Ahead of UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Holland , we take a look at the odds, and predictions for the main card
After several events at their hub in the Apex Facility in Las Vegas, the UFC returns to action this weekend with a stacked card for Orlando Florida (also called UFC on ESPN 42). for the first time in over four years. Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) returns to action for the first time in a year, looking to put on a quintessential ‘Wonderboy’ performance. His opponent Kevin Holland on the other hand (23-8 1NC, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) hopes to finish his 2022 campaign by putting his forgetful performance at UFC 279 behind him and breaking into the top 10 of the welterweight division.
The co-main event features a heavyweight showdown between No. 4 ranked contender Tai Tuivasa and No. 5 Sergei Pavlovich. Fan favorite, Tuivasa returns to the octagon after a gritty and awe-inspiring performance at UFC Paris against Ciryl Gane.
Tuivasa has scored spectacular knockout victories over Derrick Lewis, Augusto Sakai, and Greg Hardy. He now hopes for a highlight-reel finish to steal the show and halt Pavlovich’s momentum. Pavlovich (16-1, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) plans to extend his winning streak by defeating Tuivasa. He is currently on a four-fight KO streak, with victories over Derrick Lewis and Maurice Greene.
Stephen Thompson vs Kevin Holland
Thompson, who was born in Simpsonville, South Carolina, has never tasted defeat in his professional kickboxing career, with a perfect record of 57-0.
Thompson was scheduled to face Justin Edwards at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012, in place of an injured Mike Stumpf. However, Edwards was forced out due to an injury and was replaced by Dan Stittgen. Thompson won the fight by KO in the first round after landing a flush head kick. Thompson received Knockout of the Night honours for his performance.
Thompson was defeated by Matt Brown via unanimous decision at UFC 145 on April 21, 2012. (30–27, 29–27, and 30–27).
Thompson was scheduled to face Besam Yousef at UFC 154 on November 17, 2012. Thompson was forced out of the fight due to a knee injury and was replaced by Matthew Riddle.
He later faced future UFC middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, at UFC 170 on February 22, 2014. Thompson won the fight via technical knockout in the first round. He also received his first Performance of the Night bonus award as a result of his victory.
He next fought Patrick Côté at UFC 178 on September 27, 2014. Thompson was victorious by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, and 30–27).
Thompson challenged reigning champion, Tyron Woodley, for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 205. The fight ended in a majority draw, with two judges scoring it 47-47 in favour of Woodley and the third 48-47. However, there was some confusion as the result was initially announced as a split decision victory for Woodley, only to be corrected moments later with the announcement of a majority draw, albeit with the same result of Woodley remaining champion. As a result, both fighters received Fight of the Night bonus awards. UFC President Dana White stated that each fighter should expect a rematch in the near future. The rematch with Woodley took place in the main event of UFC 209 on March 4, 2017. Thompson was defeated by a majority decision.
‘Wonderboy’ was last seen in the octagon against Belal Muhammad. He lost the grappling heavy contest by unanimous decision.
His opponent Kevin Holland turned professional in 2015 and has also competed for Bellator MMA, King of the Cage and Legacy Fighting Alliance.
Holland was a contestant on Dana White’s Contender Series 9. On June 12, 2018, he faced Will Santiago and won by unanimous decision. Despite his victory, Holland was not offered a contract on the night of the fight, but he was brought in to face Thiago Santos later. Holland made his UFC debut on August 4, 2018, at UFC 227, against Thiago Santos. He was defeated by unanimous decision. His next fight was against John Phillips on November 24, 2018, at UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou 2. He won the fight by submission in round three due to a rear-naked choke.
At UFC 256 on December 12, 2020, Holland faced Ronaldo Souza in what would end up becoming his breakthrough performance. He won the fight via first-round knockout. With five victories, this fight tied the record for the most UFC wins in a calendar year. This fight earned him the Night’s Performance award.
He was last seen inside the octagon against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. He lost the fight by submission in the very first round.
Odds: Stephen Thompson -110 vs. Kevin Holland -110
Our Prediction- Stephen Thompson is an absolute veteran of the sport. He’s a crafty striker with immaculate vision and read of opponent’s distance, timing and angles. In the striking range, it’s almost impossible to defeat Thompson, which is why his previous opponents have approached the fight against him with a wrestling heavy mindset. Holland is a dynamic striker himself but lacks the footwork and craftiness that Thompson does.
Having said that, Holland packs some serious power in his punches and has the ability to flatline anyone at will. With that in mind, we pick Holland to emerge victorious.
UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Holland Main Card Odds
Bryan Barberena +285 vs. Rafael dos Anjos -345 (welterweight)
Matheus Nicolau -230 vs. Matt Schnell +195 (flyweight)
Sergei Pavlovich -170 vs. Tai Tuivasa +145 (heavyweight)
Derek Brunson +145 vs. Jack Hermansson -170 (middleweight)
Eryk Anders +165 vs. Kyle Daukaus -195 (middleweight)
UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs. Holland Prelim Card Odds
Niko Price -120 vs. Phil Rowe +100 (welterweight)
Emily Ducote -120 vs. Angela Hill +100 (women’s strawweight)
Clay Guida +150 vs. Scott Holtzman -175 (lightweight)
Michael Johnson +195 vs. Marc Diakiese -230 (lightweight)
Darren Elkins +310 vs. Jonathan Pearce -400 (featherweight)
Tracy Cortez +100 vs. Amanda Ribas -120 (women’s flyweight)
Natan Levy -180 vs. Genaro Valdez +155 (lightweight)
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