Kevin Holland will make history win or lose so long as he can step into the Octagon against Marvin Vettori for UFC on ABC 2. Holland is stepping in for Darren Till and would set the record for shortest turnaround between two main events.
That could be a good trivia question one day, but for now, Holland’s big underdog role is what matters the most to us.
There are 15 fights scheduled for the Saturday matinee card for the UFC on ABC, so even those without cable will be able to turn up the rabbit ears and find this one on the old tube TV.
There are only two more events scheduled for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and this is one of them. It will be nice for some fighters to get back to the full-size cage going to other venues and a lot of fighters should be excited to see packed houses again.
Before we get to that point, though, we’ll take a look at the UFC on ABC 2 card and highlight some of the main card matchups and some of the other betting opportunities.
Odds come from BetMGM Sportsbook, where you can get up to a $600 deposit bonus upon your initial deposit.
Holland vs. Vettori
Kevin Holland just went 25 minutes with Derek Brunson in the main event of their Fight Night card on March 20. The 6-foot-3 Holland has a reach and size advantage in this fight against Marvin Vettori, but still finds himself a sizable underdog. Holland is +260 with -350 on the favorite in Vettori.
Maybe people continue to cling too much to Vettori’s split-decision loss to Israel Adesanya and overprice him as a result, but the 27-year-old Italian has won four in a row since that loss. He’s beaten Cezar Ferreira, Andrew Sanchez, Karl Roberson, and Jack Hermansson. The Hermansson fight was his first to go five rounds. This one may not with odds of -175 not to go the distance.
The longer it goes, the more it should favor Vettori. Holland is just 4-4 in decisions in his pro career. Vettori is only 5-4-1 himself, but he’s won each of his last three and is unbeaten in five of his last six, with a draw against Omari Akhmedov.
Holland actually fought six times in 2020 and this will already be his second fight in 2021. Seemingly he has no idea with going out there to fight and get paychecks. The Brunson fight was a struggle for him, though, and showed a lot of weaknesses on the ground.
Vettori should exploit those for the win.
Allen vs. Yusuff
Arnold Allen and Sodiq Yusuff have both experienced winning a lot. In fact, there are a lot of fighters on this card with one either fighter in over a year. Yusuff fought on January 18 and won and Allen fought on January 25 and won. It is a tough fight to call in a lot of ways.
Both guys can win in a variety of different ways. Yusuff is the slightly bigger fighter, but he has yet to win by submission. Allen has seven decision wins, five KO/TKO, and four submission victories. Yusuff is probably the bigger striker, certainly at the top levels.
That makes this a really tough fight. Fortunately, with 15 fights, there are a lot of betting options. Yusuff is probably viewed as a little more of a prospect and has fought better competition lately, so perhaps a slight lean to him. Yusuff is also the -150 favorite.
Best Bet for UFC on ABC 2
Mackenzie Dern is a +115 underdog for her fight against Nina Ansaroff. Dern’s only career loss came against Amanda Ribas, who is a really strong prospect in this strawweight division. Otherwise, Dern has bounced back nicely and went a perfect 3-0 in 2020. She’s got a terrific ground game and has a high percentage of finishes in the UFC as far as the women’s divisions go.
Ansaroff is 35 years old now. She was on a nice four-fight winning streak over 2017-18, but lost to Tatiana Suarez at UFC 238 and hasn’t been heard from since. Maybe her cage IQ will be the deciding factor here, but Dern has done really well to control most of her fights and also to get finishes on the ground. Ansaroff went deep into the third round in all five of her most recent fights and she’s now a lot older.
Dern at +115 is a great bet in my estimation.
Daniel Rodriguez is -165 against Mike Perry in a huge fight for Perry. He’s had issues making weight and issues with the law, but the more important thing, at least for our purposes, is that he’s lost three of his last four fights.
Rodriguez seems more committed to taking this seriously. Perry seems to just want a controlled environment in which he can beat people up. I think the favorite should be priced a little bit higher here and the line is trending that way.
Erin Blanchfield is a really interesting replacement for Bea Malecki. The 21-year-old is another of a wave of young female fighters looking to make an impact in the UFC. Blanchfield actually owns a win over Kay Hansen.
Blanchfield draws a tough assignment here in Norma Dumont. Dumont is a big striker by division standards, but the 30-year-old only has two UFC data points. She lost to Megan Anderson and then punished a bad fighter in Ashlee Evans-Smith. Blanchfield should be a good test for Dumont. Personally, I think the +200 line is a little bit high for the newcomer.