Updated UFC 272 Odds, Pick, Prediction for Kevin Holland vs. Alex Oliveira (Saturday, March 5)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Kevin Holland.
- Kevin Holland is favored in his UFC welterweight debut at UFC 272 against Alex Oliveira.
- After going three fights without a win at 185 pounds, Holland will make his first appearance at 170 since 2017.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the matchup and makes his betting picks below.
Kevin Holland vs. Alex Oliveira Odds
Two entertaining lightweights face off at UFC 272 when Kevin Holland faces Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira.
Holland made waves in 2020 by winning fives times in eight months at middleweight, but he is winless in his last three fights (two losses and a no contest), with his lack of wrestling being exposed. That has led to him trying out 170 pounds for the first time in this fight.
Oliveira is is a seven-year UFC veteran, but he has lost three straight and six of his last eight fights.
Below I preview the matchup and odds for tonight’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.
Tale of the Tape
|Record||21-7 (1 NC)||22-11-1 (2 NC)|
|Avg. Fight Time||11:56||9:45|
|Weight (pounds)||170 lbs.||170 lbs.|
|Date of birth||11/5/92||2/21/88|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.67||2.97|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.34||2.38|
|Take Down Avg||0.90||2.27|
Holland is making his UFC welterweight debut, and his first appearance at 170 pounds since a 2017 loss in LFA. He’s hoping to bounce back from a rough stretch against top middleweight talent after beating up on the bottom of the division with a five-fight winning streak in 2020.
Holland’s size (6-foot-3, 81-inch reach) will be a problem for a lot of welterweights, including Oliveira (5-foot-11, 76-inch reach). Holland is a proven high-volume, accurate (54%) and efficient striker on the feet, making use out of his length with straight punches.
Takedown defense (career 50%) has been the issue limiting Holland’s ceiling thus far. Still, his defensive wrestling looked improved against Kyle Daukaus (denied four of five attempts) before their heads clashed, which led to a finishing sequence that ended in a no contest.
Holland should have an easier time getting back to his feet against welterweights than he did with top-five middleweights like Marvin Vettori (11 takedowns, 20:11 control time) and Derek Brunson (six takedowns, 16:55 control time). They seemingly humbled Holland in their respective main-event victories.
Holland is a solid defensive jiu-jitsu player, but he hasn’t shown enough urgency off of his back at times. That said, I’m not sure if “Cowboy” Oliveira can take him down (37% accuracy, 2.27 per 15 minutes) or even keep him down at length without tiring himself out.
Oliveira prefers to get his takedowns from clinch positions, which doesn’t work as well against taller fighters. Even if he does get taken down early, Holland will be able to stay safe on the bottom and escape, or at least ride out the first round.
Oliveira has had some surprising performances mixed in of late (landed 39 strikes in Round 3 against Niko Price last October). More often than not, however, he has shown about seven to 10 minutes of sustainability in his fights. Then, when Oliveira starts getting the worst of it, he tends to look for a way out, often giving up his neck instead of taking damage.
Holland vs. Oliveira Picks
While I show Holland’s moneyline as a potential parlay piece (projected -409), I would prefer to bet the fight to end inside the distance (projected -204, listed -175) or Holland to win inside the distance (projected -127, listed as low as -115).
I’ll play the latter so that a knockout at least covers my preferred bet, which is Holland to win by submission (+850, projected +522), given Oliveira’s preferred method for unsubscribing from his matchups. It’s not a significant individual play, but I’ll use it as a parlay stuffer for round-robin wagering.
And if he happens to drop the first round by laying on his back, Holland live after Round 1 at a discount as a solid investment.
- Kevin Holland wins Inside the Distance (-115, 0.25u)
- Kevin Holland wins by Submission (+850, 0.2u)
- Kevin Holland live after Round 1