UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland Preview

Ranked welterweights Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland will get the chance to compete in front of a live crowd this weekend when UFC hosts a “Fight Night” card from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, USA. Their bout headlines a busy 14-fight card that will take place late in the evening. Here’s a preview of the night.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (7:00PM EST) (ESPN / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Yazmin Jauregui (9-0) vs. Istela Nunes (6-3) (Strawweight)

A quick-hitting prelims will kick off with a strawweight bout between Yazmin Jauregui and Istela Nunes.

Jauregui made a splash in her UFC in August, defeating Iasmin Lucindo in a back-and-forth stand-up battle that resulted in a unanimous decision result. The fight moved her undefeated record to nine wins, a career that previously mostly took place in Combate Global.

Nunes is fighting for her first UFC win. Her two fights in the promotion thus far have seen her lose to Ariane Carnlossi and Sam Hughes.

Bout 2: Francis Marshall (6-0) vs. Marcelo Rojo (16-8) (Featherweight)

Undefeated Francis Marshall will make his UFC debut this weekend against Marcelo Rojo.

Marshall joined the UFC roster after winning on “Dana White’s Contender Series” earlier this year, defeating Connor Matthews on scorecards. In total, he has earned six wins since debuting in late 2019.

Rojo, a former Combate Global fighter, has yet to pick up a UFC win. His second consecutive loss came early this year when Kyler Phillips submitted him in the third round of their bout.

Bout 3: Natan Levy (7-1) vs. Genaro Valdez (10-1) (Lightweight)

Fighting for his first UFC win, Genaro Valdez will take on Natan Levy.

Valdez took his first pro loss in his UFC debut in January, getting stopped in the first round by Matt Frevola. This came after an explosive first 10 pro fights, finishing many bouts, including his 2021 “Contender Series” appearance against Patrik White.

Levy bounced back from his sole defeat in April, beating Mike Breeden on scorecards. His previous appearance was a decision defeat to Rafa Garcia.

Bout 4: Darren Elkins (27-10) vs. Jonathan Pearce (13-4) (Featherweight)

Veteran Darren Elkins will face off against Jonathan Pearce this weekend.

Elkins picked up a decision victory earlier this year, beating Tristan Connelly on scorecards. This put him back into the win column after being finished by Cub Swanson in late 2021.

Pearce is currently on a roll, having earned four consecutive wins. Two of those victories came this year, beating Christian Rodriguez and Makwan Amirkhani.

Bout 5: Michael Johnson (20-18) vs. Marc Diakiese (16-5) (Lightweight)

Veteran Michael Johnson will return against Marc Diakiese at lightweight.

Johnson has struggled greatly in recent years. The veteran has lost five of his last six fights. His most recent appearance was a split decision defeat to Jamie Mullarkey in July. His sole win since 2018 came two months before then, stopping Alan Patrick with strikes.

Diakiese is looking to end off a solid 2022 this weekend. He picked up two decision wins earlier this year, beating Viacheslav Borshchev and Damir Hadzovic.

Bout 6: Clay Guida (37-22) vs. Scott Holtzman (14-5) (Lightweight)

Scott Holtzman will attempt to snap a three-fight losing streak when he faces one of the most experienced UFC fighters, Clay Guida.

Holtzman has only appeared twice since 2020. He has suffered a finish loss in both appearances, getting put away by Beneil Dariush and Mateusz Gamrot.

Guida was haneded a submission loss in his last appearance, getting caught in a rare kneebar by Claudio Puelles.

Bout 7: Angela Hill (14-12) vs. Emily Ducote (12-6) (Strawweight)

After defeating one vet in her UFC debut, Emily Ducote will look to overcome another when she meets Angela Hill on Saturday.

Ducote joined the UFC roster earlier this year after defending her Invicta FC Strawweight Championship for the second time. She won her first UFC bout in July, stepping in and prevailing via decision against Jessica Penne.

Hill broke a three-fight skid in her last appearance, overcoming Loopy Godinez on scorecards in August.

Bout 8: Niko Price (15-5) vs. Philip Rowe (9-3) (Welterweight)

The fast-paced prelims are scheduled to wrap up with a welterweight fight between Niko Price and Philip Rowe.

Price’s last fight was over a year ago when he beat Alex Oliveira on scorecards. This was a big win for him, as it marked his first victory since 2019 and put him back into the win column after two losses and a no-contest.

Rowe is currently on a two-fight winning streak. His last two fights both came via stoppage, putting away Orion Cosce and Jason Witt with strikes.

