UFC 279 goes down this weekend at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. In the co-main event, Khamzat Chimaev faces a new opponent in Kevin Holland.
Chimaev was scheduled to headline UFC 279 against Nate Diaz, but only has himself to blame for the demotion. The Chechen-Swede’s focus just wasn’t there, to begin with. He was picking unnecessary fights with Paulo Costa and Holland and completely lost track of the task at hand. So much so that he failed to cut down to the 171-pound limit.
What’s worse was his reaction to missing weight.
If anything, Chimaev should be grateful that he’s still getting to compete for a 180-pound catchweight UFC bout against Holland.
UFC 279: Chimaev vs Holland Analysis And Prediction
Holland was originally scheduled to fight Daniel Rodriguez, which would have been an absolute banger of a fight. It’s as if Holland is being punished for Chimaev’s antics, because his new opponent is a nightmare matchup for him, given how easily he was ragdolled by Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. Holland has been working on his wrestling, but Chimaev is an elite wrestler and a bad matchup for him, especially as ‘Big Mouth’ was looking forward to an all-out striking battle against Rodriguez and wouldn’t have worked on his wrestling a whole lot.
Should he somehow manage to keep the fight standing, Holland will have the edge because he is the better striker and has one punch knockout power. Chimaev’s a very capable striker as well, and hits extremely hard.
Chimaev is more offensive statistically as he lands close to eight significant strikes per minute on average, whereas Holland lands close to four. Holland is better defensively as he absorbs nearly two and a half significant strikes per minute on average whereas Chimaev absorbs close to four. Chimaev is far better statistically in wrestling as he secures more than three takedowns and attempts nearly 3 submissions per 15 minutes.
Holland can win if he pulls off an early KO or forces Chimaev to keep standing with his trash talking, but Chimaev will do what he does best to get his hand raised on the night.
Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev by submission
Khamzat Chimaev (-600)
Kevin Holland (+450)
Who do you think will win the co-main event between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland at UFC 276?