Last Updated Dec 03, 2022, 8:00 PM

UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland Picks, Predictions, Odds

There are only three more UFC events scheduled for the 2022 calendar year. Prior to the last big PPV next week, we will see the UFC head to the Sunshine State for UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland on Saturday, December 3, 2022. Kevin Holland is a moderate favorite by the UFC betting odds over Stephen Thompson in the main event, but that arguably isn't the biggest fight on the card. Tai Tuivasa will take on Sergei Pavlovich in a showdown between two heavyweights currently ranked in the top five.

UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland will be held at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The promotion will take place on Saturday, December 3, 2022, and the prelims will start at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ while the main event will kick off at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+.

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Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland Picks

The last time we saw Kevin Holland in the Octagon, he was submitted in the first round by Khamzat Chimaev in a catchweight bout at UFC 279. That shouldn't take any shine off of Holland's star though considering Chimaev seems to be the next UFC superstar. In his two fights since returning to welterweight back in March, Holland has earned Performance of the Night bonuses for a second round TKO of Alex Oliveira and a second round submission of Tim Means. Holland has a whopping six-inch reach advantage over Stephen Thompson, and that will make it difficult for Thompson to get inside of his opponent.

Thompson is considered one of the best strikers in the promotion. Only one of his 23 fights has ended by submission, as he typically just stands and trades with opponents as much as possible. Thompson no longer has the power he did when he was younger though with 9 of his last 10 fights being decided by the judges. That lack of power coupled with Holland's reach advantage makes him the pick in the main event.

Best Bet: Kevin Holland to Win (-188)

Bryan Barberena vs. Rafael dos Anjos Picks

Rafael dos Anjos is an enormous favorite over Bryan Barberena by the UFC betting odds on Saturday. Dos Anjos is ranked No. 6 in the current UFC Welterweight Rankings, but he has not fared as well as he had hoped in this division as a former UFC Lightweight Championship title holder. We do know that Dos Anjos has a ton of stamina as seven of his last nine fights have gone five rounds, so Barberena's only hope is to knock out his opponent.

Barberena has not shown a ton of power recently though with four of his last five fights decided by the judges. Additionally, he has not faced top-tier opponents, as his most talented foe was a well past his prime Robbie Lawler. That makes it hard to see a path to victory for Barberena even though he has a size and reach advantage over Dos Anjos.

Best Bet: Dos Anjos by Decision (-125)

Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich Picks

Some of the hype surrounding Tai Tuivasa has died down after he was largely dominated by Ciryl Gane three months ago. However, Tuivasa still has to be considered an elite heavyweight as he defeated five straight opponents prior to that defeat. All of those wins came by knockout in the first or second round, leading to three straight Performance of the Night bonuses.

Tuivasa will be facing another knockout specialist when he takes on Sergei Pavlovich. The only defeat that Pavlovich has suffered in his career came against Alistair Overeem four years ago in Beijing, and he has otherwise knocked out 13 of his 16 opponents. Pavlovich has not faced the same quality of opponent as Tuivasa, but he does have an enormous reach advantage. Pavlovich has a nine-inch reach advantage and a 5.5-inch leg advantage, and that will be difficult for Tuivasa to overcome on Saturday.

Best Bet: Sergei Pavlovich by KO (-150)

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