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

Jack Hermansson was going to fight at UFC Vegas 16 no matter who the opponent was

It’s been a wild journey for Jack Hermansson (21-5) leading up to the UFC Vegas 16 main event. The promotion’s fourth ranked middleweight is getting his third headlining fight, but he’s had to stay on his toes on who he’d be facing.

Originally, the UFC announced that Hermansson would be taking on Darren Till at UFC Vegas 16. These two men had some fun back and forth over social media and it was a fight that the fans were really excited for.

However, Darren Till sustained an injury and he was forced to pull out of the fight. The UFC went to work and decided to have Hermansson fight Kevin Holland. Holland has made a strong case for fighter of the year going 4-0 in 2020 thus far.

Kevin Holland was nicknamed loudmouth by Dana White because he simply doesn’t stop talking in the cage. Holland was getting the biggest opportunity of his career headlining against a top UFC middleweight like Hermansson.

Hermansson had no issues taking the fight against Holland. Then, last week, Holland tested positive for COVID-19 and he was forced out of the UFC Vegas 16 main event. That is when the promotion turned to Marvin Vettori (15-4-1).

Vettori was scheduled to take on Jacare Souza at UFC 256, but the promotion wanted him to move up. Once again, Hermansson didn’t care about who the replacement was. Without even thinking about it, Hermansson accepted the fight. 

It’s just about a UFC fight for Hermansson

There has been so many cases in the history of the UFC where a fight gets scrapped altogether if one person falls out. Sometimes the UFC can’t find a replacement opponent and other times the main event fighter doesn’t want to fight the replacement.

Hermansson is not one of those guys. He appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show today to talk about the wild ride leading up to this weekend. Helwani asked Hermansson about the opponent changes and if he ever thought of saying no.

“It didn’t matter who it was, you know? As long as I have a fight, I’m all good. I’m here in Vegas to fight and they can put anyone in front of me now,” Hermansson told Helwani.

If you weren’t a fan of Hermansson before, how could you not love the guy after an answer like that. One of the best middleweights in the UFC and he doesn’t care about who the opponent is, he just wants to fight.

Marvin Vettori is no joke and this fight is not expected to be an easy one for Hermansson. However, as he said, he doesn’t care about who the opponent is or how hard the fight will be. For Jack Hermansson, it’s just about getting in there and fighting on Saturday night.

Kevin Holland rebooked against Jacare Souza at UFC 256

Kevin Holland

It’s turned out to be a game of middleweight musical chairs in the UFC today. Originally, Kevin Holland (20-5) was set to take on Jack Hermansson next weekend in the card’s headliner.

However, it was reported today that Holland tested positive for COVID-19. Thus, the UFC had to move in a different direction. Marvin Vettori was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 256 against Jacare Souza (26-8, 1 NC).

The promotion went to Vettori and asked him to substitute for Holland. After both fighters agreed, the UFC booked a new headliner for next weekend featuring Vettori and Hermansson. However, that left Souza and Holland without opponents.

Well, on tonight’s UFC Vegas 15 broadcast, the promotion announced that Holland will be fighting Jacare Souza at UFC 256. So in the end, Vettori and Holland just ended up swapping places to keep the fights together.

UFC 256’s new matchup

Kevin Holland is on the shortlist of guys who could make the claim that they are fighter of the year. Holland has won all four of his UFC fights in 2020. He’s looked sensational and he’s knocking on the door of the top 15.

A win at UFC 256 over Jacare would put him at 5-0 in 2020 while giving him the biggest win of his career in terms of name. The PPV will be the first time that we’ve seen Jacare since he lost a split decision to Jan Blachowicz last November.

Souza decided to move up to light heavyweight and had a competitive fight with the now champion. However, Souza decided that he wanted to move back down to the UFC‘s middleweight division.

At 40 years old, there’s no telling on how many fights Jacare has left. One thing is for sure and that is that he’s hungry to snap his two fight losing streak. Jacare only has one win in his last four and that was his knockout over Chris Weidman.

 

Marvin Vettori replaces Kevin Holland in UFC Vegas 16 headliner

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.

Kevin Holland out of UFC Vegas 16 Main Event

Kevin Holland

The UFC hits from COVID just keep on coming. Yesterday, we found out tonight’s main event fell out at the last minute due to a positive test with Curtis Blaydes. Now, we have found out that next week’s main event has lost a headliner.

Kevin Holland (20-5) announced this morning via Twitter that he is out of UFC Vegas 16. Holland was scheduled to face Jack Hermansson (21-5) in the main event. This was a massive fight for Kevin Holland.

In October of last year, Holland was submitted by Branden Allen. Since then, he’s gone on an incredible run in the UFC. Holland has won all four of his fights since May of this year. He was on the shortlist for fighter of the year.

Due to an injury with Darren Till, Holland was getting this main event shot against Hermansson. Had Holland been able to defeat Hermansson, he would have likely shot into the top ten of the UFC‘s middleweight division.

For now, his plans for advancement are on halt. However, 2020 has still been a sensational year for Kevin Holland. It’s very rare for a fighter to have the opportunity to go 5-0 in a year. Holland had that chance, but should still be proud of the incredible 4-0 year.

What is the UFC’s Plan?

As of now, the UFC is still planning on having Jack Hermansson fight in the main event next week according to Ariel Helwani. However, an opponent has not been finalized. There is talk of Marvin Vettori stepping in to take the fight.

This would be a sensational matchup for the UFC to make, and you know that Vettori would be down to take the fight. The Italian Dream is currently scheduled to take on Jacare Souza at UFC 256, but there are serious talks of him moving up.

