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There’s a blueprint for defeating Kevin
Holland
, and Marvin
Vettori
followed it perfectly on Saturday afternoon.

The Italian middleweight took Holland down repeatedly, remained
heavy on top and battered his opponent with ground-and-pound en
route to a unanimous decision triumph in the
UFC on ABC 2
headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. All three
cageside judges saw the fight 50-44 in favor of Vettori (16-4-1,
7-2-1 UFC), who has won five straight fights at 185 pounds. Holland
(21-7, 8-4 UFC) was a short-notice replacement for Darren Till,
who withdrew from the event with a broken collarbone.

“I’m not too happy with what I did,” Vettori said. “I wanted to
finish this guy and I was not able to. But it was a dominant win
and I keep improving. I’m not the happiest right now, but I keep
winning and I keep progressing.”

Holland, who gave a lackluster performance in a five-round decision
loss to Brunson at UFC on ESPN 21 on March 20, offered more
resistance this time around against a wrestling-minded adversary.
However, Vettori was still able to expose the holes in Holland’s
takedown defense.

After an opening stanza in which Holland appeared to get the better
of Vettori with rangy striking, “The Italian Dream” grounded his
opponent within the first 45 seconds of Round 2. From above,
Vettori did solid work with ground-and-pound, including landing an
elbow that nearly swelled Holland’s left eye shut.

It was essentially rinse-and-repeat from that point on. Vettori
appeared to be on the verge of finishing the contest in Round 3
with an arm-triangle choke, but when that didn’t pan out, he was
generally content to drag his foe to the mat, control positioning
and land periodic punches from above the rest of the way. Holland
was more aggressive from his back than he was against Brunson, but
that didn’t prevent Vettori from setting a UFC middleweight record
with 11 takedowns.

Allen Holds Off Yusuff, Wins 8th Straight UFC Bout

Two key lapses wound up costing Sodiq
Yusuff
dearly against Arnold
Allen
.

In a closely-contested bout, Allen (17-1, 8-0 UFC) authored the
fight’s most significant moments, which allowed him to defeat
Yusuff (11-2, 4-1 UFC) via unanimous decision in the evening’s
featherweight co-main event. All three judges scored the fight
29-28 for the Englishman, who has won eight consecutive fights in
UFC competition and 10 in a row overall.

Yusuff tried to pressure Allen early, but the
Tristar Gym
representative gave his opponent pause by landing
several solid counter left hands. One of those punches dropped
Yusuff in the opening stanza, but the Lloyd Irvin
protégé was able to regain his senses in relatively short
order.

Allen’s other signature moment came in Round 2, when he staggered
Yusuff with a head kick. To his credit, Yusuff once against
survived until the horn by forcing a tie-up with Arnold. The action
slowed significantly in the final five minutes, as Allen adopted a
conservative approach and the combatants clinched repeatedly. By
then, the damage had already been done.

“I wanted a finish. I’ve had a lot of decisions in the UFC,” Allen
said. “Sodiq’s as tough as they come. All respect to him.”


Marquez Puts Alvey to Sleep

Julian
Marquez
went toe-to-toe with Sam Alvey, but
it was his grappling that ultimately made the difference.

Marquez (9-2, 3-1 UFC) scored his second consecutive submission
victory in UFC competition, as he rendered Alvey (33-14-1, 1 NC,
10-10-1 UFC) unconscious with a modified rear-naked choke in a
featured middleweight tilt. Alvey, 34, is winless in his last six
promotional appearances.

Marquez flashed some power in Round 1, when he bloodied Alvey’s
nose and dropped him to a knee with a right hand. The former

Maximum Fighting Championship
title holder survived until the
horn, however, and the action intensified in the second frame. Both
men continued to throw with reckless abandon, but it was Marquez
who rocked his foe with a right hook during an exchange. “The Cuban
Missile Crisis” proceeded to blitz Alvey with heavy punches against
the fence and then pounded away with hammerfists to the side of the
head when the
Team Quest
product shot out of desperation. That barrage allowed Marquez to lock in a
rear-naked choke as he stood behind Alvey
, who eventually went
out from the squeeze.

Dern Armbars Nunes

Mackenzie
Dern
has the look of a serious contender in the UFC’s
strawweight division.

The former Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Fighting Club gold
medalist put her grappling front and center against the returning
Nina
Nunes
, submitting her foe with an armbar 4:48 into the opening
stanza of their featured 115-pound clash. It was Nunes’ — formerly
Nina Ansaroff — first bout since June 2019.

Dern (11-1, 6-1 UFC) wasted little time punching her way into the
clinch, where she was able to score a single-leg takedown against
her opponent. From there, the Black House product transitioned from
guard to side control to full mount with ease. Then, it was only a matter of time before she was able to
set up the fight-ending maneuver
, and Nunes (10-7, 4-4 UFC)
could only keep her hands locked for so long before Dern was able
to extend the arm and force the tapout.


Rodriguez Batters Slumping Perry

BMF
Ranch
representative Daniel
Rodriguez
picked Mike Perry
apart for three rounds to garner a clear-cut unanimous decision
triumph in a preliminary welterweight encounter. All three judges
saw the fight for Rodriguez: 30-27, 30-27, 30-26.

Perry’s battered and bloodied visage told the tale of the fight.
Rodriguez (14-2, 4-1 UFC) looked extremely comfortable in
exchanges, as he tagged his foe repeatedly with straight punches
and kicks to the legs and body. Perry’s best moment occurred when
he was able to take Rodriguez down at the end of Round 1, but for
the most part “D-Rod” was able to keep the action upright with
sturdy defensive wrestling. By the end of the bout, Perry (14-8,
7-8 UFC) had a cut and swelling near his left eye, and his
already-mangled nose was crooked once again — a product of eating
one too many stiff jabs from Rodriguez.

Perry has lost four of his last five UFC bouts dating back to
August 2019.

Continue Reading »
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