UFC Orlando Fight Breakdown: Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Orlando, a five-round welterweight bout between Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland. The event takes place on Saturday, December 3 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

Kevin Holland (-140)

Holland (23-8, 1 NC) is a fan favorite who has bounced around welterweight and middleweight in the UFC. Although he is unranked, he actually enters this fight as the betting favorite over a top-10 ranked fighter, which shows you the respect the oddsmakers and betting public are giving him. Just 30, Holland is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. He is 10-5, 1 NC overall in the UFC with seven of those wins coming by way of stoppage. He is someone who can knock his opponents out on the feet, but he can also submit them on the ground. His takedown defense and overall wrestling is his biggest problem, though it shouldn’t be as pronounced of a disadvantage down at 170lbs.

Stephen Thompson (+120)

Thompson (16-6-1) is the No. 6 ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 39-year-old American is 11-6-1 overall in the UFC with five of those wins coming by way of knockout. He is one of the most talented strikers in the UFC welterweight division and it has been his striking skills that have kept him in the top 10 for many years now. His grappling ability is his biggest disadvantage as he’s been getting taken down more often in recent contests. However, he has never actually been submitted. Overall Thompson is still one of the better welterweights in the UFC, but he could be entering his decline.

Fight Breakdown: This should be a fascinating fight between two of the best welterweights on the planet. Holland enters this fight coming off of a quick submission loss to Khamzat Chimaev, but that was a completely different matchup against a dominant grappler. Against Thompson, Holland won’t have to deal with wrestling. In fact, Holland will likely be the fighter who initiates the grappling in this contest. On the feet, Thompson is the better technical striker to be sure, but Holland has big power and his striking is very unorthodox at times. Overall, it should be a competitive fight while it lasts, but given that Thompson is now 39 compared to just 30 for Holland, I have to go with the younger fighter who is more in their prime. Give me Holland to get his hand raised in this fight, and I think he can join Anthony Pettis on the list of the only fighters to ever finish “Wonderboy.” I would lean towards Holland getting a knockout win, but a submission can’t be discounted either.

Prediction: Kevin Holland wins inside the distance

Written by Adam Martin.


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