Rising middleweight Marvin Vettori will look for his second consecutive main event UFC win when fighting short-notice opponent Kevin Holland on a “Fight Night” card Saturday. The bout headlines a 13-fight card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, which will see the promotion appear on U.S. TV network ABC for the second time in their history.
Here is a preview of the lineup.
Early Prelims (11:30AM EDT / 8:30AM PDT) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 1: Impa Kasanganay (8-1) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (6-2) (Welterweight)
The “Fight Night” card will start relatively early, with the one-fight “Early Prelim” card starting at 11:30AM EDT. The welterweight fight will see Sasha Palatnikov face Impa Kasanganay in a welterweight bout.
Palatnikov had an impressive UFC debut in November, winning a back-and-forth battle against Louis Cosce which culminated in a third-round stoppage.
Preliminary Card (12:00PM EDT / 9:00AM PDT) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 2: Da Un Jung (13-2-1) vs. William Knight (9-1) (Light Heavyweight)
UFC’s busy prelims will continue with a three-hour timeslot starting at noon that includes seven bouts. The first of the pack sees light heavyweights Da Un Jung and William Knight battle. Both fighters have yet to lose a fight in their short UFC careers.
Jung had a strong rookie year in the UFC, stopping Khadis Ibragimov and Mike Rodriguez in 2019. The 27-year-old returned in October, fighting to a draw against Sam Alvey at UFC 254.
Bout 3: Luis Saldana (14-6) vs. Jordan Griffin (18-8) (Featherweight)
Luis Saldana will make his UFC debut on the prelims when fighting Jordan Griffin in a featherweight bout. Saldana earned his UFC contract in November, stopping Vince Murdock with strikes on “Dana White’s Contender Series.” The win was the fourth consecutive for Saldana, who has been fighting as a pro since 2011.
He now fights Griffin, who will be making his fifth UFC appearance. Griffin has struggled since joining the promotion, as his record in the UFC is currently one win and three losses. His last fight saw him lose on scorecards to Youssef Zalal.
Bout 4: Jack Shore (13-0) vs. Hunter Azure (9-1) (Bantamweight)
Undefeated bantamweight Jack Shore will look for his third UFC win when fighting Hunter Azure on the prelims. Shore, a former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion, currently holds 13 wins as a pro. He picked up his second UFC win in July, submitting Aaron Phillips with a rear naked choke.
Azure has been on the UFC roster since 2019. He bounced back from a stoppage loss to Brian Kelleher in September, earning a decision win against Cole Smith.
Bout 5: Yorgan De Castro (6-2) vs. Jarjis Danho (5-1-1) (Heavyweight)
Both fighting to pick up a win after bad results in their last appearances, heavyweights Yorgan De Castro and Jarjis Danho will meet on the prelims.
De Castro took his first two pro losses last year, losing on scorecards to both Greg Hardy and Carlos Felipe. He will fight to get his seventh pro win on Saturday.
Danho has been out of the octagon for quite some time now, with his last fight going all the way back to 2016. His UFC record currently has a loss and a draw through his two appearances.
Bout 6: John Makdessi (17-7) vs. Ignacio Bahamondes (11-3) (Lightweight)
UFC veteran John Makdessi will fight for the first time in over a year when matched with promotional newcomer Ignacio Bahamondes on the prelims.
Bahamondes gets his UFC career started following a run of 11 wins and three losses on the regional scene. The 23-year-old secured a UFC contract in November, stopping Edson Gomez with a front kick on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”
Makdessi last fought in March of 2020, where fellow vet Francisco Trinaldo defeated him via decision. Makdessi previously had three wins as a pro from 2017 to 2019.
Bout 7: Scott Holtzman (14-4) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (17-1) (Lightweight)
When entering the UFC last year, Mateusz Gamrot was touted as a huge prospect. With an undefeated record of 17 wins and numerous fights in notable promotion KSW, big things were expected. However, his hype was stopped dramatically by Guram Kutateladze, who pulled off a split decision win, making him the first man to beat Gamrot in MMA.
Now returning for his second UFC fight, Gamrot will try to bounce back from his sole pro loss.
He will face Holtzman, who is also returning from a loss. His last fight saw him get stopped by Beneil Dariush, who caught him late in the first round with a spinning backfist. Holtzman had a two-fight win streak before then.
