UFC books middleweight clash between Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus

Kevin Holland

The UFC‘s Big Mouth is getting ready to make his return to the Octagon. Late last night, MMA Fighting was the first to report that the promotion had finalized a middleweight battle between Kevin Holland (21-7) and Kyle Daukaus (10-2).

The middleweight matchup is currently scheduled to take place at a UFC Fight Night on October 2nd. For Kyle Daukaus, this will be his fourth trip to the octagon. So far, it’s been a mixed bag for the middleweight.

Daukaus made his UFC debut just over a year ago against Brendan Allen. Allen was a big favorite, however, Daukaus pushed him to the limit in their fight. Ultimately, Allen still got his hand raised and Daukaus lost the first fight of his career.

Daukaus’ second octagon appearance came at UFC 255 when he took on Dustin Stoltzfus. He picked up his first UFC win that night by decision. He returned back in May when he took on the surging Phil Hawes.

Hawes won by decision and dropped Daukaus to 1-2 in the UFC. While he has a losing record, it is worth nothing that Kyle Daukaus has faced good competition in the UFC. This fight in October will be his first fight against a ranked opponent.

UFC Redemption for Holland

2021 hasn’t been great for Kevin Holland inside the octagon. After becoming a surging star for the UFC in 2020, Holland has come back to Earth a little here in 2021. We all were introduced to Kevin Holland back in 2018 on the Contender Series.

Despite winning his fight, the UFC didn’t give him a contract right away. That said, when the UFC needed someone to step in to fight Thiago Santos at UFC 227 on short-notice, Holland gladly accepted the fight. Holland lost that fight, but then went on to win three straight.

Late in 2019, Holland suffered a submission loss to Brendan Allen. When the year hit 2020, all things changed for Kevin Holland. Holland went on an incredible run that saw him go 5-0 in seven months. He was one of the Fighters of the Year in 2020 for the UFC.

His incredible year earned him a main event slot against Derek Brunson in March. Unfortunately for Holland, Brunson dominated their fight. Holland then turned around and took a short-notice main event against Marvin Vettori and was again dominated.

In both of those fights, Holland really struggled with keeping the fight on the feet. After remaining incredibly active for the UFC in 2020, Holland wanted to take some time away to work on his grappling. After having some time to work on it, he’s back to take on Daukaus in October and you know Daukaus with eight submission wins is going to test his takedown defense.

UFC on ESPN 12 Recap: Dustin Poirier edges Dan Hooker in instant classic

Dustin Poirier, UFC

UFC on ESPN 12 was the final card on US soil before the UFC takes it’s talents to Fight Island in July. The main event of the evening featured a big-time lightweight contest between Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1 NC) and Dan Hooker (20-8). The card had six main card fights, and the card was filled with action from start to finish.

Poirier & Hooker put on an instant classic

The main event of the evening was one of the more anticipated fights of the summer. The winner of the Poirier/Hooker fight might be the next person in-line of the UFC title shot if Conor McGregor stays retired. Hooker called out Poirier because he felt that Poirier would be a good style matchup for him, and he felt he would be the perfect opponent to vault him towards a title shot. Poirier, who was coming off of the longest layoff of his career, was looking to get back on track after losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov last September.

Both men came out of the gate with big kicks. Hooker continued to throw nice leg kicks throughout the first minute of the round. Hooker was doing a really good job early at fighting from range. Hooker’s jab looked sharp early on. With about 90 seconds left in the round, both men exchanged in close quarters. Both men landed some massive shots, but neither man seemed hurt. Razor close round in the first, but I might lean towards Hooker in the first.

In the second round, Hooker came out immediately with range strikes. Poirier seemingly rocked Hooker for just a second, but then Hooker landed some massive counters which seemed to hurt Poirier. The two men got in close quarters again, and both men unloaded massive shots on the other. Both men landed clean shots, but again, neither man seemed seriously hurt. The rest of the round both men continued to land bombs. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Hooker unleashed an insane combination that rocked Poirier. Poirier was able to stay on his feet, but Hooker landed some serious shots at the end of the round.

The paced slowed as the third round started. Both men kept an insane pace in the first couple of rounds. However, with about three minutes left in the round, Poirier landed some massive shots. Hooker shot in for a takedown, but he shot right into a guillotine choke. The choke was incredibly tight, but Hooker fought out of it. Hooker stayed on top, but with a minute left, the two men ended up back on their feet. Once they were, Poirier landed a few massive shots, but Hooker just ate them. The round ended with both men exchanging.

