The UFC has a gigantic UFC 260 event coming up on March 27 that will feature two title fights, but before we get to UFC 260, there’s a UFC Fight Night card that will serve as an appetizer. The main event is an appealing middleweight fight between Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson. Holland is 5-0 in 2020 and is a fighter to watch out for in the middleweight division. Holland has jawed with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, most notably in person at the UFC APEX while Adesanya was in attendance for one of his fights, so that could be a fight we eventually see if Holland is able to keep winning.
Below, we preview the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Holland main card and examine some of the UFC betting offerings for the event by DraftKings Sportsbook. The main card gets underway at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
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Notable DraftKings Sportsbook betting odds
- Favorite Kevin Holland (-182) vs. underdog Derek Brunson (+150)
Favorite Gregor Gillespie (-250) vs. underdog Brad Riddell (+200)
- Kevin Holland by KO, TKO or DQ (+110)
- Kevin Holland by Decision (+500)
- Derek Brunson by KO, TKO or DQ (+450)
Gregor Gillespie by KO, TKO or DQ (+350) Gregor Gillespie by Decision (+220) Gregor Gillespie by Submission (+250)
- Kevin Holland: Yes (+100)
- Gregor Gillespie: Yes (+120)
Gregor Gillespie vs. Brad Riddell Gillespie is a highly accomplished wrestler who has elite takedown statistics. Gillespie is averaging a heavy seven takedowns per 15 minutes in his UFC fights, which is extremely high output for takedowns. Gillespie has excellent wrestling credentials to support his takedown stats, winning a national championship in college and being named a Division 1 All-American multiple times. Gillespie is facing Brad Riddell, who has primarily a kickboxing background and probably won’t be able to hang with Gillespie in the grappling portion of the fight. Riddell does not have strong takedown defense by the metrics, stopping 60% of opponent takedown attempts, and Riddell has been taken down as many as eight times in a single fight. Riddell does not have scary power striking stats, recording only one knockdown in 45 minutes of octagon time, and Riddell has not finished any of his three UFC fights, creating less of a risk for Gillespie getting caught with a fight-changing strike coming in. Gillespie should not have much of a problem taking down Riddell and should be in good position to win the fight using his wrestling. Gillespie has displayed quality finishing ability, finishing four of his five UFC wins and hitting the gas when he has his opponent in a vulnerable spot. The Gillespie moneyline (-250) casts a wider net in the event the fight goes to decision, but Gillespie has the ability to finish this fight and taking Gillespie by finish (+120) is a way to get plus odds on DraftKings Sportsbook .
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Gregor Gillespie-Brad Riddell bout has been pulled from tonight’s UFC Fight Night card due to COVID-19 protocols.
Kevin Holland vs. Derek Brunson
Holland’s length really stands out at middleweight. Holland is massively long by the standards of the division, registering an 81-inch reach and standing 6’3”. Holland’s length has contributed to solid striking metrics, as opponents can struggle with his distance strikes due to his size. Holland also has an unorthodox striking style, which further helps his effectiveness. Holland has landed roughly twice the amount of significant strikes he has absorbed, a quality ratio.
Holland has pop in his hands, which was best on display in his most recent fight against “Jacare” Souza. Holland amazingly knocked Jacare out from bottom position, which is not something you see very often.
Holland also has a black belt in BJJ, which makes him very competent in the grappling portion of the fight.
Holland enters his fight with Brunson with a four-inch reach advantage and should be able to take Brunson apart using his size and unorthodox style. Holland has finished 17 of his 21 career wins and has finished four out of his last five UFC fights. Brunson has been knocked out five times in his career, so Holland’s finishing ability could play up in this matchup. The fact that the fight is taking place in the smaller cage at the UFC APEX is also a plus for finishes, as the smaller area can create more collisions. Holland fought four times at the UFC APEX in 2020, finishing three of those four fights. Both the Holland moneyline of -175 and Holland by finish at +100 are considerations on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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