Vettori is looking to really put himself on the map. He’s won three in a row and the last person to defeat him is the current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. We will keep following this story.

UFC: Darren Till out; Kevin Holland steps in to face Jack Hermansson

Kevin Holland

One of the more popular fighters in the UFC‘s middleweight division is out of his main event next month. Per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Darren Till has been forced to withdrawal from his December 5th main event against top contender Jack Hermansson.

The fight was proving to be a pivotal fight in the fluid middleweight division. However, an injury has derailed the fight. Jack Hermansson really wanted to get another fight in before the year ended. He wanted the UFC to find him a ranked opponent after Till fell out.

However, all ranked opponents that the UFC offered the fight to, turned it down. That’s when the UFC turned to Kevin Holland. The brash middleweight has competed and won four fights since the month of May.

Holland is riding high right now and has even had some back and forth with current UFC champion, Israel Adesanya. This was an opportunity that Holland simply couldn’t pass up when the UFC called. Despite not having a ranking, Holland was willing to fight, and that’s what mattered to Hermansson.

UFC’s New Main Event

Talk about a golden opportunity for Kevin Holland. The UFC loves guys who have the attitude that they will fight anyone at anytime. That is exactly how Holland has acted in the year 2020. If he’s able to win next month, it would be his fifth win since May.

Holland has been knocking on the door of the top 15, but he hasn’t cracked the rankings just yet. He know will be jumping into the deep end of the pool when he takes on the UFC‘s fourth ranked contender in the middleweight division.

This is quite the gamble for Hermansson. Hermansson is coming off of a quick and dominant win against Kelvin Gastelum back on Fight Island. The Till fight was huge for Hermansson, but it’s obvious that the main thing Hermansson wanted to do is stay active.

It’s a very risky move to take on a hot fighter who’s not currently ranked. Hermansson really doesn’t gain a ton from winning the fight, however, he can lose a lot if Holland pulls off the upset. Should make for a very interesting contest.

UFC: Kevin Holland to jump into T15?

Kevin Holland

This upcoming Saturday on a UFC Fight Night Halloween treat, us fans are fortunate enough to watch Anderson Silva’s final fight — potentially. The middleweight bout with Uriah Hall is everyone’s “if only a few years ago” dream match, but for Hall, this is master versus apprentice and one step closer in his pursuit of the belt. However, another showdown that everyone should be looking out for is that between Kevin Holland (19-5) and Charlie Ontiveros (11-6). Initially scheduled to fight Makhmud Muradov, Holland prepares to fight Ontiveros in his UFC debut.

Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland is one that everyone should already have their eye on by now. Having already won three fights this year, and proven himself worthy of a ranked opponent, Holland is quietly putting together a very solid case. With barking contests between himself and UFC poster child, Khamzat Chimaev, Kevin Holland has made sure that Dana White knows he is always wanting a fight. As of a few weeks ago, Holland wasn’t entirely sure what his next move was going to be. Essentially trying to fight everyone and anyone, a few names tossed around were the previously mentioned Chimaev, Drucis Du Plessis, and Holland himself challenging T10 fighters.

There should already be a strong following behind Holland, as he has gained even more recognition over the past few weeks. Joaquin Buckley’s likely KO of the year on Impa Kasanganay at UFC Fight Island 5 went viral within moments, and shocked everyone watching. Buckley’s knockout got everyone searching his name, and everyone came to find out that none other than Kevin Holland knocked him out back in August with a straight right. The scary thing about Holland is that when he fights, there is no real sense of fear or being overmatched. With him, its all about the element of control and making sure he is the aggressor — and is able to make the first move, and dictate the fight.

While in Holland’s last fight against Darren Stewart, he got the win via decision, he didn’t feel good about it. In his post fight interview, he said he’d be happy to run it back with him and that the win didn’t feel convincing. The possibility of a Stewart fight could be on the table going forward, especially if Holland ends up taking care of business Saturday. With that, there’s also a very real chance Holland will finally get bumped into the T15 rankings assuming he comes out on top. Having already notched three wins in 2020 — KO over Hernandez (05/16), KO over Buckley (08/08), DEC over Stewart (09/19), he looks to extend it to an impressive four wins this year. IF he is to fight again, the chances at having FIVE wins in a calendar year may sound too sweet to pass up for Holland.

Look for Holland to make a statement and throw his name in the running for a top fight next, after his bout with Ontiveros.

Kevin Holland draws Joaquin Buckley at UFC Vegas 6

Kevin Holland

The UFC‘s loud mouth according to Dana White has found himself a fight. Kevin Holland (17-5) was all set to fight last week at UFC Vegas 5. He was scheduled to take on Trevin Giles.

However, just before the fighters made the walk for their fight, Giles fainted in the back. Giles had to be taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

Holland had a good attitude about the whole thing, but was incredibly frustrated that he wasn’t able to fight at UFC Vegas 5. Dana White said the in post-fight press conference that they would find him a quick fight. Looks like they’ve found that fight.

Holland gets UFC newcomer

It was reported today that Holland would be taking on Joaquin Buckley (10-2) this weekend at UFC Vegas 6. Buckley is a veteran of LFA and Bellator.

Buckley enters his UFC debut coming off back-to-back TKO victories in LFA. He just fought back on July 31st against Jackie Gosh.

Buckley’s fight against Gosh was actually a rematch. Gosh was one of the men to hold a victory over Buckley so it was big for Buckley to get that fight back. Buckley is in shape and he’s ready for a fight.

Buckley is naturally a welterweight, but he will be fighting Holland at 185 pounds. It’s a huge opportunity for Buckley getting his UFC debut against a personality like Kevin Holland.

 

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.