The middleweight division continues to heat up as hot contender Kevin Holland looks to shut up the hype train destroyer, Derek Brunson on UFC Fight Night this Saturday. The last event did not have too many upsets, but if you can bet on anything, it’s that the unexpected can happen between explosive fighters. Find all the UFC betting odds for all fights from the BetUS online sportsbook. Let’s break down the biggest fights for this Saturday night, including some Brunson vs Holland betting.
- Date: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, USA
- Watch on: ESPN, ESPN+
Derek Brunson Derails Kevin Holland
Weight Class: Middleweight (185)
Rounds: Five (Main Event)
Odds: Brunson +140, Holland -170
The “Trailblazer” Holland (21-5-0) looks for his sixth consecutive victory as he gets tested by longtime yet perpetually dangerous gatekeeper, Brunson (21-7-0). Holland is coming off a scintillating knockout of former top-three contender “Jacare” Souza, who has a pair of knockout wins over Brunson.
Brunson seems to be smartening up as a fighter. He used to be a fighter who either knocked out his opponents or got himself knocked out. But lately, he’s been utilizing his wrestling more, having landed ten takedowns while giving up none.
This is Brunson’s path to victory against Holland, who has a 52 percent takedown defense but has surrendered takedowns in almost every fight he’s been in (though he’s won most of them).
If the old and wild Brunson shows up, Holland can pick him apart with his four-inch reach advantage. The Trailblazer has found a way to win fights despite getting taken down. He’s hard to keep down and has the cardio to go strong for most of five rounds.
I feel this is closer to a 50/50 fight than odds indicate so I’ll lean on Brunson, the underdog, to pull an upset here. Holland is red-hot right now, but it wasn’t too long ago when Brendan Allen took him down and owned him on the mat.
I don’t foresee Brunson putting on a grappling clinic, but he’s strong and technical enough with his wrestling to out grapple Holland and edge this one out with the judges.
Brunson vs Holland Betting Pick: Brunson +140*
Gillespie Gets Back on Track Against Riddell
Weight Class: Lightweight (155)
Odds: Gregor Gillespie -235, Brad Riddell +185
Gregor “The Gift” Gillespie (13-1-0) rises and will be fighting for the first time since being on the wrong end of a highlight-reel knockout against Kevin Lee. Brad Riddell (9-1-0) is a step down in competition, but the Kiwi is unbeaten in the UFC.
It’s hard to be confident in a fighter that is coming off a long layoff following a horrible KO loss. But the good news for Gillespie is, he hasn’t absorbed too many career-altering blows. Even if he can get reckless, the New Yorker has been relatively durable and has his Division I wrestling to fall back on.
That’s his key to victory here. Gillespie has either knocked out his opponents or taken them down and dominated them. He even took down Vinc Pichel, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, seven times.
A knockout loss like Gillespie had can forever alter how a fighter approaches his game. Gillespie could switch his once gung ho style for a more conservative albeit tentative style. But his wrestling will always be an edge, especially against a pure kickboxer like Riddell.
I’m backing Gillespie here thanks to his wrestling. But be wary as Riddell can be hard to keep down as Magomed Mustafaev found out. If Gillespie can’t keep Riddell down or tire him out, he’s prone to get outboxed by the New Zealander. Still, Mustafaev is not a D-I wrestler like Gillespie. The Gift gets the decision here.
Pick: Gregor Gillespie -235*
Tuivasa Rolls Against Mayes
Weight Class: Heavyweight (265)ufc s
Odds: Tai Tuivasa -215, Don’Tale Mayes +170
We move from one Kiwi to the next as Tai “Bam Bam “Tuivasa (11-3-0) returns to action to take on Don’Tale Mayes (8-4-0). This is a showcase fight for Tuivasa who is one of the new breed of heavyweights: swift and powerful.
Tuivasa was on his way to becoming a top contender in a division that is sorely itching for young talent. But three consecutive losses crashed his hype train. A knockout win over Stefan Struve got him back on track and the UFC is throwing him another softball here.
With all due respect to Mayes, he’s a plodding heavyweight who does not have the striking acumen of Junior Dos Santos or the grappling acumen of Blagoy Ivanov or Serghei Spivac.
In short, this will be a highlight knockout for Bam Bam who is the much faster fighter of the two. Outside of betting Tuivasa, look for him to win by knockout and/or to win in round one. A bet on this fight to not go to decision is also worth a look.
Pick: Tai Tuivasa -215*
*all odds subject to change