A surprising middleweight matchup is on deck for UFC's return to action this week. After taking a short break, the promotion returns with a big one on ABC. Rising middleweight contender Marvin Vettori is back to take on Kevin Holland in a pivotal matchup at 185 pounds. Holland, who just headlined a card three weeks ago, steps in for an injured Darren Till. Holland will make history in headlining his second card in three weeks despite losing convincingly to Derek Brunson in his first bout.
But this is a massive opportunity for Vettori. The 27-year-old from Italy has won four in a row since 2019 as he looks to get back to a rematch with champion Israel Adesanya, who served him his last defeat. Vettori has also seen plenty of turnover in the last two years with multiple opponents falling out of scheduled bouts due to injuries or COVID-19.
"Different guy, same result," Vettori said in an interview with "Morning Kombat" this week. "You know, a little adjustment. When they give me this opponent, I change my mind on who I'm fighting and that's it. I was really looking forward to fighting Darren Till, you know I wanted to smash that guy, but it's OK.
"I work hard, man. I get pissed off when I don't get to show my work, like don't get the reward that I deserve. I'm on a mission, I need to know that I'm progressing and if these f---ing guys are slowing me down for reasons I cannot control, I'm getting pissed because like 'geez, why can't you do your job?'"
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Elsewhere on this loaded up card is a showdown at women's strawweight when Nina Nunes takes on Mackenzie Dern. Nunes, who is the partner of two-division champ Amanda Nunes, makes her return to action after nearly 18 months away as she welcomed her first child into the world. Nunes hasn't fought since June 2019 and that fight saw her end a four-fight winning streak. Dern, meanwhile, has been on a roll since dropping her lone professional defeat to Amanda Ribas in October 2019. Dern has won three straight since the start of 2020, including a pair of impressive kneebar submissions.
Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night card, odds
Marvin Vettori -330
Kevin Holland +260
Sodiq Yusuff -150
Arnold Allen +125
Julian Marquez -175
Sam Alvey +150
|Nina Nunes -140||Mackenzie Dern +120||Women's strawweight|
|Daniel Rodriguez -135||Mike Perry +115||Welterweight|
UFC Fight Night viewing information
Date: April 10 | Start time: 3 p.m. ET (main card)
Location: UFC Apex -- Las Vegas
TV Channel: ABC | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Vettori vs. Holland: What could have changed in the last 19 days or so to make this a fine matchup for Holland? Vettori tends to lean on his striking more and Holland can use his length to keep him out of range, but Brunson gave the perfect gameplan for controlling him in his last fight with grappling and wrestling. Expect Vettori to be a bruising striker who uses his power as a leverage point for takedowns to keep Holland off his feet. Pick: Vettori via unanimous decision