Michael Chiesa, Kevin Holland, UFC 291

Michael Chiesa targeted to make return against Kevin Holland at UFC 291

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Salt Lake City, Utah on July 29, 2023, and this is one you don’t want to miss!

The UFC has already added seven stellar match ups to the lineup, including a Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje rematch for the ages headliner, as well as a light-heavyweight bout between former champions Jan Blachowicz and Alex Pereira, and a middleweight affair between Paulo Costa and Ikram Aliskerov.

There’s also a very intriguing welterweight bout going down at this event, coming between Michael Chiesa and Kevin Holland, which is to be Chiesa’s first fight in nearly two years.

Chiesa, though hasn’t fought in a while, comes into the bout on a two-fight skid, having lost to the likes of Vicente Luque (D’Arce choke) and most recently Sean Brady (UD).

Prior to that he’d gone 4-0 through his first four bouts since moving up to 170 lbs, having defeated the likes of former WEC & interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (kimura), Diego Sanchez (UD), former UFC lightweight Rafael dos Anjos (UD), and Neil Magny (UD).

Holland on the other hand, following a 5-0 run with four knockouts in 2020 up at middleweight, went 0-2 (1 NC) in 2021, prompting a move down to the welterweight division.

Since then Holland has gone 3-2, first defeating Alex Oliveira (TKO) and Tim Means (D’Arce choke), losing to current no. 4 ranked Khamzat Chimaev (D’Arce choke) and two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson (TKO), and most recently defeating Santiago Ponzinibbio (KO).

Chiesa’s wrestling and overall grappling could be the key to his victory in this fight, though he has been caught in submissions a few times before and Holland is no joke on the mat, boasting a BJJ black belt himself.

Then we have Holland’s striking, which could pose some serious problems for Chiesa.

This is a great match up between a former lightweight that was absolutely massive for the division and a former middleweight that was quite small for his division. Who do you see coming out on top at UFC 291?

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!