The pace slowed significantly entering the fourth round. Both men plotted around the cage for the first minute. After Poirier landed a couple of solid straight shots, Hooker was able to get a brief takedown. Poirier got back up to his feet, but Hooker shot immediately for another takedown. However, Poirier was the one who was able to get a takedown. Once on the ground, Poirier landed some big shots then came close to securing an armbar. With 30 seconds left, Poirier tried to get another guillotine, but couldn’t lock it up. Incredible fight that I had 2-2 going into the fifth round.

Both men looked incredibly exhausted as the fifth round started. Both men started flat footed just plotting forward. Poirier was landing some clean shots throughout the first half of the round. With about three minutes left, Poirier landed some big shots. However, Hooker was able to shoot in and secure a takedown. Poirier did get back up to his feet shortly after. Poirier landed some clean shots and Hooker continued to look for the takedown. With about thirty seconds left, Poirier was able to transition a choke attempt into a takedown. Poirier spent the rest of the round in top position. An instant classic that I gave to Poirier 48-47. In the end the judges agreed giving the fight to Poirier (48-47, 48-47, 48-46). Poirier looks primed for another shot at the UFC lightweight title.

Mike Perry dominates Mickey Gall

The co-main event of the evening was contested between Mike Perry (13-6) and Mickey Gall (6-2). This fight was one of the more anticipated matchups on the card not just because of the fight, but because of the fact that the only person in Perry’s corner was his girlfriend.

When the fight started, Perry immediately came forward with big shots. Gall did a pretty good job early of staying on his bicycle, but Perry was just walking him down. However, about halfway through the first, Gall landed some big shots which changed the momentum. Gall did a really good job of landing some straight shots while Perry was looping with hooks. Late in the round, Perry landed a massive takedown, and he controlled the rest of the round from the top position.

As the second round started, Gall looked to continue landing some good shots from the outside. After landing a couple of good shots, Gall shot in for a takedown, but Perry was able to use his strength to fight it off. Perry was then able to land a takedown of his own. Gall was able to use a kimura attempt to get back to his feet. Once the two men got back to their feet, Gall tried again for a takedown, but he wasn’t able to land it. With about 20 seconds left in the round, Perry was able to land a massive right hand which put Gall down. The round ended with Perry landing a massive elbow from the top.

In the third round, Perry started by throwing some bigger combinations. Gall was still moving good, but Perry seemed to sense Gall slowing down. Perry landed some nice jabs throughout the first half of the final round. Gall was visibly tired in the third round often backing away from exchanges with deep breaths. With about two minutes left in the round, Perry was able to get another takedown. With a minute left, Perry was able to get to the mount position. Perry landed some nasty elbows. After a scramble, Gall had a triangle choke locked in, but didn’t have the strength to finish it. I gave Perry all three rounds in what was a dominant performance. The judges gave Perry the unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

Greene submits Villante after being dropped in the 3rd

One of the more interesting fights of the main card featured heavyweights Gian Villante (17-12) and Maurice Greene (9-4). Villante was making his UFC heavyweight debut after spending years in the light heavyweight division. Early on in the first round, Greene was fully using is 80-inch reach. Greene was also landing some nice kicks as Villante was trying to gauge the range. Villante was able to land some decent leg kicks, but struggled to get much going in the first. Greene was able to land at a much higher rate throughout the round. However, Villante did land a nasty body kick near the end of the first which looked to hurt Greene.

In the second round, Greene continued to be more aggressive in the standup. Greene came out throwing combination after combination while Villante seemed to be looking for one big shot. There was no question that Villante was throwing with more power, but Greene had such a higher output in the first half of the second round. Villante did do a good job of landing some solid shots in the second. While Greene had the higher output, the judges might give the second to Villante due to the pop that was on the shots that he landed.

Villante came right out and landed two massive right hands to begin the round. Right when Villante was starting to get some momentum, he caught an accidental eye poke which paused the action. When they resumed the fight, Greene missed a superman punch, and Villante countered with a massive left that floored Greene. Villante followed-up with some vicious elbows. Greene did a good job of catching Villante’s wrist and defending which held off Villante from finishing the fight. Out of nowhere from his back, Greene was able to lock up a head and arm choke. The choke didn’t look tight, but Villante tapped giving Greene the impressive and odd submission victory.

