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Clash of Styles: Can Oleksiejczuk Upset Holland? Don’t Bet on It

Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier take center stage at UFC 302 at the Prudential Center this weekend, and rightfully so. However, there’s no denying that Kevin “The Trailblazer” Holland will assist those pay-per-view numbers as he returns to the octagon against a menacing collector of knockout wins in Michal Oleksiejczuk.

Following a mediocre run at 175 pounds, Kevin Holland is back as a middleweight, and despite losing to Michael ‘Venom’ Page last time out, he’s preferable at this weight class, particularly when faced with opponents ranked outside of the top 15 like Oleksiejczuk.

Clash of Styles: Can Oleksiejczuk Upset Holland? Don’t Bet on It
UFC Fighter Kevin Holland - Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Will Kevin Holland return to the win column following two consecutive losses? Or will the UFC odds be defied this weekend by an unsuspecting KO specialist in Michal Oleksiejczuk? Let’s evaluate that situation, shall we…

 

Holland vs. Oleksiejczuk Fight Information

  • Date & Time: Saturday, June. 1, 2024 – 06:00 p.m. ET  
  • Location: The Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
  • How to Watch: ESPN+
  • Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
  • Main Event Bout: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier
  • Co-Main Event Bout: Sean Strickland vs. Paulo Costa
  • Moneyline Probability: Holland – 74.4% (-290) Oleksiejczuk – 30.3% (+230)

 

Holland vs. Oleksiejczuk Betting Odds

 

“The Trailblazer”: Overcoming Inconsistency

Two wins, two losses: The story of Kevin Holland’s career for the past four years. With stints across the welterweight and middleweight weight classes, you could say that inconsistency has plagued him of late. Still, outside of Stephen Thompson and Khamzat Chimaev, nobody has dominated the Travis Lutter MMA representative.

Should the x2 trend continue, Holland is due two wins, and one could argue that Saturday’s matchmaking places him in the perfect spot. In this bout, he owns significantly more experience versus elite opponents, a notable size advantage, and a skillset that gifts him multiple paths to victory, whether on the scorecards, by KO/TKO, or by submission.

 

Oleksiejczuk: Even More Inconsistent

Much like his weekend opponent, Poland’s Michal Oleksiejczuk has struggled to maintain consistency. Since joining the UFC in 2019, he’s won seven, lost five, and has alternated wins and losses for the past 24 months.

The most noteworthy difference between Oleksiejczuk and Holland would be the level of competition. Losses to OSP and Dustin Jacoby aren’t so credible compared to Holland’s setbacks, and even in a lesser-stacked middleweight division, he’s still just 3-2 in the record books.

 

Holland Is More Scared of Makhachev Than His UFC 302 Opponent

While Holland isn’t even in the same division as this weekend’s defending UFC lightweight champion, during an interview with MMAJunkie, he seemed more worried about the Dagestani’s than anyone else:

I think the way those guys grapple over there, I don’t think it would matter if you are a heavyweight; they’re going to get you down. They are persistent, work hard, and are really good at what they do. And I really suck at wrestling so that I wouldn’t want any problems with that guy. I know how to pick my fights. My momma taught me well.”

 

Holland vs. Oleksiejczuk: The Tale of The Tape

Holland
Oleksiejczuk
USA
Country
Poland
31
Age
29
25-11-0
Pro Record (Win/Loss)
19-7-0
5 KOs, 6 Submissions
KO/Submission
5 KOs, 7 Submissions
6’3”
Height
6’0”
81.0”
Reach
74.0”
L/L/W/W/L
Win/Loss (Last 5)
L/W/L/W/W

 

Holland and Oleksiejczuk in the Octagon

Are there concerns surrounding Holland’s career thus far? Sure, but for the flaws he’s presented, the man holds an incredible level of durability, excellent cardio, and most importantly, a diverse offensive skillset that’s displayed power on the feet and a level of BJJ that can see a fight end via submission.

Oleksiejczuk, for the most part, has been a pure striker whose successes have relied on quick finishes via striking offenses. Unfortunately for him, those who’ve survived the first round against him have found major success after the fact.

What’s concerning for the Polish native in this bout is the size and experience he’ll be faced with. It’s also easy to argue that Holland will be faster, and regarding opportune moments, the American certainly holds the advantages.

 

  • Four of Oleksiejczuk’s five UFC losses were by submission  
  • Oleksiejczuk has gone the distance in just two of his 13 UFC bouts 
  • Holland owns a 75% finish rate in the UFC 
  • Holland’s previous six UFC wins were by KO/TKO or submission  

 

Holland vs. Michal: UFC 302 From a Betting Perspective  

Do I like the current -290 betting line on Holland outright? Certainly not… Does that matter? No, because Oleksiejczuk and Holland hate going the distance in success or defeat. Win or lose, these pair don’t go the distance, and to be honest, I don’t believe the Pole will have enough in the gas tank to survive Holland for 10 minutes, let alone 15 of them.

Stylistically, the granite chin of Holland will be the x-factor. Will he begin talking smack mid-fight? Please give me a betting line on that, and I’ll take it. However, for all the games played inside the cage, he’s one tough S.O.B, and I envision the pressure style of Oleksiejczuk running straight into another ‘Trailblazer’ stoppage, whether that’s via KO/TKO or by submission.

My Best Bet: 

 

 

Odds and information are accurate at the time of writing. Please check with official sources for the latest updates before placing any bets.

 

Questions Of The Day

Can Kevin Holland Win by KO/TKO at UFC 302?


Kevin Holland is athletic and dynamic and a proven finisher. While his UFC 302, Michal Oleksiejczuk, hasn’t lost via KO/TKO in the UFC to date, Holland is entirely capable of bucking this trend, particularly if this fight hits the ground.

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