- What: UFC on ESPN+ 85
- Who: Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena
- Date: Saturday, September 16, 2023
- Location: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV
- Time: Prelims (7:00 p.m. ET) Main Card (10:00 p.m. ET)
- How to Watch: Prelims (ESPN+), Main Card (ESPN+)
Current UFC women’s flyweight champion Alexa Grasso makes the first defense of her title on a UFC Fight Night card the promotion has labeled Noche UFC, in honor of Mexican Independence Day. Grasso faces the woman she took the title from, Valentina Shevchenko, on Saturday, September 16, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Before that contest takes place, Kevin Holland and Jack Della Maddalena face off in an important welterweight bout. Here is some information on the Holland vs. Maddalena scrap before we discuss the betting breakdown for the UFC on ESPN+ 85 fight card.
Kevin Holland (25-9-0-1) is the No. 13 fighter in the official UFC welterweight rankings. Holland, who is one of the more active UFC fighters, is riding a two-fight winning streak, both stoppages, heading into his third fight in 2023. His most recent win was a July submission over Michael Chiesa.
Jack Della Maddalena (15-2) is ranked No. 14 in the UFC’s 170-pound weight class. Della Maddalena is unbeaten in the UFC with a 5-0 record. Four of his wins have been stoppages, but he is coming off his first UFC decision victory, a July split-decision win over Bassil Hafez. Della Maddalena has won four straight post-fight bonus awards.
Before we look at the best bets for the Holland vs. Maddalena matchup on the Noche UFC fight card, check out the best UFC betting sites and our betting picks for Alexa Grasso vs. Valentina Shevchenko 2.
UFC on ESPN+ 85 co-main event: Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena betting picks
|To Win UFC on ESPN+ 85 Co-Main Event|
|Jack Della Maddalena||-145||-130||-145|
UFC on ESPN+ 85 co-main event: Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena betting breakdown
Since arriving on the UFC scene in January 2022, Jack Della Maddalena has looked the part of a future star. The 26-year-old Australian was 4-0 with four stoppages when he was booked to face top-10 UFC welterweight Sean Brady in July. However, Brady withdrew from that fight due to injury. A medical condition prevented his replacement, Josiah Harrell, from stepping into the octagon. The next week, Della Maddalena faced Bassil Hafez.
The fight was much closer than anticipated, with Della Maddalena beating the UFC newcomer by split decision. I don’t put much stock into a fight that was taken without a training camp, on short notice, and after going through two weight cuts, and therefore, that bout should have little bearing on picking Della Maddalena vs. Kevin Holland.
Della Maddalena is an excellent striker, as evidenced by his 11 knockout wins in 15 career victories. He has a brown belt in jiu-jitsu and a couple of submission wins, so he’s no slouch on the ground. But expect him to do everything he can to keep this fight standing so he can compete to his strengths.
Kevin Holland is a very good all-around fighter, but he tends to want to fight to his opponent’s strengths rather than exploit their weaknesses. With that, I expect Holland to engage in a striking war with Della Maddalena on Saturday in Vegas.
UFC on ESPN+ 85 co-main event: Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena statistical breakdown
Holland is the larger of the two fighters, he has a four-inch height advantage and a massive eight-inch reach advantage over Della Maddalena. This discrepancy in height and reach could give Della Maddalena problems, seeing as his primary striking targets are the head and body of his opponent.
Della Maddalena is one of the most active strikers in the 170-pound division, landing an average of 7.27 significant strikes per minute, which is much higher than Holland’s average of 4.11. As for striking defense, Holland gets hit on average 2.96 times per minute as opposed to Della Maddalena’s 3.50.
Neither fighter is especially active in takedowns, but Holland, who has a black belt in jiu-jitsu, is very good when the fight goes to the ground, and that could be his best path to victory.
Best Bets: UFC on ESPN+ 85 co-main event: Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena
Holland likes to entertain fans, so a striking battle is most likely to occur when he faces Jack Della Maddalena in Las Vegas. Della Maddalena has looked very good during his UFC run, but this is his first fight against a ranked and experienced opponent. With that, this matchup is an enormous test for the 26-year-old. He has all the tools to win, and I imagine that’s why he’s the betting favorite, but the 30-year-old Holland’s experience and ability to beat fighters at their own game give me pause in making Della Maddalena my betting pick. Holland’s length will give Della Maddalena problems, and Holland’s low kicks will slow his opponent’s attack and score points. My pick is for the betting underdog to get the win via decision.
Best UFC on ESPN+ 85 Co-Main Event Betting Pick: Kevin Holland to beat Jack Della Maddalena via decision.
See below a list of reliable sportsbooks and choose the best one for you.