Kevin Holland defeated Michael Chiesa via submission (d'arce choke), Round 1 - 2:39 at UFC 291 on Saturday, July 29, 2023, live from the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, UT.
The crowd was extremely loud to start the first round. Holland took the middle while Chiesa circled the outisde of the Octagon. Holland closed the distance and started hammering Chiesa with uppercuts. Holland used the same technique to drop Chiesa who was able to return to his feet.
Chiesa went for a single leg takedown but Holland successfully defended it. Holland partially landed a flying knee. Chiesa landed a combo but Holland dropped Chiesa with a violent knee. Holland locked in a submission and forced Chiesa to tap out.
After winning his first four fights at welterweight, Chiesa entered Salt Lake City on a two-fight losing streak. The losses dropped Chiesa to 12th in the UFC welterweight rankings. Chiesa took off his gloves extremely fast after his third straight loss. The 35-year-old could be considering retirement as he has a post-fighting career as analyst.
Holland has had mixed results since returning to welterweight after fighting the majority of his UFC career at middleweight. In his last fight, Holland knocked out Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 287. With his victory over Chiesa, he will move into the rankings.