UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Holland Tips & Preview

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After a successful week of tips last time out, our MMA expert is back with predictions for the upcoming UFC Fight Night card.

Kevin Holland kicks an opponent in the UFC octagon

I finally had a good week with the UFC predictions last week, and plan on keeping the good times going this weekend back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas with UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Holland (aka UFC Vegas 22). Hopefully this card isn’t marred with egregious fouls like last week’s UFC Vegas 21 was and we get some clear winners.

This Saturday we get a middleweight matchup between a surging veteran and a surging up-and-coming prospect. Something has got to give (or someone is going to get poked in the eye and we don’t get any answers like last week’s main event). The on-fire veteran would be 37-year-old Derek Brunson, winner of three-straight and slayer of young prospects. This week’s young prospect served to him would be the 29-year-old Kevin Holland, winner of five straight fights IN 2020 ALONE(!!) and victor in eight of his last nine.

This is a tough fight for me to pick, which is my way for hedging my bets if my recommended pick doesn’t come through. That recommended pick would be Holland, for many of the reasons I always pick fighters – he’s bigger, longer and younger. He’s also an explosive striker and rather unorthodox. While there’s a good path to victory for Brunson to wrestle him down and earn the W, Holland knocked out Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza while on his back being wrestled last match, so that can be dangerous to the man seemingly “in control” and in top position. Holland at 10/19 is my choice here.

Gillespie to Move On From His First Loss

In the co-main event, the previously undefeated Gregor Gillespie returns 16 months after being dished his first loss, which was via a Kevin Lee head kick knockout. Hopefully the time off has allowed Gillespie the time to heal his brain and get himself prepared to start another win streak on Saturday (because, spoiler alert, I’m picking him). His relentlessly strong wrestling approach should bode him well this week against Brad Riddell, who has been taken down multiple times in all three of his UFC appearances thus far (he did find a way to win each of those fights, however). I’m thinking ‘The Gift’ lands multiple takedowns and smothers Riddell to get himself back into the win column and start his climb back up the UFC lightweight rankings. Gillespie at 5/14 it is then.

Underdog Betting Tips

You want some underdogs? Sure you do – who doesn’t like plus money. While this card is mostly chalky, there are a couple of (hopefully) live dogs that I’ve got my eye on. The first would be welterweight Song Kenan, who is currently coming in at 33/20 on the MansionBet board for his fight against Max Griffin. First off, Griffin is only 4-6 in the UFC thus far, so we’re not exactly talking about a top-tier fighter here. And Kenan is on a nice streak, winning his last two (last one via knockout) and four of his last five. He’s also bigger and younger than Griffin. I think that all adds up to a live dog.

I’m also targeting Trevin Giles at even money (1/1) for his middleweight matchup against Roman Dolidze. This may be more due to factors on Dolidze’s side rather than Giles’s. Dolidze is taking this fight on short notice, which normally isn’t conducive to winning (since I started tracking at the start of 2020, late replacement fighters have only won 36% of their fights). Additionally, he is a light heavyweight moving down to middleweight for this fight. Cutting 20 more pounds than normal on short notice doesn’t sound like a winning combination. Let’s take the even money and ride with Giles.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Jeff Fox offers expert insight into the world of MMA & UFC betting from his years of experience in the industry. His work has appeared in publications such as SI.com, St Louis Post-Dispatch, SLAM, Fighters Only Magazine & FIGHT!, among many others. Jeff shares his UFC betting tips with MansionBet readers on a weekly basis.

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