UFC 279: Kevin Holland vs Khamzat Chimaev Picks, Predictions, Odds

Khamzat Chimaev vs Kevin Holland
September 10, 2022 11:35 pm EDT
The Line: Kevin Holland +425 / Khamzat Chimaev -600
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland fight Saturday in UFC 279 at the T-Mobile Arena. Chimaev enters this fight with an 11-0 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Holland enters this fight with a 23-7 record and has won 57 percent of his fights by knockout.

This will be Chimaev’s third fight since 2021 and is coming off an April win over Gilbert Burns. Chimaev is averaging 7.89 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 59 percent. Chimaev is averaging 3.23 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 66 percent. Chimaev is coming off a decision win at UFC 273 where he landed 124 total strikes and produced 2 takedowns. The bout earned fight of the night honors, the fifth straight fight Chimaev has earned a bonus. It was the first time Chimaev has gone the distance, and this will be his first time fighting a 5 round fight. Chimaev has a background in wrestling and usually keeps his opponent on the ground once he gets it there, always fighting for position and changing guard. Chimaev can be a bit sloppy with the standup, but he has power in his hands and typically swings with a purpose while producing 6 knockouts. Chimaev has had just 1 fight make it out of the second round through 11 pro fights. This will be Chimaev’s second career fight in Nevada.

Holland has split his last 6 fights and is coming off a June win over Tim Means. Holland is averaging 3.90 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 54 percent. Holland is averaging 0.84 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Holland is coming off a submission win at UFC on ESPN 37 where he landed 53 total strikes. The bout earned performance of the night, the second straight fight Holland has earned the bonus. Holland will fight for the third time this year and has a chance to put his name in the ring for fighter of the year with a victory. Holland is a lengthy, athletic fighter with an 81-inch reach and impressive stand-up ability. He’s light on his feet, constantly moving and not giving his opponent an easy target. Holland has a boxing background with quick hands, good footwork and 13 career knockouts. A tough, confident fighter, Holland has produced knockouts in 3 of his last 4 victories. A black belt in Kung Fu and BJJ, Holland closes the distance well to land that big shot, and he’s gotten a lot more comfortable on the canvas over the years. Because of his length, Holland can really make life difficult for his opponent once on the ground, and he has 6 career submission victories. Five of Holland’s 7 career losses have come by decision. This will be Holland’s 10th career fight in Nevada.

Chimaev is going to be favored for obvious reasons, and asking Holland to pull this off is kind of ridiculous given the short notice. Just a day ago, Holland was expected to fight Daniel Rodriguez and was a -200 favorite. Now he’s going up against one of the scarier fighters on the planet at the moment. With that said, maybe Holland goes out there and swings for the fences to possibly spring an upset. While his takedown defense is spotty, Holland does have a 6-inch reach advantage on the feet and has the pop to make things interesting. It’s unlikely, but I’ll take a stab with Holland and the plus money anyway. 

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Kevin Holland +425

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.
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