Main Card (10:00PM EST) (ESPN / TSN 5)

Bout 9: Eryk Anders (14-7) vs. Kyle Daukaus (11-3) (Middleweight)

Middleweights Eryk Anders and Kyle Daukaus will kick off the main card.

Daukaus’ UFC record is currently a negative two wins and three losses. His last fight was one of those three defeats, suffering a quick loss against Roman Dolidze in June.

Anders is fighting to avoid his third consecutive defeat. His two previous fights have come over the past year, where he was submitted by Andre Muniz and took a split decision loss to Park Jun-yong.

Bout 10: Jack Hermansson (23-7) vs. Roman Dolidze (11-1) (Middleweight)

Keeping in the middleweight division for the next bout, Jack Hermansson and Roman Dolidze will compete.

Dolidze’s UFC career has been highly successful since he joined the promotion in 2020. He has won five of his six fights for the promotion, with three via finish. He has had an explosive 2022, beating both Kyle Daukaus and Phil Hawes within a round.

Hermansson has competed in a few high-profile middleweight bouts in recent years. His last fight, a win, saw him defeat short-notice Chris Curtis via decision. He was previously booked to face Darren Till.

Before then, Hermansson appeared in a main event against Sean Strickland, which he lost via split decision.

Bout 11: Tai Tuivasa (15-4) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (16-1) (Heavyweight)

After getting his momentum stopped earlier this year, Tai Tuivasa will take on Sergei Pavlovich on Saturday.

Tuivasa was on his way up to a title fight recently. He had a five-fight string of finish victories, including a February win against former title challenger Derrick Lewis. But this momentum was put to an end in September when former interim champion Ciryl Gane stopped him in the third round of a hectic main event fight.

Tuivasa now has another tough challenge, facing a name that is shooting up the heavyweight ranks recently.

Pavlovich made his return this year, competing for the first time since 2019. He advanced his winning streak to four wins with two appearances this year, beating Shamil Abdurakhimov and Derrick Lewis in a combined less than five minutes.

Bout 12: Matheus Nicolau (18-2-1) vs. Matt Schnell (16-7) (Flyweight)

Ranked flyweights Matheus Nicolau and Matt Schnell will appear in the next main card fight.

Nicolau rejoined the UFC roster in 2021, starting his second stint with the promotion. He has scored three consecutive wins since the start of this campaign, all against big names in the weight class. His last victory saw him stop the momentum of David Dvorak with a unanimous decision result in March.

Schnell snapped a two-fight losing streak in July, submitting Sumudaerji in the second round with a triangle choke. He had losses before then, but albeit against highly regarded flyweights Rogerio Bontorin and Brandon Royval.

Bout 13: Rafael dos Anjos (31-14) vs. Bryan Barberena (18-8) (Welterweight)

Bryan Barberena will have a chance to add a big win to his current momentum this weekend, facing Rafael dos Anjos in a welterweight contest.

Barberena is currently on a three-fight winning streak, which is the longest string of victories that he has put together since joining the UFC roster back in 2014. He has already beaten two incredibly experienced names this year, overcoming Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler in recent months.

While dos Anjos is an experienced name like the previous opponents of Barberena, he is arguably at a higher level of competition currently. He is still facing some of the top names in both lightweight and welterweight.

Dos Anjos’ last fight was down at lightweight, where he headlined a card against rising contender Rafael Fiziev. This fight didn’t go his way, as Fiziev picked up a fifth-round finish due to strikes.

Dos Anjos had a dominant victory earlier this year, going five rounds against short-notice opponent Renato Moicano in March.

Bout 14: Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) vs. Kevin Holland (23-8) (Welterweight)

Kevin Holland will attempt to continue his welterweight campaign this weekend when he takes on Stephen Thompson.

Holland moved down to welterweight in 2022 after a rough three-fight run in 2021 that resulted in no wins. He picked up some momentum quickly at 170 pounds, earning wins over Alex Oliveira and Tim Means earlier this year.

Holland was scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez in September. However, after a controversial last-minute shuffle of the UFC 279 lineup, he ended up facing a significantly more challenging opponent in Khamzat Chimaev instead. The result was Chimaev submitting Holland in the first round with a darce choke. He’ll try to get some momentum back this weekend after that fast loss.

Thompson has fought at a high level in UFC’s welterweight division for years. However, during this time he has never fallen into a three-fight losing streak. That opportunity lingers this weekend when he competes.

Thompson fought twice in 2021, losing in both instances. However, his opponents were Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad, two names who are rated highly for welterweight. While Holland is certainly another high-level name, Thompson will likely push to avoid taking a third loss for the first time in his career this weekend.

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