The UFC 291 main card begins with a bang Saturday when welterweights Kevin Holland and Michael Chiesa throw down inside the Octagon.
The Holland vs Chiesa odds are decently tight, with "Trailblazer" currently the -150 favorite.
Want to bet on other fights on the UFC 291 main card? Check out our betting previews and picks:
Kevin Holland vs Michael Chiesa Betting Odds
Odds as of July 27
Per our odds calculator, a $100 bet on Holland at -150 (60% implied chance) pays out $166.67. The same $100 on Chiesa's +125 odds (44.44% implied chance) pays out $225.
UFC 291 Betting Odds & Fight Card
Odds as of July 27
Holland vs Chiesa Betting Preview: How Each Guy Wins the fight
Stylistically, this is a very murky fight. Allow me to explain as we unpack the Holland vs Chiesa odds.
How Holland Wins
Remember the circus that was UFC 279? In a last-minute main-card switch-up, Holland faced Khamzat Chimaev, who faked a glove touch and shot a takedown. Holland lost quickly via submission, but I was still very impressed with his fight off his back.
That fight — the slipperiness and the energy to get up — will determine if Holland wins or loses at UFC 291. On the feet, Trailblazer should spank Chiesa. Holland has a six-inch reach advantage and is a way more active striker than his grapple-first opponent.
So what will Holland do? Will he lay on his back and gasp for air or fight like hell and stand up? That's your whole fight right there.
How Chiesa Wins
"Maverick" wins by keeping Holland under wraps and limiting those dynamite moments. There's little doubt Chiesa will dominate the ground game — and perhaps even threaten a submission — but his biggest challenge will be entering against Holland's rangy attacks.
Chiesa must intelligently counter Holland's strikes. That means catching kicks or parrying attacks and immediately level-changing. If the 35-year-old gets some grappling momentum early, this could be a 15-minute smother-fest.
Holland vs Chiesa Pick
I see this fight going two ways: Holland inside the distance or Chiesa by decision.
It's challenging to handicap Holland. He's a smooth striker and a brawler at heart, but he's also long and skinny, and takedown artists feast on his frame.
Proceed with caution when betting on this fight. But, gun to my head, I'll take Chiesa to win straight up.