Kevin Holland tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. This has canceled his main event bout next week against Jack Hermansson. However, the UFC has made some clever moves to keep the division going. Considering all fighters involved are ranked middleweights with title aspirations, it is important that all these fights didn’t fall by the wayside.
To save next week’s main event, Marvin Vettori will move from UFC 256 to face Jack Hermansson. While at the same time, Holland will take his place at UFC 256 and fight Jacare Souza.
Hermansson was originally booked to face Darren Till on the card next week. However, an injury to Till ended up canceling that fight, and Kevin Holland emerged as the replacement. Now, ‘Trail Blazer’ is out of the fight due to his positive test.
The UFC was quick to react and moved Vettori from a PPV mid-card fight to a Fight Night main event. The moves will be tough for the fans to follow. Furthermore, it will be tough on the fighters who have spent entire training camps honing their strategies for one fighter.
The final matchups are Hermansson vs Vettori next week, while Holland faces Souza at UFC 256 on December 12.
Holland has fought four times in 2020. All of these fights have taken place after the pandemic hit. He is currently 4-0 for the year and will look to become one of the few fighters in UFC history to go 5-0 in a calendar year. That motivation would explain why Holland accepted to be re-booked while dealing with COVID.
We can assume Holland is either asymptomatic or not sick enough for people to be worried. His fighting Jacare Souza is definitely a step-down in competition, as his original opponent (Hermansson) had beaten Souza not too long ago. Nonetheless, Holland will get a chance to take on a staple of the division sometime soon.
Hermansson is a big step up in competition for Vettori, who last beat Karl Roberson. ‘The Joker’ beat Kelvin Gastelum in his last fight and will look to move closer to title contention.
The UFC has done a good job in saving their two Middleweight clashes, which are important for solving the contender issue atop the division. What do you make of the re-booked fights?
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