Kevin Holland

In the co-main event for UFC Noche, Jack Della Maddalena and Kevin Holland are set to face off in a Welterweight bout that surely earns the winner a big name in the top 10 as their next opponent.

While Jack’s win streak sits at 15, Holland has strung together back-to-back wins at 170 lbs and is 4-1 in his last five in this division. With both being highly technical, creative strikers with the power to end the fight at any moment, this one is a top contender for Fight of the Night.

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Betting Odds

Shocking to some, the odds opened with Holland as the slight favorite but have since moved to favor the Aussie:

  • Kevin Holland +115 (BetUS)
  • Jack Della Maddelena -145 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Kevin Holland is a long-range striker with noticeably improved grappling over the course of his career in the UFC. He loves to keep the fight on the feet and work his left jab and hook from a conventional stance while mixing in a large variety of kicks. The changes he’s made in his wrestling defense since the Chimaev fight can be seen most recently in his first round stoppage against Michael Chiesa where he was able to defend the takedown both from the clinch and with the right uppercut in space.

Holland’s striking is enjoyable to watch for more reasons than just the banter he brings inside the cage. The left jab is his most used weapon which shouldn’t come as a surprise given his lengthy 81” reach. He uses this jab to set up the left hook where he’ll chamber his elbow like he’s coming straight down the middle before whipping it into a slapping hook that comes around the guard. His set of kicks that he fires with both legs are a solid tool for keeping the range he desires against his often smaller opponents at Welterweight. He’ll target the legs, body and head with anything from round kicks to push kicks and even spinning techniques. There’s no doubt he’s a creative striker, but there are times where he leaves himself open defensively for counters.

His right hand is a bit less refined and causes a lot of the defensive openings he leaves. He has a tendency to chamber the elbow high, pausing before the strike’s execution and is oftentimes either countered or he misses as his opponent gets out of range. In situations where his opponent is quicker and is able to avoid the first counter shot, he often continues to throw even though he’s not in position to do so. This gets him off balance and his chin hangs in the air with his hands low, relying on head movement should the counter come back at him. His overreliance on the left hook is worrisome as well; he tries to time it with the right hand of his opponent as they enter, but he can mistime it and leave himself open over the left shoulder for the counter.

Jack Della Maddalena has been one of the best prospects at Welterweight since he debuted in the UFC. He’s a great boxer with solid striking defense and movement paired with toughness that allows for some exciting striking exchanges. After his split decision win over Basil Hafez, he’s looking to get back to climbing the rankings against Kevin Holland.

Jack displays impressive striking from both orthodox and southpaw which is a rarity to see from even the best switch stance fighters in the UFC. He works the jab from both stances and chains together combos that often flip his stance as he throws. The power he carries in his hands is made evident by many of his knockouts from shots that land from odd angles or without him loading up and, in most cases, is able to accurately target the chin and behind the ear to find the finishing blow.

When he tries to put more power into his strikes, you’ll see him load up from the hip and throw aggressively until he’s hit in return. Against Basil Hafez, he was countered in these exchanges where Jack’s strikes looked sluggish and Hafez was able to counter effectively. He has much more success when he keeps his hands high and lands touching shots until defensive openings appear for his heavier shots. However, there aren’t many fighters we’ve seen be able to take some of the shots that Basil took from JDM and with Jack’s resilience on the feet, I wouldn’t rely on forcing these striking exchanges to beat him if I were his opponent.

Though it doesn’t help his defense against takedowns, Jack’s high guard is very effective at deflecting shots in space as he tries to close in. He pairs this guard with head movement and rolling his shoulders to minimize the damage that sneaks through. His ability to switch stances and fight the front hand of his opponent from both sides is a big part of his game as he uses this to disrupt his opponent’s timing and time his own entries as they retract the jab.

Something you’ll notice as you watch Jack face more UFC talent is his lack of explosiveness. His hands are quick but his movement and grappling reactions seem to lag behind the average at this level. When he’s trying to close distance to land strikes on larger fighters, he has good timing to close in, but he swings and misses more than once on his way in and he’ll often over-extend and leave himself open for counters.

These are two fighters who love high action fights and with Kevin Holland, you never know what kind of game plan you’re going to get. If Holland wants the easiest path to victory, he’s going to need to utilize his length and strike Jack at range with his kicks and jab. He needs to avoid letting Jack close the distance and getting caught on the cage where JDM can tee off. Holland is a BJJ black belt and after his most recent fight against Michael Chiesa, it’s obvious that he’s grown significantly in the wrestling department. He should find a lot of success in forcing clinches and working for trips and takedowns at the hips when he’s in space. Holland loves to force scrambles where he can work to the dominant position and look for submissions and Jack has noticeably struggled here; he looks slow in his reactions to these scrambles and gave up a few bad submission opportunities against Hafez that a grappler like Holland won’t miss.

Jack Della Maddalena has a more obvious route to victory that won’t differ much from the rest of his past UFC fights. He needs to continue pawing at the front hand as this is the main weapon for Holland and negating it could really throw off the timing and distance control from the much lengthier fighter. Second, Jack needs to throw the low kick and damage the front leg of Holland early and often. This will slow the movement of Holland and make it much easier to get into the pocket where Holland’s defense isn’t as effective.


This is great matchmaking by the UFC; both guys will pose interesting problems for one another and I’m excited to see who is able to implement their game plan better. Holland has more ways of winning this fight in my opinion but the advantage in technique and power on the feet go to Della Maddalena which is where this fight likely takes place. If Holland gets too comfortable standing or isn’t able to grab the takedown, I believe Jack does eventually get inside to work his offense along the cage where Holland often looks to escape rather than counter strike. We’ve seen recent examples of a taller, longer fighter against JDM in Randy Brown and attempting to find an exit off the fence with his footwork led to him getting knocked down and eventually finished.

I think Jack’s last fight had a lot of factors that played into him struggling as much as he did, but with a relatively full fight camp training for the same fighter he’ll face, I believe he comes out looking more like the Jack Della Maddalena we saw against Randy Brown rather than the one who barely got past Hafez. Holland has shown improvements in his defensive wrestling but we’ve yet to see him be aggressive with takedowns himself. If he’s able and willing to take Jack down, his grappling looks to be much better than his opponent. I like Jack Della Maddalena to keep this one on the feet and likely grab the win as well but regardless, these are two finishers and the Under for 2.5 rounds at just -140 is great odds.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 Rounds -140 (BetUS)

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