Marvin Vettori claimed a unanimous-decision victory over Kevin Holland to close out UFC on ABC 2 from the Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Vettori took the fight convincingly on all three judges' scorecards.
Just three weeks after Derek Brunson grounded Holland with his wrestling, Vettori went right to work testing Holland's takedown defense. Holland got the better of some early exchanges before The Italian Dream turned to his wrestling. He put Trailblazer on his back and made the round interesting to score with some ground-and-pound.
The second round turned out to be more of the same. Vettori's incessant ground-and-pound swelled Holland's eye to the point it had to be examined by the ringside doctor.
He might have passed that inspection, but it didn't help with his takedown defense in the next round. Vettori continued to go to the ground to do his damage and nearly sunk in an arm-triangle choke.
Holland was a game opponent in the moments he was able to keep the fight standing. He showed signs of life in the third round, but ultimately his lack of takedown defense led to his second loss in three weeks.
The talkative middleweight is going to need to take some time off to improve his wrestling if he is going to reach his full potential.
As for Vettori, this was a big win for him, as he now has five wins since his split-decision loss to champion Israel Adesanya. He's getting harder to ignore as a contender in the division.
- Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (50-44 x3)
- Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey via submission (rear-naked choke), 2:07 of Round 2
- Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes via submission (armbar), 4:48 of Round 1
- Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 30-26)
- Joe Solecki def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27)
- Mateusz Gamrot def. Scott Holtzman via KO, 1:22 of Round 2
- John Makdessi def. Ignacio Bahamondes via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
- Jarjis Danho def. Yorgan De Castro via KO, 3:02 of Round 1
- Jack Shore def. Hunter Azure via split decision (30-27 x2, 28-29)
- Luis Saldana def. Jordan Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Da Un Jung def. William Knight via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)
- Impa Kasanganay def. Sasha Palatnikov via submission (rear-naked choke), 0:26 of Round 2
Arnold Allen def. Sodiq Yusuff
In a battle of talented featherweight prospects, Arnold Allen did enough to score a unanimous-decision win. The Englishman took the fight 29-28 on all three judges' scorecards.
Allen did an excellent job of mixing it up between his wrestling and striking. His ability to change levels and challenge Sodiq Yusuff's defense opened opportunities for him to do both.
He landed knockdown punches and takedowns on his way to claiming the first two rounds.
Yusuff did enough to take the final round from Allen. The loss shouldn't impact his stock too much. Allen gets lost in the shuffle because of inactivity, but he is undefeated in the Octagon at 8-0.
For Allen, the key is going to be in his ability to remain active. His talent isn't in question, and it was on display in this one. He's a complete fighter who will be as relevant as his schedule allows him to be.
Julian Marquez def. Sam Alvey
Julian Marquez continues to put together a strong 2021. After sitting out all of 2019 and 2020, he picked up his second win of the year with a second-round submission over Sam Alvey.
Alvey had some moments in the first round. He challenged Marquez in the stand-up early on, swarming once he connected, but Marquez weathered that storm.
In the second round, Marquez's power took over as he stunned Alvey on the feet. When the notoriously tough Alvey proved difficult to stop with strikes, Marquez jumped on a choke.
Had the official seen Alvey was essentially out, the choke likely wouldn't have been needed, but it showcased Marquez's finishing instincts. Combined with an anaconda choke of Maki Pitolo in February, his chokes are starting look like a real weapon.
With eight months left in 2021, Marquez is in position to continue climbing up the rankings and becoming a breakthrough fighter.
Mackenzie Dern def. Nina Nunes
The evolution of Mackenzie Dern continued with a win over Nina Nunes on the main card. Dern showcased her improved striking as well as her trademark jiu-jitsu in a first-round submission win that was her best performance in the UFC to date.
Coming off a long layoff after she gave birth to her first child, Nunes didn't have much to offer Dern.
Dern's submission ability has long been known given her background in jiu-jitsu, but the striking, takedowns and conditioning have been questionable. While she didn't necessarily prove her conditioning in a one-round fight, she did get a takedown and had some power behind her punches.
Once it got to the ground, the end was near.
This was a big win for Dern and one that should see her get a top-five opponent next time she fights.
Daniel Rodriguez def. Mike Perry
Some things never change, and Mike Perry's striking defense is, unfortunately, one of those things. Daniel Rodriguez consistently figured out how to find Perry's chin throughout a three-round fight that saw him take a unanimous decision by sweeping all three rounds on all the cards.
Perry tested Rodriguez in ways we haven't really seen yet. He forced him to defend some takedowns and was more than willing to trade strikes, but ultimately the 34-year-old passed the test with flying colors.
The performance had analysts taking notice of his crisp striking:
This was Rodriguez's first fight since taking his first UFC loss to Nicolas Dalby. After getting a full camp in, he looked much sharper and should be an interesting prospect moving forward despite his advanced age. This was only his 16th career fight.