Allen edges Daukaus in entertaining scrap

The third fight of the main card featured middleweights Brendan Allen (15-3) and Kyle Daukaus (9-1). Allen was supposed to take on Ian Heinisch, but due to an injury, Daukaus was able to get the opportunity in his UFC debut. Right out of the gate Daukaus landed a massive body kick and left hook. Daukaus then tried to shoot in for a takedown, but Allen was able to keep it standing. Shortly after, Allen landed a massive knee that floored Daukaus. After having Daukaus’ back for about a minute, Allen was reversed. Daukaus took Allen’s back, and then Allen was able to reverse the position again. Once back on top, Allen landed a massive elbow that cut Daukaus as the round ended.

In the second round, Daukaus was actually getting the better of the stand up landing some really clean shots. Daukaus shot in for a takedown, but Allen was able to use a guillotine choke to reverse the position to get back on top. Both men were showing excellent grappling throughout the fight. Halfway through the second round, Daukaus reversed the position again to get back on top of Allen. However, Allen was able to reverse the position again with about a minute left in the round, and he held the top position the rest of the round.

In the third round, Daukaus came out again looking sharp on his feet. After landing a couple of shots, Daukaus was able to land a takedown. Daukaus was able to land some solid elbows before getting to Allen’s back. After having back control for most of the final round, Daukaus lost the position late, and Allen was able to get off some solid shots. Despite those, the last round was a clear round for Daukaus and I scored the fight 29-28 for Brendan Allen. The judges were unanimous in giving the decision to Allen (29-28, 29-27, 30-27).

Takashi Sato stops Jason Witt in the 1st round

The second fight of the main card featured two talented welterweights as Takashi Sato (16-3) took on UFC newcomer, Jason Witt (17-6). Early on in the first round, Witt took the center of the octagon. However, Sato landed a massive 1-2 which floored the UFC newcomer. Witt tried to shoot in for a takedown as Sato rushed him, but Sato landed a few more clean shots which ended the fight. A big bounce back win for Sato after losing his last fight to Belal Muhammad.

Erosa gets dropped then submits Woodson in the 3rd

The opening fight of the UFC on ESPN 12 main card was a catchweight contest between the undefeated Sean Woodson (7-1) and Julian Erosa (23-8). Erosa came into the fight with his back against the wall losing his last three fights, while Woodson was looking to remain unbeaten. When the first round started, Woodson immediately took the center of the octagon. Woodson has an astonishing 78 inch reach advantage which was giving Erosa a lot of problems in the first round. Erosa was able to land some solid leg kicks, but the first round belonged to Woodson who was constantly touching Erosa with some solid straight shots.

To start the second round, Erosa tried to put more pressure on Woodson to neutralize the range. Erosa even shot in for a takedown. Erosa continued throughout the round trying to add a ton of pressure on Woodson. However, Woodson did a really good shot at continuing to land straight shots. Woodson doesn’t hit with a lot of pop, but he is consistent with his contact. Erosa’s pressure along with some timely clean shots made the round extremely competitive. Woodson landed his shots, but the round really could have gone to either man.

In the third round, Erosa continued to pressure Woodson. However, when rushing forward, Erosa was clipped with a massive left hook from Woodson which floored him. Erosa immediately got to his feet, and went back to pressuring Woodson. Despite the pressure, Woodson did a really good job of landing straights and check hooks. Halfway through the round, Erosa was able to secure a takedown. Woodson worked his way up to his feet, but got caught in a D’Arce choke. Erosa was able to lock it up and finish the fight. An incredible performance for Erosa who was the biggest underdog on the card this evening.

Final Takeaways from UFC on ESPN 12

The main event was one of the best fights that I have ever seen. Both men exchanged massive shots throughout, but neither man hit the canvas. Dustin Poirier looks like he’s ready for another shot at the title. I think a fight with Conor McGregor would be perfect, but we will see what the UFC decides to do. From here, we go onto Fight Island for an insane month of July.

UFC on ESPN 12 Preview: Dustin Poirier & Dan Hooker battle for a potential lightweight title shot

Dustin Poirier, UFC

UFC on ESPN 12 is the last event that we will see on US soil until August. The UFC is leaving the US on a high night with a main event that features two lightweight contenders battling it out for a potential title shot. Former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier (25-6, 1 NC), will be taking on Dan Hooker (20-8). The card is really solid this weekend, and fight fans should be getting excited. With that, let’s dive into the main card and breakdown this Saturday’s action.

