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We have ourselves a bad blood matchup at a Catchweight of 180 pounds, as Khamzat Chimaev takes on Kevin Holland. Originally slated to fight Nate Diaz in the main event, Chimaev badly missed weight – subsequently causing chaos and the top three fights to shuffle. Undoubtedly in hot water, the undefeated Chimaev still has an opportunity to build himself up with an impressive victory. Meanwhile, Holland went from a matchup against a striker in Daniel Rodriguez to one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC. A huge opportunity no less, as Holland could instantly catapult himself into a contender with an upset victory over Chimaev.
The fact that this fight is five rounds and with Dana White confirming that Chimaev stopped cutting weight due to cramping, it will be interesting to see how this fight will unfold should it go deep. However, I’m not certain it will make past three rounds, as this fight is stylistically a nightmare for Holland. Known to lack wrestling and having moved down to the Welterweight division to combat fighting heavier opponents, the fact that this fight is at 180 pounds and is against a feared wrestler brings back memories of when Holland was dominated by Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. Chimaev, being so well rounded, likely will waste no time in rag-dolling Holland to the ground. From there, his relentless ground-and-pound will wear on Holland and eventually force the referee to intervene due to the amount of unanswered strikes. While Chimaev isn’t in good favor with anyone, a dominant performance like he’s capable of in this matchup, could get him back some brownie points. With that said, I predict Chimaev wins via TKO.