A huge top-15 matchup between contenders Michael Chiesa and Kevin Holland has just been announced for July 29 at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City, Utah, per Dana White.
This fight takes place in the Welterweight (170 lbs) division.
Michael Chiesa is ranked #12 in the Welterweight division and holds a record of 16-6 (11-6 UFC). He holds notable wins over Rafael dos Anjos, Neil Magny, and Carlos Condit.
Kevin Holland holds a professional record of 24-9-1NC (11-6-1NC UFC) and holds noteworthy wins over Santiago Ponzinibbio, Tim Means, and Joaquin Buckley.
Official odds have yet to be released.
Michael Chiesa will finally be breaking his two-year layoff. "Maverick" was initially scheduled to face Li Jingliang at UFC 287, but an injury would force Li out of the bout and leave Chiesa with no opponent. Chiesa last fought in November 2021, losing to Sean Brady via unanimous decision. Brady would start strong and use his wrestling to control the bout, but in the third round, Chiesa would finish strong, hurting Brady multiple times. However, it wasn't enough to get the victory, and Brady walked away with the unanimous decision. Chiesa will be looking to break his two-fight losing skid and get back into the win column with a victory over Holland.
Kevin Holland has found his home at Welterweight, and being 3-2 in your last five has never looked so appealing. Holland debuted at 170 in 2022 and secured back-to-back finishes against Alex Oliveira and Tim Means. Then, he would sacrifice a matchup against Daniel Rodriguez to face Khamzat Chimaev on short notice, where he was submitted in the first. Following that loss, "Trailblazer" engaged in a Fight of The Year contender against Stephen Thompson but would lose via fourth-round doctor stoppage. And now, at UFC 287, he got back into the win column with a vicious KO over Ponzinibbio. He'll be looking to build this momentum and bring his win streak to two when he faces Chiesa.
This is an intriguing matchup in the Welterweight division, with the winner potentially securing a top-10 opponent next. Who do you have taking this one? As a member of the Verdict Community, let us know your prediction in the comments below.