In the main event of UFC Vegas 23, we saw a fun matchup in the welterweight division. The Italian Dream Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) was looking to continue his winning streak against the entertaining, Kevin Holland (21-6).
Kevin Holland had about as good of a 2020 as you could have. Holland was a perfect 5-0 and he capped the year by knocking out Jacare Souza at UFC 256 in December. Winning that vaulted him into his first UFC main event.
Standing on the opposite side of him was Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22. Brunson used his wrestling and pretty much dominated Holland. Holland thought about dropping to welterweight, but a main event slot opened up against Marvin Vettori, he jumped back in.
Marvin Vettori was originally supposed to fight Darren Till at UFC Vegas 23. However, Till broke his collarbone and had to pull out of the fight. Vettori didn’t care who the opponent was, he just wanted to compete.
The last time we saw Marvin Vettori was in December in a headliner against Jack Hermansson. Vettori dominated the fight and earned the biggest win of his UFC career. A win today would put him right in the conversation for a title eliminator.
UFC Vegas 23 Recap
There was no touch of the gloves to start the UFC Vegas 23 main event. Holland gets the striking started with a couple of leg kicks. Holland is very active with the kicks to start and one lands low. A very colorful response from Marvin Vettori after the low kick.
The two resume and Holland goes right back to work with his kicks. Vettori is moving forward, but the speed of Holland was impressive early. A clean right counter lands for Kevin Holland which forces Vettori to clinch.
Vettori continues to press forward after they separate. Again, Vettori goes back to the clinch and a body lock. Vettori tries hard for a takedown, but Holland was defending well. Vettori then switches levels, but he couldn’t get the takedown.
Holland started talking to Vettori and the separate. A few combinations from both men and Vettori once again goes back to the clinch. Vettori gets a body lock and uses a trip to finally land the takedown.
One minute left in the round and Vettori starts working his ground strikes. Holland uses a beautiful reversal to get top position and get back to his feet. Vettori goes right back to the pressure and the round closes. Close round, but I think it’s 1-0 Vettori at UFC Vegas 23.
The second round at UFC Vegas 23 started with more pressure from The Italian Dream. A nice straight left lands for Vettori to start the striking. However, a nice combination and a big straight right hand lands for Kevin Holland.
Immediately, Vettori went right back to the wrestling. Vettori got deep on a double and landed the takedown. Holland kept looking for opportunities to escape, but Vettori was heavy on the pressure. Vettori lands a couple of clean ground strikes.
Holland throws his legs up against the fence looking for a submission, but Vettori stacked him and landed some good shots. Vettori settled back into Kevin Holland’s guard and went back to his ground and pound.
Holland again tried to use the fence, but he couldn’t do anything with it. Vettori lands some big shots on the ground, but Holland is able to get up after a brief scramble. However, Vettori immediately dragged him right back down. The round closes and it was a dominant one. 2-0 Vettori at UFC Vegas 23.
Entering the third round at UFC Vegas 23 and Kevin Holland needs to keep this fight standing. Holland’s eye was closing as the round starts and Vettori right after the takedown as soon as the round started.
Vettori landed the takedown and immediately started to work his ground shots. Holland looked tired and Vettori immediately advances to the mount. Vettori gets an arm triangle and he’s going for the finish.
However, Holland remained composed and Vettori let it go. Holland then uses a scramble to get back up. A big straight hand lands for Marvin Vettori and he immediately chains it into a takedown.
Holland defended well and the fight stayed standing along the fence. The two separate with a minute left. Both men look very tired and Vettori goes right back to the body lock. Holland separates and lands some good shots before the bell. Still, a dominant round for Vettori. 3-0 Vettori after three at UFC Vegas 23.
Entering the fourth round at UFC Vegas 23 and Marvin Vettori is looking a little tired. However, it doesn’t stop him from coming forward with a big 1-2. Holland throws some big shots back and lands on Vettori.
A wild exchange forces Vettori to shoot for a takedown and he gets it. Holland tries to force a scramble, but Vettori just stacked him and went right back into the guard.
Vettori takes Holland’s back as Holland tried to scramble. However, Holland was able to get back up. Vettori went right back in for a takedown and lands one. Vettori immediately landed in the mount and looked for the arm triangle choke again.
However, Holland defended well and got Vettori back to half guard. Holland was staying active on his back, but he couldn’t get Marvin Vettori off of him. The round comes to a close and it’s another dominant round for Marvin Vettori. 4-0 Vettori entering the final round at UFC Vegas 23.
Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 23 and Kevin Holland needs a miracle to win this one. Vettori definitely looks more fatigued entering the final round. Holland lands a couple of clean shots to open the striking and Vettori is hurt.
However, Vettori shoots for a desperation takedown and he lands it. Holland uses the fence to briefly stand back up, but Vettori immediately drags him right back down.
Kevin Holland just has no answer for the takedowns of Marvin Vettori. This was the same thing we saw a couple of weeks ago against Derek Brunson. Vettori starts passing the guard of Holland with two minutes left in the round.
Vettori gets the mount on Kevin Holland. However, Holland uses an explosion to get back up. Marvin Vettori goes right back in for a takedown and he gets it. With that, he just set a UFC middleweight record with his eleventh takedown.
Holland tries one more time to get to his feet, but he couldn’t get any separation. The final bell sounds and it’s going to be a lopsided decision for The Italian Dream in this one.
Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland by Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)