UFC 291 offers some very fun matchmaking which usually equals an exciting fight. Kevin Holland vs Michael Chiesa is one of those fights that's really hard to play out in memory — luckily, we don't have much longer to just think about it. With just hours to go until fight time, let's look at this match a bit more before we go to the live scoring.
Chiesa is a fantastic grappler whose striking is just getting better and better. After losing his last two of three in 2021, ‘Maverick' took time off and is finally slated to return to the octagon. However, Kevin Holland isn't a stepping stone by any means; he's durable, good everywhere(including in trash talk) and is a finisher.
UFC 291: Where Does This Place the Winner?
This is one of those fights that's driven more by star power than it is by high rankings. Holland isn't ranked and Chiesa is sitting at the number 12 spot in the division after his long hiatus. So, a top ten fight for Kevin Holland next would be a viable option. However, if Michael Chiesa can return and dispose of Holland in emphatic fashion, then he might get more of a push from the UFC brass.
Holland is one of few fighters that could throw his name in the hat for a shot at the BMF title. That belt will be on the line in the marquee fight for this very stacked event that is UFC 291.
UFC 291: Kevin Holland vs Michael Chiesa Live Coverage
One of the hardest fights to figure out on the UFC 291 main card, it's time to see how Holland vs Chiesa will play out. Two very well-rounded fighters, but it still feels a bit like a striker vs grappler match; Holland has some unorthodox striking, and Chiesa has won 10 of his 16 wins via submission.
Round 1: Michael Chiesa is obviously outmatched on the feet and we can see that within seconds. Holland is able to control things from distance, but he looked very comfortable everywhere in the fight. Even when Michael locked things up in the clinch, Holland was able to win the position.
Once again, Chiesa fell short to the D'Arce choke. This was all Kevin Holland.
Official result: Kevin Holland via first round D'Arce choke