Kevin Holland steps in to replace injured Darren Till and save UFC main event against Marvin Vettori … with American out for redemption after ‘mental breakdown’ in Derek Brunson’s defeat
- Kevin Holland will fight Marvin Vettori on April 10 as the main event of UFC Vegas 23
- Darren Till was said to be up against Vettori, but a broken collarbone ruled out Liverpudlian
- Holland fought just two weeks ago when he lost to Derek Brunson in a bad way
- Dana White criticized the American and suggested he was having a nervous breakdown
Kevin Holland replaces injured Darren Till in UFC Vegas 23 main event after being announced as Marvin Vettori’s new opponent.
Till was forced out of the April 10 bout with a broken collarbone, and the Netherlands, the 10th middleweight, intervened with a few weeks’ notice.
The 28-year-old fought just two weeks ago, at UFC Vegas 22, when he lost to Derek Brunson to take his record to 21-6 after breaking the 2020 record for the most UFC wins in a calendar year with five .
Kevin Holland has been announced as Marvin Vettori’s new opponent at UFC Vegas 23
Darren Till had fought against Vettori, but a broken collarbone left him without April 10th
It was a defeat to Brunson that was heavily criticized by UFC president Dana White, who questioned the Netherlands’ mindset and jovial behavior after being seen laughing and asking Khabib Nurmagomedov for advice between rounds.
“I think that was a nervous breakdown,” White recalled Yahoo Sports after the fight.
‘The only other thing I saw as it was [in boxing] when Lennox Lewis fought that guy [Oliver McCall] who put his hands next to him and cried.
‘I don’t know what he did. I think he may not have been able to handle the pressure and just mentally broke.
UFC president Dana White criticized the Netherlands’ mentality in his recent defeat to Derek Brunson
‘I haven’t seen anything like it. He thought everyone here was his friend and he was just having fun. ‘
The Netherlands, however, has a chance to return to winning ways soon, but will have to beat Vettori, ranked sixth in the division, who is on a four-fight win streak after beating Jack Hermansson in December.
The Italian’s last defeat was against Israel Adesanya via a tight split decision in 2018, and Adesanya is now fourth in the UFC pound for pound rankings.
Vettori has only fought seven times since 2016, during which time the Netherlands has had 18 fights, and so the American fighter will have little concern about re-entering the octagon so shortly after his last defeat.
Marvin Vettori enters the fight with a run of four consecutive wins and hasn’t lost since 2018