’s zest and zeal for the martial arts came through in
one of the best performances of his career.

“Wonderboy” weathered brushes with adversity, kept his head above
water and maintained his position as one of the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
’s premier welterweights, as he
forced a corner stoppage against Kevin
in their
UFC on ESPN 42
headliner on Saturday at the Amway Center in
Orlando, Florida. Holland (23-9, 10-6 UFC) and his handlers called
it a night in between the fourth and fifth rounds.

In a clear contender for “Fight of the Year,” Holland made the
first significant move when he staggered the South Carolinian with
an overhand right in the first round and followed up with knee
strikes and standing elbows. Thompson (17-6-1, 12-6-1 UFC)
recovered, seized the reins in Round 2 and never looked back. He
managed distance beautifully, darted in to range with punches and
cut loose with a dazzling array of leg attacks, from hook kicks and
wheel kicks to everything in between. Holland fired back but
suffered an apparent hand injury along the way, curtailing some of
his effectiveness.

Thompson punctuated his performance with a sensational fourth
round. There, he increased the frequency and intensity of his
kicks, a pair of shots to the liver taking away whatever steam
Holland had left. The “Trailblazer” was on the brink of being
finished on multiple occasions during the period, and not long
after he returned to his corner, the decision was made to shut him

Dos Anjos Crank Vanquishes Barberena

Nova Uniao’s Rafael dos
took care of Bryan
a neck crank in the second round of their welterweight co-main
. Barberena (18-9, 9-7 UFC) conceded defeat 3:20
into Round 2, suffering his first submission loss in more than a

Dos Anjos (32-14, 21-12 UFC) set the tone from the start, as he
tripped the Gym-O representative to the canvas in the first round,
threatened with an arm-triangle choke and settled in full mount.
Barberena survived but only prolonged the inevitable. Dos Anjos
delivered another trip takedown in Round 2, progressed to half
guard and eventually maneuvered onto his opponent’s back. He then
snaked his arms in place and let his crushing squeeze do the

The 38-year-old dos Anjos has won three of his past four bouts.

Efficient Nicolau Snipes Schnell

“The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” Season 4 semifinalist Matheus
continued his climb on the flyweight ladder, as he
dismissed Matt
with punches in the second round of their featured
attraction at 125 pounds. Schnell (16-7, 6-5 UFC) wilted 1:44 into
Round 2.

Nicolau (19-2-1, 7-1 UFC) circled on the outside and patiently
waited for openings to present themselves; and while the crowd grew
restless at times with his approach, it became clear he had a plan
and intended to execute it. He dropped Schnell with a left hook in
the first round, applied some ground-and-pound and set the table
for what was to come.
Nicolau knocked down the Fortis MMA rep again with right hand
behind the ear in the second and hammered away with punches until
the stoppage was called

Now on a six-fight tear, Nicolau has not tasted defeat in more than
four years.

Pavlovich Obliterates Tuivasa in 54 Seconds

Onetime Fight Nights Global champion Sergei
laid waste to Tai Tuivasa
with punches less than a minute in the first round of their
heavyweight showcase. Tuivasa (14-5, 8-5 UFC)
packed his bags 54 seconds into Round 1
, suffering his
second setback in as many outings.

Pavlovich (17-1, 5-1 UFC) was punishing and precise. He sat down
Tuivasa with a stiff jab, gave chase with punches and reset himself
when the finish did not immediately materialize. Soon, Pavlovich
was back at it. He caught a ducking Tuivasa with a right uppercut
along the fence, forced the affable Aussie into self-preservation
mode and let fly with power punches until referee Marc Goddard
waved it off.

The 30-year-old Pavlovich has gone 5-0 since his ill-fated Octagon
debut opposite Alistair
on Nov. 24, 2018.

Innovative Dolidze Stuns Hermansson

put away former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship
titleholder Jack
with punches from a modified back mount in the
second round of their featured middleweight attraction. A
short-notice substitution for Derek
, Dolidze (12-1, 6-1 UFC) drew the curtain 4:06 into
Round 2.

Hermansson (23-8, 10-6 UFC) was on cruise control for much of the
first round, where he leaned heavily on his kicks and elusive
movement. However, he completed a takedown in the middle stanza and
immediately wandered into quicksand. Dolidze fished for an armbar
and made a pass for a reverse triangle choke from the bottom before
his spirit of innovation rose to the forefront.
He trapped Hermansson in a calf slicer, then rolled him into a
facedown position. There was no escape. Dolidze uncorked repeated
punches to the side of the subdued Frontline Academy star’s head,
resulting in one of the more creative finishes in UFC

The 34-year-old Dolidze will carry a four-fight winning streak into
his next assignment.

Aggressive Andrews Wrecks Daukaus

Former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion Eryk Anders
rebounded from back-to-back losses to Andre Muniz
and Jun Young Park in
resounding fashion, as he dismissed Kyle
punches in the second round of their middleweight
. Daukaus (11-4, 2-4 UFC) met his end 2:45
into Round 2.

Anders (15-7, 7-7 UFC) floored the Philadelphia native twice with
left hands in the first round and also benefitted from an
inadvertent clash of heads that had his counterpart trying to clear
the cobwebs. Daukaus emerged for the middle stanza in a
still-compromised state and failed to keep the Fight Ready export
at bay. Anderson denied his bid for a desperation takedown, moved
back into open space and decked him again with another left hand
over the top. Daukaus turtled in a defensive position, ate more
punches and gave referee Keith
no choice but to intervene on his behalf.

Daukaus, 29, has suffered consecutive defeats for the first time in
his career.

Overweight Rowe Bounces Price

Fusion X-Cel standout Philip Rowe
disposed of Niko Price
with punches in the third round of their entertaining welterweight
feature. In his first appearance since Oct. 2, 2021, Price (15-6,
7-6 UFC) bowed out 3:26 into a memorable Round 3.

Rowe (10-3, 3-1 UFC)—who missed weight by 2.5 pounds—appeared to
bank a two-rounds-to-none lead with consistent and accurate
standup. Price upped his aggression in the third and nearly rallied
for an improbable finish. He staggered Rowe with a right hand over
the top, drove him to the canvas with a right uppercut and took a
kneeling position in half guard before unleashing elbows and
punches. It was not enough to get the job done.
Rowe returned to his feet, backed his opponent to the fence and
stunned him with a crushing right cross. A badly dazed Price
remained upright but could not withstand the onslaught of punches
that followed

The 32-year-old Rowe has recorded three straight victories.

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Stephen Thompson Silences Kevin Holland in Spectacular UFC on ESPN 42 Headliner