Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland UFC Fight Night Odds, Pick & Prediction: Take the Favorite as Parlay Piece
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Marvin Vettori
- Top-10 Middleweights Marvin Vettori and Kevin Holland will square off in the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night card on ABC.
- Vettori (-335 odds) is riding a four-fight win streak, while Holland is looking to get back in the win column after ripping off five straight wins in 2020.
- Sean Zerillo previews today's headliner below, including his bet in the matchup.
Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland Odds
A few weeks ago, I recommended Derek Brunson as a value bet against Kevin Holland before Holland’s first headlining opportunity with the promotion. “Big Mouth” couldn’t have looked worse – spending 68% of the fight (16:55) in Brunson’s control while allowing six takedowns on 12 attempts.
Holland’s takedown defense – or lack thereof – was and remained a known deficiency – yet he still closed as a -240 favorite (implied 70.5%) against one of the better wrestlers in the middleweight division.
He looked overwhelmed and disinterested throughout the fight – trying to trash talk while absorbing elbows to the face while mostly ignoring his corner to chat with Khabib Nurmagomedov in between rounds. It was a wildly strange and borderline uncomfortable experience.
After taking this fight on short notice – replacing Darren Till – Holland opened as a +188 underdog (implied 34.7%) and has since climbed to as high as +300 (implied 25%) in betting markets.
Is this adjustment an overcorrection related to his most recent performance, or is Holland now being valued properly and in line for even more punishment at Marvin Vettori’s hands – who recently set the UFC record for significant strikes landed (164) in a middleweight bout?
Below I preview the matchup and odds for Saturday’s fight. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections and our best bets for the entire slate.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||13:45||11″32|
|Weight (pounds)||186 lbs.||183.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||9/20/93||11/5/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||4.78||4.14|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.19||2.58|
|Take Down Avg||1.33||1.08|
While Vettori isn’t as technical of a wrestler as Brunson, he has shown both the physical abilities and ring IQ to use his grappling to dictate where his fights take place.
In his barnburner with Jack Hermansson, Vettori used his wrestling defensively – denying five of the seven takedown attempts from “The Joker” – because he had an edge on the feet (156-118 in distance strikes landed, 49% to 35% in strike accuracy).
In his prior fight against kickboxer Karl Roberson, Vettori secured two early takedowns, took his opponent’s back, and won via rear-naked choke inside five minutes. The Italian stayed out of danger – the two fighters landed a combined six distance strikes in that round – and took the path of least resistance.
The most impressive thing about Vettori’s effort against Hermansson was his ability to sustain pressure for nearly a full 25 minutes; he looked like a championship fighter. Vettori was starting to fade in the third round (lost 29-23 on strikes) but found a second wind and picked up his pace in the championship rounds; landing more than 50 significant strikes in each round and 106 total over the final ten minutes of the fight – nearly double his opponent’s output (62). He passed his first main event test with aplomb.
Holland is an incredibly long and accurate striker who can keep pace with Vettori for at least 10 minutes. Still, he has consistently faded in the third round of his fights – particularly when his opponents employ a grapple-heavy gameplan.
Vettori will need to manage around some size deficiencies in height (-3 inches) and reach (-7 inches) and avoid big exchanges with Holland early in the fight. I trust him to use his wrestling offensively to secure takedowns, win minutes, and exhaust his opponent.
“The Italian Dream” is also much more potent with his top game than a fighter like Brunson – who is known to gas out himself and relies upon controlling his opponents. Vettori will aggressively hunt for a finish – either with his jiu-jitsu or ground and pound offense – but Holland has looked incredibly durable to this point in his career.
In the same token, Vettori has also been incredibly durable, limiting Holland’s path to victory here; it’s hard to see the underdog having enough energy to win more than two rounds on pure striking volume.
Vettori vs. Holland Pick
I set Vettori as a 79% favorite for this fight, and I would be OK playing his moneyline up to -315 (implied 76%) at a three percent edge – but at that price, I would prefer to use him as a parlay piece with Mateusz Gamrot.
The only other way I see potential value in playing this fight is Vettori’s decision prop (listed +175, implied 36.4%), which I projected closer to +152 (implied 39.7%). Still, in a five-round fight, there’s not enough of an edge there for me to pull the trigger.
If he continues his winning ways, I’m expecting Vettori to get a second crack at Israel Adesanya within the year – and I think he’s going to avenge his split decision loss from 2018 and capture UFC gold as a sizable underdog.
A statement win against Holland – particularly a quick finish – could garner an immediate title shot.
The Pick: Use Marvin Vettori’s Moneyline as a Parlay Piece (up to -350)
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