with big shots and Green hit the deck for a just a second after a massive right from Vannata. Green was able to bounce back quickly. About a minute later, after hitting the deck himself, Green dropped Vannata with a massive right of his own.

Vannata worked his way back up to the feet and the two men resumed their stand up fight. Both fighters seemed to rock each other in a big exchange towards the end of the round. Very fun first round that I give to King Bobby Green.

Green took the center to start round two and landed a stiff jab. Vannata tried for a takedown thirty seconds in, but couldn’t land it. These two could not stop talking to each other in the cage.

Vannata started showing some real damage on his nose from the stiff straight shots from Green. Green continued to pepper Vannata with jabs. Vannata landed a couple of clean shots which forced a Green takedown attempt. Vannata pulled guard for a guillotine but couldn’t secure it.

The two ended up back on their feet with about two minutes left in the round. Green started pepping Vannata again with straight shots. Vannata shot for a takedown and was able to get it near the end of the round. Despite the takedown, Green still landed the bigger shots. Another round for Bobby Green.

Both men started the final round with a big high five. The two started exchanging immediately and Vannata seemed to land a shot that wobbled Green. They clinched and started throwing bombs at each other.

On the break, Green landed a massive shot that put Vannata down. Green got on top and started landing bombs. Somehow, Vannata was able to survive. After regaining his composure on the bottom, Vannata was able to work his way back up two minutes into the round.

Halfway through the round, Green shot in for a takedown and was able to get Vannata down. Green landed some pretty decent elbows from the top position. Vannata worked his way up with about a minute and a half left.

Vannata tried to push forward for the last minute, but Green seemed a step ahead. Green put on a great performance and takes the final round and the fight on my scorecard 30-27. The judges agreed giving the fight to Green unanimously (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).

UFC Vegas 5 Final Takeaways

The UFC returned to Vegas but didn’t do it without some adversity. There were fights cancelled to undisclosed reasons, COVID, and a fighter fainted before making the walk. Despite that the night delivered with some solid fights.

Jennifer Maia to me was the star of the night. Weeks ago she was just another top ten UFC flyweight and now she’s the likely number one contender.

Tonight also proved that Edmen Shahbazyan is not quite ready for the top competition in the UFC’s middleweight division. He looked completely lost after he couldn’t finish the fight in the first round.

UFC Vegas 5 Preview: Can Derek Brunson stop the Edmen Shahbazyan hype train?

The UFC returns to it’s home base tomorrow night. The promotion is back at the APEX with a solid card that is headlined by middleweights Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0) and Derek Brunson (20-7). Let’s take a look at the main card for UFC Vegas 5.

Can Brunson stop the UFC’s Golden Boy Shahbazyan?

The main event of the evening is a three round middleweight contest featuring Shahbazyan and Brunson. The fight is three rounds due to the fight originally being planned as the co-main event.

Shahbazyan comes into this fight with a ton of hype. Many people believe than he’s the next big thing in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

The promotion has been bringing him along slowly and the 22-year old phenom has answered the call every time. He took on Brad Tavares in his last fight and put on a clinic.

Shahbazyan has very crisp striking. He throws clean straight shots and possesses dynamite in his hands and legs. In addition to that, he’s got really good grappling. He’s truly a well-rounded guy.

Despite hating the name, Derek Brunson is the gatekeeper of the UFC‘s middleweight division. He doesn’t lose to guys in the lower half of the top 15, but he always loses against top five talent.

Brunson is coming into this fight coming off of back-to-back wins. In his last fight, Brunson was dropped in seconds against Ian Heinisch but bounced back to grab a decision victory.

Brunson has a wrestling background that he mainly uses for defensive purposes. He boasts an incredible 100% takedown defense. Brunson also has really good power and he’s used that in his knockout wins over Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall.

While Brunson is a very solid fighter all around, he’s very hittable and I think he’s very chinny. To me, this fight reminds me a lot of the Israel Adesanya fight with Brunson.

Brunson was there to take on the guy everyone viewed as the next big thing. In that fight, Brunson got lit up like a Christmas tree and stopped in the first round. Brunson has been stopped in the first round four times in his career.

While I’m not saying Shahbazyan is Style Bender, I think the fight is going to go the same way. I think the accuracy and the speed of Shahbazyan’s shots will just be too much. I don’t believe Brunson has the chin to make it out of the first round. In my opinion, Shahbazyan will prove he’s the real deal tomorrow night.

Prediction: Edmen Shahbazyan by KO – Round 1

Joanne Calderwood vs Jennifer Maia

The co-main event of the evening features a likely title eliminator match in the UFC women’s flyweight division as Joanne Calderwood (14-4) takes on Jennifer Maia (17-6-1).

Taking this fight was an interesting choice for Calderwood. She is stepping up on short notice, but she was next in line to face UFC flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko. That fight had been booked but cancelled due to the champ’s injury.

Now, Calderwood is taking on a dangerous contender in Maia and putting her title shot on the line in this one.

Calderwood comes into this contest 3-1 in her last four fights with the lone loss coming against Katlyn Chookagian. Calderwood is one of the more entertaining fighters in the division.

When she’s striking, she throws with decent volume and has a wide range of striking techniques. You will likely see her throw some spinning techniques. In addition to that, she’s very good in the clinch. She does a fantastic job of landing good shots from that position.

