Up and comer middleweight contender Marvin Vettori has agreed to replace Kevin Holland against Jack Hermansson at UFC Vegas 16. Kevin Holland was forced to pull out of the fight after contracting Covid-19 according to ESPN.
After Kevin Holland was forced out of the Dec. 5 headliner vs. Jack Hermansson due to a positive COVID-19 test, Vettori has agreed to step in for the new five-round middleweight matchup. 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.
While saving 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.
Kevin Holland will now face Jacare Souza at UFC 256 on 12/12 after having to pull out of next weekend’s main event due to testing positive for COVID. Vettori x Hermansson is on for next weekend’s headliner, per the broadcast.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 29, 2020
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.
Hermansson vs Vettori: Fighting for the top spot
Hermansson, 32, has gone through multiple opponents for the December date. He was originally booked against Darren Till, who withdrew due to a knee injury. He then got Holland, and now Vettori. The Swede has said he’s simply eager to compete, with the hope of building momentum off his quick submission win over Kelvin Gastelum in July.
Vettori, 27, will get a chance to break through into the upper tier of 185 pounds in his first UFC main event. He was originally slated to fight Ronaldo Souza at UFC 256 on Dec. 12 but has now been removed from that matchup with “Jacare,” who lost to Hermansson in April 2019. There has been a lot of movement going on in the middleweight division of the UFC but just a few fights from now we will have a bunch of top contenders fighting for the shot at the title.
The latest UFC On ESPN 19 lineup now includes:
- Jack Hermansson vs. Marvin Vettori
- Jamahal Hill vs. Ovince Saint Preux
- Montana De La Rosa vs. Taila Santos
- John Allan vs. Roman Dolidze
- Jordan Leavitt vs. Matt Wiman
- Cody Durden vs. Jimmy Flick
- Movsar Evloev vs. Nate Landwehr
- Damon Jackson vs. Ilia Topuria
- Jose Quinonez vs. Louis Smolka
- Jake Collier vs. Gian Villante
- Gabriel Benitez vs. Justin Jaynes