We're back in Vegas for another exciting card. Take a deep dive into the key stats of some of the biggest match-ups at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Holland.
(All stats according to UFC’s Record Book and Fight Metric as of March 17, 2021, and only include active athletes in their respective division unless noted otherwise)
Main Event: Derek Brunson vs Kevin Holland
What to Look For in the Fight: Just looking at physiques, it appears as though Brunson is the more physically imposing fighter, and he might try to bully Holland, utilizing his wrestling and powerful striking. He’ll need to be keen on Holland’s unpredictability, and how Holland stuffs takedowns and plays at distance will be indicative of how the tide of the fight is turning. It being Holland’s first main event, Brunson might be inclined to stay patient before pushing the pace past the third round as well.
Key Stats: 8 finishes (tied 1st all-time among MW), 3.02 takedowns per 15 minutes, 3.77 strikes per minute
What It Means: Brunson is an explosive fighter who, as of late, has harnessed and channeled those moments of ferocity with great efficiency. On his most recent three-fight winning streak, Brunson displayed a new level of patience. He stayed dedicated to a methodical approach with a cleaner knowledge of his ability to either get the fight down to the canvas or to land a big strike on the feet without the need for his previously wild ways.
Key Stats: 60.5% significant strike accuracy (1st all-time among MW), +1.65 striking differential (4th), 52% takedown defense
What It Means: Holland is a rangy striker and tricky grappler who has shown the ability to both catch opponents off-guard with something unpredictable and pick apart foes from distance. His striking is diverse, and he is particularly effective from distance with a variety of kicks and long punches while managing distance. Up close, he’s educated with his elbows and knees in the clinch. He’s an active grappler even off his back, searching for strikes or submissions in a normally disadvantageous position.
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Co-Main Event: Gregor Gillespie vs Brad Riddell
What to Look For in the Fight: Don’t expect this fight to just be a striker-vs-grappler situation. Gillespie is more than able to put Riddell out on his feet, so if he decides to stand and trade with the New Zealander, it wouldn’t be a complete surprise. That said, Gillespie’s ability to find his way through grappling is well-documented, and so if he gets a hold of Riddell, Riddell will need to find his way back to his feet without taking too much damage or opening himself up to a submission, both of which Gillespie has shown a quickness in finding.
Key Stats: 75.8% control time percentage (2nd all-time), 47.9% takedown accuracy (5th), 7.02 takedowns per 15 minutes
What It Means: Gillespie is much more than one of the most decorated wrestlers on the UFC roster. Despite his four-time All-American pedigree, “The Gift” is a well-rounded grappler with smothering jiu-jitsu that allows him to maintain control and either find submissions or deal damage. On the feet, he’s a smooth boxer with powerful hands and a stiff jab. He can blend the two together well, and he’s comfortable in the pocket during moments of a firefight.
Key Stats: 60% takedown defense, 4.36 strikes landed per minute, 50% striking accuracy
What It Means: “Quake” is a fighter’s fighter. He has a strong Muay Thai and kickboxing base, mixing up his strikes well. He enjoys a slugfest, but he is equally adept at a technical bout. He has shown pretty good takedown defense and the urgency to get to his feet when he does get put on his back, but the more he can engage in a standup war, the better the fight is going for him.
Other Fights to Watch: Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson
What to Look For in the Fight: Look for Chiasson to press forward early and often but also keep her range with a variety of long punches and kicks to the body. Reneau will want to get in the pocket and control Chiasson, potentially using her leverage and strength in the clinch. Chiasson is opportunistic when it comes to jumping on her opponent’s back and looking for a choke or landing heavy shots.
Key Stats: 2:23:31 total fight time (2nd all-time among WBW), 60.9% significant strike defense (6th all-time among WBW), 4 finishes (tied 3rd all-time among WBW)
What It Means: Reneau is a tough, durable veteran that has seen a lot of time in the Octagon and fights like someone with that kind of extensive experience. She is a steady and strong striker, and when the fight moves to the fence and clinch situations, she shows solid technique and strength to put herself into winning positions.
Key Stats: 4.4 strikes landed per minute, 2.22 strikes absorbed per minute, 70% takedown defense
What It Means: Chiasson is a long, rangy fighter and is ever improving at utilizing her frame. She is an aggressive, pressure fighter, utilizing her pace and footwork to swarm her opponents. Her takedown defense and ability along the cage have improved with time, and even if a fighter gets past her long limbs, she has good dexterity and balance. She keeps her range well, and on the ground, she is patient with her control as she searches for windows for ground-and-pound or a submission.