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Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland UFC Orlando preview and best bets

Kevin Holland.jpg

The UFC is back after a week off and heads to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida for UFC Orlando. The card goes down on Saturday, December 3 with a welterweight bout headlining the card, with the main card airing live on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET. 

Thompson & Holland Recent Fights

Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) has struggled as of late as he has dropped back-to-back fights to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns in fights he was outwrestled. Since those losses, he has been holding out to fight a striker which he has gotten here.

Kevin Holland (23-8) suffered a first-round submission loss to Khamzat Chimaev in a fight he took on a days’ notice. Since dropping down to welterweight, he is 2-0 with a submission win over Tim Means and a TKO win over Alex Oliveira.

Thompson-Holland Prediction

Stephen Thompson is 39-years-old and is no longer the elite welterweight he was when he fought Tyron Woodley to a draw for the title back in 2016. However, he is still a very good striker as we saw in 2019 and 2020 he beat Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal by decision, showing he can beat the strikers but will lose to wrestlers as his takedown defense has declined.

Kevin Holland, meanwhile, is very similar to Thompson in the fact he is a great striker but when he fought at middleweight, he struggled with grapplers. He lost badly to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori as he was controlled and ultimately decided to move down to welterweight.

In this fight, I expect it to be a striking fight as neither like to wrestle - although Holland can if he needs to. On the feet, they are very similar as Thompson lands 3.9 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 2.81 while Holland lands 3.85 and absorbs 2.38. Thompson’s takedown accuracy is 41% while Holland’s is 43% showing that neither has the elite skills to wrestle, but a surprise takedown could happen in the fight.

Ultimately, the big difference besides their age as Holland is only 30, is the reach. Holland posses a 81-inch reach while Thompson only has a 75-inch reach. Holland should be able to stay on the outside and use his reach advantage to just pick apart Thompson. This may not be the most exciting fight as we have seen Thompson make fights boring with his point-fight/karate style.

In the end, I expect Holland to be the faster striker and will land the better shots and win a decision. I’m taking Holland at -136 on FanDuel while you can also take a look at Holland by decision when it comes out.

UFC Orlando Bets:

  • Kevin Holland -136 (FanDuel)
  • Emily Ducote -125 (Caesars)
  • Tracy Cortez +100 (Caesars)
  • Tai Tuivasa +170 (Caesars) 0.5unit to win 0.85