Dustin Poirier vs Dan Hooker

In the main event of the evening, you have one of the more anticipated matchups of the summer. Dustin Poirier is returning for the first time since he lost to the champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, back at UFC 242. Prior to the loss, nobody in the UFC was hotter than Poirier. Taking out the no contest against Eddie Alvarez, Poirier had won five fights in a row including wins over Max Holloway, Alvarez, and Justin Gaethje. Poirier proved that he was definitely one of the best fighters in the world. Poirier has all the makings of a champion, but he ran into a Russian Bear last September. Poirier is looking to get back into the win column Saturday night, but he’s got another tall order on his hands.

Dan Hooker has completely turned his career around since moving to lightweight. After a 3-3 start to his UFC career, Hooker is 7-1 since moving to 155 pounds. Hooker has wins over guys like Paul Felder, Al Iaquinta, and Gilbert Burns. Hooker is looking to use this fight to springboard himself into lightweight contention. If he’s able to defeat Dustin Poirier, there is no denying Hooker any longer.

When it comes to the fight, I see this fight taking place on the feet. Both guys are going to look to trade. Early on, I really like Hooker to establish his jab and range. I think you’re going to see Hooker have some early success in this fight. However, one thing that concerns me is Hooker’s ability to get hit. Dustin Poirier is a better and faster striker than Paul Felder. Poirier also has more power in his hands than Felder. Felder was able to land some bombs on Hooker in their razor close fight. While I think Hooker will have his moments, I think Poirier is going to be too much for him. I think in the middle rounds, Poirier is going to land something big, and I think Poirier is going to get the finish in this one.

Prediction: Dustin Poirier by TKO – Round 4

Mike Perry vs Mickey Gall

The co-main event of the evening features a welterweight contest between “Platinum” Mike Perry (13-6) and Mickey Gall (6-2). There are not a lot of tougher guys in the UFC than Mike Perry. He’s truly a unique guy with a pretty good all around skillset. Perry has good wrestling, and he has really good power on his feet. Yes he’s lost three of his last four, but they are to some top notch guys like Cowboy Cerrone and Geoff Neal. Perry is making headlines in this fight because the only corner member he will have on Saturday night will be his girlfriend. He is out to prove that he doesn’t need any coaches to fight and look good doing it.

Mickey Gall is a very interesting story. He became famous after calling out and defeating CM Punk in the UFC. After beating CM Punk, Gall was able to defeat Sage Northcutt. It seemed like Gall was on the rise. However, Gall has since gone 2-2, and even in the wins, he hasn’t looked impressive. His lst fight against Salim Touahri was troubling. Gall didn’t look fluid on his feet, and his cardio was not there. In the fight before, Gall was completed dominated by an old Diego Sanchez. This is a really tough matchup for Mickey Gall, and I’m having a hard time seeing how he wins this fight. Even with no one besides his girlfriend in his corner, I think Perry runs away with this one.

Prediction: Mike Perry by TKO – Round 2

Brendan Allen vs Kyle Daukaus

The next fight of the main card is a middleweight contest between Brendan Allen (14-3) and UFC newcomer, Kyle Daukaus (9-0). Allen comes into this fight as one of the more talked about prospects in the UFC’s middleweight division. He’s come right out of the gate with two strong wins in the UFC with neither going to the scorecards. Allen has good striking, good wrestling, and very good decisions. He’s very strong for this weight class, and there are not a ton of weaknesses in his game. It’s a very tough draw for Daukaus who is going to be making his UFC debut.

Originally, Ian Heinisch was supposed to be fighting Brendan Allen in a battle of top fifteen middleweights. However, injury pulled Heinisch off the cards which gave Daukaus the golden opportunity. Daukaus has fought on the Contender Series, but this fight will be his UFC debut. His Contender fight is still the only fight that has gone the distance in his professional career. Daukaus has nine submissions wins, and he’s extremely slick on the ground. If the fight ends up on the ground, he’s got a great chance at pulling the upset. The problem for Daukaus is he’s not as good of a striker or wrestler as Allen. He’s also not as strong as Allen. It’s going to be very difficult for Daukaus to get this fight on the ground. As a result, I think Allen is going to cruise to victory, and look to get that fight with Heinisch rescheduled.