Bout 8: Jim Miller (32-15) vs. Joe Solecki (10-2) (Lightweight)
UFC veteran Jim Miller will attempt to pump the breaks on the momentum of Joe Solecki, facing him in the final bout on the prelims.
Solecki has earned two victories since joining the UFC roster in 2019. His last victory saw him submit Austin Hubbard, catching him with a rear naked choke in August.
Miller is coming off a loss, as he fought to a unanimous decision to Vinc Pichel last year.
Main Card (3:00PM EDT / 12:00PM PDT) (ABC / TSN 5)
Bout 9: Mike Perry (14-7) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (13-2) (Welterweight)
Mike Perry and Daniel Rodriguez both have the goal of returning to the win column when competing in the opening bout of the main card.
Both welterweights last competed on the same card, fighting at UFC 255 in November. Perry fought on the main card of that show, losing a decision to Tim Means.
Rodriguez competed earlier in the evening, losing to fellow rising contender Nicolas Dalby. The loss for Rodriguez snapped a nine-fight win streak and handed him his first loss since entering the UFC earlier that year.
Bout 10: Nina Nunes (10-6) vs. Mackenzie Dern (10-1) (Strawweight)
Nina Nunes will make her return to the cage when fighting Mackenzie Dern in a strawweight bout. Nunes’ last fight dates back to mid-2019, where she lost a decision to Tatiana Suarez. The loss concluded a four-fight win streak that she developed in the two years prior.
Dern is on somewhat of a run herself, having picked up three wins since returning to action last year. After scoring two first-round submission wins in 2020, Dern showed her durability with a decision win against Virna Jandiroba in December.
Bout 11: Sam Alvey (33-14-1) vs. Julian Marquez (8-2) (Middleweight)
Back in the cage just months after his return to the octagon, Julian Marquez will fight Sam Alvey on the main card. Marquez competed on a pay-per-view card in February, submitting Maki Pitolo with an anaconda choke. The fight was third in the UFC and his first since 2018.
He now faces 22-fight UFC vet Alvey, who will be competing for his first win since 2018. Alvey snapped a four-fight losing streak in October, although it came through unsatisfying fashion via a draw against Da Un Jung at UFC 254.
Bout 12: Arnold Allen (16-1) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (11-1) (Featherweight)
Two featherweights who have yet to lose in the UFC cage in Arnold Allen and Sodiq Yusuff will clash in the co-main event.
Allen has been one of the best-kept secrets of the featherweight division thus far, having earned seven wins since joining the UFC in 2015. His last win was over a year ago, where he defeated veteran Nik Lentz on scorecards.
Yusuff has had a shorter run in the UFC, scoring five wins since 2018. Similar to Allen, Yusuff has been out of the cage since early 2020. He last fought at UFC 246, defeating Andre Fili on scorecards.
Bout 13: Marvin Vettori (16-3-1) vs. Kevin Holland (21-6) (Middleweight)
Marvin Vettori has quickly become a name to watch in the middleweight division. Having attained four wins in the past two years, including notable wins last year like a submission win against Karl Roberson and a five-round victory against Jack Hermansson, he’s a real contender for the weight class.
Vettori was first set to fight Darren Till on Saturday night, although plans changed after Till abruptly suffered an injury late last month, forcing him out of the bout. Stepping up to the occasion shortly after was Kevin Holland, who has been one of the most active and successful middleweights in the past year or so.
Holland is best known for his 2020 run that saw him earn more wins than any other fighter in the UFC, defeating five opponents in the calendar year. He has already fought once this year, although that fight didn’t go his way. Fighting in his first UFC main event, Brunson was dominated by Derek Brunson, who won on scorecards and snapped Holland’s win streak.
Now only two weeks after his loss, Holland has two options: He could go back to his winning, finishing ways and make his braggadocious character valid again, or dig a hole even deeper with another loss. Unfortunately, coming in at short notice, especially against a name like Vettori makes the odds steep for Holland – and per Tapology, it’s the first time he’s been an underdog since he fought Thiago Santos in 2018. But that doesn’t solidify anything, and all that matters, in the end, is how the result actually goes on Saturday.