LAS VEGAS — There was less talking and more fighting from Kevin Holland, but distressingly similar results.
Fighting just three weeks after he was heavily criticized for nonstop yammering during a one-sided loss to Derek Brunson, Holland dropped his second consecutive fight because of an inability to stop a takedown.
Vettori won a unanimous decision, 50-44, on all three cards. He took Holland down repeatedly, hitting on 11 of 17 takedowns, and Holland wasn’t able to get up.
In the few moments of the fight in which it was in the stand-up, Holland looked like the electrifying prospect he has been regarded as by using his hands to fire at Vettori.
But Vettori was far too complete of a fighter and was able to take Holland down almost at will. Holland jumped in to take the fight when Darren Till had to pull out with a broken collarbone, giving Holland the chance to make amends for the poor performance against Brunson.
He was better this time, but not nearly good enough. Vettori is slowly moving toward a title shot and he wasn’t going to be beaten by an opponent with such a gaping hole in his game.
He landed 24 of 64 significant strikes, according to UFCstats.com, compared to Holland’s 37 of 103. But Holland couldn’t keep the fight on his feet long enough to be competitive.
His left eye was swollen and at one point, referee Herb Dean had the cageside physician checking his eye.
Vettori entered the fight ranked sixth, and he plans to attend next week’s fight at Apex between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum because he is trying to position himself for another shot at champion Israel Adesanya. Vettori lost a split-decision to Adesanya in a bout before Adesanya became champion.
There is no one thing that Vettori excels at, but he has no gaping hole in his game and is average, at worst, in every aspect.
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