Prediction: Brendan Allen by TKO – Round 3

Gian Villante vs Maurice Greene

In the second fight on the main card we have Gian Villante (17-11) moving up to heavyweight to take on Maurice Greene (8-4). Villante is one of the more seasoned guys on the UFC roster. Villante has been in the UFC for over seven years. He’s had highlights such as his knockout win over Corey Anderson, but he’s also had some low moments like getting knocked out by Michal Oleksiejczuk in the first round. Villante is a sprawl and brawl kind of fighter. He wants to stand and trade with anyone standing across from him. His striking skills are not bad, but they are also not elite in any way.

After winning his first three UFC fights, Maurce Greene has lost his last two fights. He was stopped in one fight and submitted in the other. Greene has a decent overall game, and he trains with one of the best gyms in the world, Jackson’s MMA, alongside Jon Jones. Greene has the big size advantage in this fight, and I think fighting off his jab is going to be key. Greene has shown at times that he does possess a very solid jab. Both of these men don’t have the best gas tanks in the world. As of today, I’m leaning towards this fight going the distance. I think Villante is going to have his moments, but I think ultimately Maurice Greene is going to score more leading to a victory.

Prediction: Maurice Greene by Unanimous Decision

Sean Woodson vs Julian Erosa

The main card on ESPN kicks off with a catchweight contest between Sean Woodson (7-0) and Julian Erosa (22-8). Woodson is one of the more interesting fighters in the UFC’s lower weight classes. While he fights at featherweight, Woodson stands an astonishing 6’3. There has been a lot said about how brutal the weight cut is for him. However, the size advantage comes into play nicely for him at 145 pounds. Woodson is a pretty good kick-boxer who likes to strike from range. It’s hard for anyone in the UFC’s featherweight division to get near him when he’s sporting a 78 inch range.

Julian Erosa is in his second stent in the UFC. Erosa is a guy who likes to use his striking, and he’s pretty aggressive in the octagon. Erosa got his second opportunity in the UFC after he knocked out Jamall Emmers on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. After getting back into the UFC, Erosa is 0-3 getting stopped twice. While Erosa fights at a high pace, I think he’s going to have a ton of trouble overcoming the four inch reach disadvantage. Woodson is not a finisher, and I don’t think a finish is coming in this fight, but I think Woodson’s ability to strike from range is going to be the deciding factor in this one.

Prediction: Sean Woodson by Unanimous Decision

UFC on ESPN 12 Outlook

I’m really excited about this weekend’s card. I’m very interested in the main event, but there are fights throughout the evening I’m excited about. I’m very anxious to watch Jinh Yu Frey and Kay Hansen fight it out. That is a fight that I would prefer to see on the main card over a couple of those fights. Ultimately folks are going to tune in for the Poirier/Hooker fight, and I don’t blame them. It should be a good fight, and one that you won’t want to turn away from.

UFC: Ian Heinisch out; Kyle Daukaus to fight Brendan Allen at UFC on ESPN 12

The UFC‘s June 27th card has seen it’s first fighter fall. UFC middleweight, Ian Heinisch (14-3), was scheduled to fight Brendan Allen (14-3), but an injury has forced Heinisch off the card. Heinisch just competed back at UFC 250 on June 6th, but he wanted a quick turn around. With Heinisch out, the UFC turned to a veteran of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series to be the replacement.

UFC dream realized for Daukaus

Brendan Allen will be staying on the card, and he will be fighting Kyle Daukaus (9-0), who will be making his official debut in the UFC. Daukaus is a wizard on the ground, winning eight of his nine fights by submission. Daukaus was the Cage Fury Fighting Championships middleweight champion, and he will get to step right into a UFC main card. This fight is incredibly facinating on paper due to the fact that both men carry eight submissions wins into the Octagon on June 27th.

For Allen, it’s a big change in styles. Heinisch is the kind of guy who is going to go right after you on the feet, where as Daukaus is the kind of guy who wants the fight to be on the ground immediately. Allen was going to have a very short camp to prepare for Heinisch, and now he has an even shorter camp to prepare for Daukaus at UFC on ESPN 12. There are not a lot of highlights of Daukaus out there, but if you want to learn more about him, check out the video below done by Cage Fury detailing Daukaus and his brother, Christopher.