Going into the final month of the 2022 UFC fight schedule, we have a stacked Fight Night event in front of a live crowd this weekend. In the main event, Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) will be going up against Kevin Holland (23-8).
Last Fight Record
Thompson is trying to get back in the winning column after suffering back-to-back losses to wrestler-heavy attacks from Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad in 2021.
Holland is coming off of a first-round submission loss to the dangerous Khamzat Chimaev in September. He accepted that fight on one-day notice.
Thompson vs. Holland Betting Analysis
“Wonderboy” Thompson is pushing 40 years old and has one more run at a title left in him. After his back-to-back title fight wars against Tyron Woodley, it seems like the UFC has looked the other way from Thompson.
He has had trouble getting big fights and gets some tough matchups against great wrestlers.
Undefeated Kickboxing Record
With an undefeated kickboxing record, Thompson is clearly still one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC.
He averages 3.90 strikes landed per minute in the octagon while only absorbing 2.81. He also has 5 TKO/KO finishes in his UFC career.
Thompson’s Unique Karate Style
Thompson’s unique karate style of striking always gives his opponents issues in the octagon. His opponent this weekend averages less than one takedown per fight, so this should play right into the style of fight that Wonderboy wants.
Holland has made a big name for himself by being a great talker and an absolute gangster in the octagon.
He is one of the few people in UFC history that truly lives up to the “anyone, anywhere” mentality, and it has shown massive benefits for Holland. He has made a lot of money in the UFC by being available.
After his move down to welterweight, Holland seems a lot more physically imposing against his opponents. He is going to have a pretty large size and reach advantage over Thompson this weekend.
A Big Advantage for Holland
Along with a 9-year age difference, this serves as a big advantage for Holland. These are factors to think about while making Thompson vs Holland betting picks.
Holland is a sniper from a distance while striking on the feet. He averages 3.85 strikes landed per minute and only gets his by 2.38.
His 81” reach serves as a massive advantage over smaller opponents in the striking game. He has also made a big change in his wrestling training and has noticeably gotten better on the ground over the last year or so.
No injuries were reported in the lead-up to this fight. Holland announced his retirement in September on social media, so this is technically a comeback fight for him.
Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland Betting Preview
The Thompson vs Holland betting analysis shows that Holland is at a pretty massive advantage physically over the 39-year-old Thompson.
The oddsmakers have this fight pretty close, with Holland as the slight betting favorite with odds at -140. Thompson will be the +120 underdog. One of the more interesting betting lines for this bout is the over 3.5 rounds being in plus odds.
The interesting thing about this fight is that both men have a big chance to move their careers in the right direction.
If Thompson loses on Saturday, retirement has to be in the cards for him; and it seems like retirement is already in the cards for Holland.
Fighters’ Striking Passion
Both fighters enjoy striking. They will most likely get into a kickboxing match in the octagon Saturday, and it will be a treat to watch for fans around the world. The live crowd in Orlando will only heighten the intensity of this high-level matchup.
It is safe to say that both men haven’t faced anyone even close to the skillset that both bring to the octagon. They are both very unique fighters, and it will be a closely matched fight, according to UFC odds.
Thompson vs. Holland Betting Predictions
Making UFC picks on close fights like this will always be one of the most challenging things in sports betting. Thompson vs Holland betting predictions and analyses are going to be very spread out over MMA media.
Holland jumps out as the one with a big advantage just with his physical attributes and age. But Thompson trains hard and has only become a better mixed martial artist.
This is going to be a back-and-forth fight, in my opinion.
Thompson will give Holland a lot of trouble early in the fight with his distance management and side kicks to the body to keep Holland at range.
But be prepared for Holland to land a big shot in the second or third round and make this fight interesting. At 39, we will see if Thompson still has that heart he showed in the Woodley fights.
Who to Bet On?
The final prediction is that Stephen Thompson will win a great 5-round decision over Holland. He will get at least three rounds on the scorecards, including the first two of the fight.
It will be a great fight for the fans and a great chance for us to celebrate these two as the great fighters they are.
UFC Pick: Thompson (+115)