Maia is the former Invicta flyweight champion and she’s coming into this contest 2-2 in her four UFC fights. Her two wins coming against Alexis Davis and Roxanne Modafferi.

Maia is the type of fighter who’s not elite anywhere, but she’s very good everywhere. She’s got decent striking, she’s got decent submissions, and she’s got good offensive grappling.

For Maia to win this fight, she really has to push the pace and land with volume. I’m not sure either of these ladies will be getting a finish, so the highest output might take this one.

While it’s extremely dangerous to risk her title shot, I like JoJo Calderwood to come through tomorrow night. I just think she’s going to use her range well and I think she’ll be able to control the grappling positions. Expect some cage work tomorrow night.

Prediction: JoJo Calderwood by Unanimous Decision

Vicente Luque vs Randy Brown

The third fight of the evening is a popular fight of the night pick as UFC welterweights Vicente Luque (18-7-1) and Randy Brown (12-3) go to war.

Luque ranks just outside the top ten in the welterweight division. He’s 11-2 in his last 13 fights with his only losses being to Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards.

Luque has one of the better killer instincts in the UFC‘s welterweight division. When he hits people, they go down. He’s also got very good submission skills which could come into play in this fight. Luque is coming off of a doctor stoppage TKO victory over Niko Price back in May.

Randy Brown came to fame as one of the first guys to appear on Dana White’s Looking for a Fight. Since joining the UFC Brown is 6-3 with wins over Mickey Gall and Bryan Barberena.

Brown is coming off of a win over Warley Alves by triangle choke last November. Despite his wrestling background, Brown is the type of fighter who loves to strike. He’s got good length and pretty decent stand up.

In this fight, it would be wise for Brown to try to use some of his grappling to neutralize Luque’s power. At least give Luque multiple attacks to think about.

When thinking about this fight, I definitely believe that Randy Brown can win with his skillset. However, I don’t think he will. I believe he will have some success, but Luque will catch him before the fight is over.

Prediction: Vicente Luque by TKO – Round 3

Lando Vannata vs Bobby Green

The second fight of the main card is a rematch between lightweights Bobby Green (25-10-1) and Lando Vannata (11-4-2). Both men fought to a draw back at UFC 216.

Back in 2014, Bobby Green was emerging as a top contender in the lightweight division. He was coming off back-to-back wins over top guys like Josh Thomson and Pat Healy. Then, his career took a sharp downturn.

Since the Thomson win, Green is just 2-5-1 in his last eight fights. Green had retired after the Trinaldo loss last year, but he returned back in June to face Clay Guida. Green picked up a decision win in that fight.

Bobby Green has pretty good stand up and he’s got very good defensive grappling skills. He’s got pretty good speed as well in his striking.

Lando Vannata came into the UFC at 8-0. He became a replacement to take on the lightweight divisions boogieman in Tony Ferguson in his debut. Vannata almost finished Ferguson in that fight which shocked everyone.

Many people believed that Vannata would become one of the top contenders at lightweight after that fight. However, it hasn’t gone that way. Vannata is 3-3-2 in his last eight fights. He is also coming into this fight like Green coming off a decision win.

Vannata has good pop in his shots and throws a very diverse striking attack at his opponents. That could be a key in a fight against a guy like Green who mainly uses his boxing. In their first fight, Vannata was able to hurt Green bad on the feet.

This is a fight that I keep going back and forth on. I’m not entirely sure which Bobby Green is going to show up on fight night. If this was prime Green, I’d lean that way. However, I think Vannata is going to be able to get it done.

In the end, I think the diverse striking attack and higher output numbers from Vannata will help him. This is truly a fight that I think will be razor close. Don’t be shocked to see the judges split here.

Prediction: Lando Vanatta by Split Decision

Trevin Giles vs Kevin Holland

The opening fight of the UFC Vegas 5 main card is a middleweight contest between two prospects in Trevin Giles (12-2) and Kevin Holland (17-5).

Giles came into the UFC with a lot of hype behind him. He got some pretty good wins over guys like Brendan Allen and Ryan Spann on the regional scene before he made the UFC jump.

After debuting with back-to-back knockout victories, Giles is just 1-2 in his last three fights. Many people (including myself) thought he lost the split decision to James Krause which is his only win.

Giles is pretty good everywhere offensively. He’s got good grappling offense and he’s got good power with solid striking. Giles does fade in the later rounds so it’ll be very important for him to get off to a good start.

Much like Giles, Kevin Holland had a good amount of hype behind him when he started with the promotion. He got a nightmare of a first draw in Thiago Santos which he lost by unanimous decision.

Since that loss, Holland is 4-1 and he just fought back in May stopping Anthony Hernandez in under 40 seconds.

Holland is extremely long holding an 81 inch reach. He’s extremely well rounded and has pretty good cardio. In addition to those qualities, Holland has a very good chin which he showed off in that Santos fight.

When thinking about this fight, I struggle to see a path to victory for Giles outside of a knockout. When you go down the list, Holland beats him in most categories.

I think Holland will use his reach well in this fight, and I think he will do solid in the grappling exchanges. I’m going with a decision, but Holland could get a third round finish in this one.

Prediction: Kevin Holland by Unanimous Decision

UFC Vegas 5 Outlook

This card is so entertaining from top to bottom. There are a ton of intriguing matchups, but all eyes are going to be on Edmen Shahbazyan. Can he break through and become the next big UFC superstar? That is a question that will be answered tomorrow night.