Preview – Middleweight Contenders Collide During UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland on ABC and ESPN+

After taking a week off, the UFC is back on ESPN+ this week with another Fight Night card loaded with exciting bouts. And to make things even more exciting, the main card will also be earring on ABC, bringing some of the best fighters in the world to network television once again.

Two of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders will go toe to toe as they look to set themselves up for a future championship opportunity. Plus, two more middleweights pick up much-needed wins and two featherweight contenders will try to climb the ranks.

Middleweight bout: Sam Alvey vs. Julian Marquez

The middleweight division is loaded with talent, so it makes sense that these two guys are on the outside of the rankings looking in. For Alvey, this is a huge fight as he has dropped four of his last five and the only thing snapping his win streak was a draw. The 34-year-old veteran may just need a victory here to keep his career alive and that, combined with his serious knockout power, makes him a very dangerous opponent for anyone.

On the other side of the cage, Marquez is coming off of a very impressive submission win just a couple of months go. In his last seven fights, Marquez has won six times, stopping his opponent in each of those contests. His win streak was snapped last summer when he dropped a split decision but he has since bounced back. Now, he’ll look to stay hot and rebuild that momentum as he tries to crack the top 15 in the class.

Featherweight bout: Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff

Any time you can get two promising young stars, both ranked in the top 15 in their class, facing off in a co-main event, you know you’re in for big fight. The 27-yeard-old Allen is looking to win his 10th in a row (eighth in the UFC) and advance his record to 17-1. He has proven to be a well-rounded fighter, with five knockouts and four submission wins under his belt, while he has never been stopped himself. Currently sitting at number 10 in the division, a win here could be huge for his future.

And sitting just one spot behind, Yussuff is also looking to remain red hot. The 11th-ranked fighter is riding a six-fight winning streak and coming in with an 11-1 record. Yussuff, who is also just 27 years old, is a bit more one-dimensional, coming in with six wins by knockout and none by submission. It will be interesting to see if Allen looks to grapple his way to a victory or if he’s willing to stand and bang with this talented striker.

Middleweight bout: Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland

As I’ve said, the middleweight division is loaded with talent. So a main event featuring two of the top 10 contenders in the class is always going to be an exciting one. It only gets more exciting when both of those fighters are in their 20s and have enormous potential.

Vettori is riding a four-fight win streak, including an impressive decision victory over Jack Hermansson in December. The 27-year-old comes in with a 16-4 record and nine wins by submission. A fighter with that strong a grappling resume is sure to be a threat to any opponent. Perhaps most impressively though, Vettori faced off with now dominant middleweight champ Israel Adesanya back in 2018 and fought him to a split decision. Vettori may not have come out on top, but the fact that he took Adesanya the distance and even won the fight in one judge’s eyes says a lot about his potential.

And speaking of potential, anyone who can knockout Jacare Souza from their back has some serious skills. Thats exactly what Holland did back in December, earning him his fifth consecutive win. He has since lost a fight however. UFC veteran Derek Brunson defeated Holland via unanimous decision just last month. But this is a big opportunity for Holland to bounce back and prove that his big win wasn’t a fluke. The 28-year-old comes in with a 21-6 record and 12 knockouts to his name. This is another clash of styles and it will be very interesting to see how these two approach each other.

UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland will be held Saturday, April 10 at 3 PM ET. Fight fans can watch live on ABC and ESPN+.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."