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Thompson vs Holland Prediction: UFC on ESPN 42 Betting Odds and Picks

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The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a massive event that has everything needed to be worthy of a pay-per-view. The fight card of UFC on ESPN 42 is overpacked with stars and bright prospects from the promotion. Here are our predictions for the main event – Thompson vs Holland.

UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs Holland Predictions

Stephen Thompson Preview

Stephen is a 39 year old fighter from the USA. He began his professional MMA career in 2010. Before moving to the UFC, Thompson played in second-rate promotions in North America, where he amassed a professional record of 5-0.

Thompson made his UFC debut in February 2012 against Dan Stittgen, whom he knocked out in the 1st round and received the award for the best knockout of the evening. Stephen's second performance in the UFC took place 2 months later, in February 2012. His opponent was Matt Brown, Thompson lost to him by unanimous decision. It was Stephen's first loss in his career.

After failing to fight Brown, Stephen went on a streak of 7 wins in a row. He collected the scalps of the following fighters:

• Nan-Shon Burell, win by unanimous decision;
• Chris Clements, KO in round 2;
• Robert Whittaker, 1st round KO
• Patrick Cote, win by unanimous decision;
• Jake Ellenberger, 1st round KO
• Johny Hendricks, 1st round KO
• Rory MacDonald won by unanimous decision.

The bright finisher who cleared the division was noticed by the matchmakers and made him the main contender for the title. In November 2016, Stephen entered the octagon to challenge Tyron Woodley's belt. But after 5 rounds, the judges did not reveal the winner and declared a draw. This fight was one of the top 20 best welterweight fights of all time .

UFC management organized an immediate rematch in March 2017. The fight turned out to be boring, both athletes did not take risks and waited for the opponent's mistake. One judge gave a tie, but two others decided Tyrone Woodley was the winner.

Stephen closed the rematch defeat with a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Masvidal. But after that, he went on a series of 2 defeats. In May 2018, he lost a controversial decision to Darren Till, and in March 2019 he was knocked out by Anthony Pettis.

In November of that year, Stephen was back on the winning track. He dominated Vincente Luque by unanimous decision. Thompson's then fought in December 2020. His opponent was Geoff Neill. Steven won by unanimous decision.

Right now, Thompson is on a 2-defeat streak after losing to Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad, both times via decisions. He has not fought since December 18, 2021, which could be a problem against an active fighter like Kevin Holland.

Thompson began his professional sports career in kickboxing, where he had 57 fights and never lost. He is the best striker in the division. Stephen has incredible footwork, timing and sense of distance. These qualities allow him to plan attacks correctly and always deliver blows to the target. He punches inventive combinations on different levels, throws out biting kicks and can knock out an opponent at any time.

I would like to note Thompson's good defense against takedowns. He blocks 78% of attempts to take him to the ground. Stephen has good cardio. He can work at a high pace for 5 rounds.

However, Stephen likes to work as the 2nd number. Because of this, in some fights, he is overly passive due to the fact that the opponent rarely attacks. For example, he lost the duel against Darren Till only because the Englishman attacked a little more often. Judges look not at the accuracy of the strikes, but at the overall activity. Thompson can outsmart his opponent but look more passive from the outside.

Kevin Holland Preview

Kevin is a 30-year-old US fighter. He started his professional career in 2015. Prior to joining the UFC, Holland fought in a string of second-rate promotions, including Bellator and LFA. In these organizations, he spent 1 fight and won each.

In June 2018, Kevin came to Dana White's Contender Series show, where he defeated Will Santiago by unanimous decision and signed a contract with the world's strongest promotion.

Holland's debut in the UFC took place in August of the same year in a duel against Thiago Santos, whom Kevin lost to by unanimous decision. But the American closed the defeat in the debut with a series of 3 victories in a row. In November 2018, Kevin submitted John Phillips in the 3rd round, in March 2019 he won a split decision of the judges of Gerald Meerschaert, and in June of the same year, he defeated Alessio Di Chirico on points.

Kevin's ascent was stopped by Brendan Allen, strangling him at the end of the second round in October 2019. 2020 was a crisis year for the UFC. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league did not hold tournaments from March to May, and some fighters refused to compete due to the fact that the virus seriously threatened their health. Under these conditions, Kevin became one of the main stars of the promotion. He had 5 fights in 6 months and won each:

• Anthony Hernandez – victory by knockout in the 1st round;
• Joaquin Buckley – 3rd round knockout
• Darren Stewart – win by split decision;
• Charlie Ontiveiros – victory via verbal surrender in the 1st round;
• Ronaldo Souza – 1st round knockout.

Then, 2021 was a bad year for Kevin. Due to poor matchmaking decisions, he faced wrestlers who leveled his punching power. In March, he lost to Derek Brunson by unanimous decision. A month later, in April, he agreed to go on short notice to fight Marvin Vettori to replace the retired Paolo Costa, and again lost by unanimous decision.

And since then, he has had four mour fights – a No Contest against Kyle Daukaus, two wins over Alex Oliveira and Tim Means, and the recent defeat to Khamzat Chimaev.

Holland is a versatile fighter who does a lot of work during his fights. In the stand, he has good footwork and unusual shots. In addition, Kevin has enough power in his fists to knock out an opponent with one punch.

On the canvas, the athlete tries to work actively from any position and is constantly looking for an opportunity to take a dominant position. For example, Holland finished Ronaldo Souza while on his back.

Despite his above-average BJJ skills, Kevin is bad on the ground. In fights against really good grapplers, he loses positions, and his attempts to stand up fail.

Thompson vs Holland Prediction

We expect a long fight here. Holland had a huge disappointment against Chimaev and lost very early in the first round. He will want to redeem himself and will do his best to win this match. Thompson is a very passive fighter while Kevin Holland likes to play, so we should see an entertaining fight with a lot of trash-talking, as it usually goes in Holland's fights.

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