Kyle Daukaus thinks Kevin Holland’s wrestling is better than advertised but still sees that aspect of the game making a big difference at UFC Fight Night 193.

Holland (21-7 MMA, 7-4 UFC) had his grappling deficiencies exploited in back-to-back losses. In recent months he’s been working hard to shore up the holes in his game, and he’ll attempt to rebound when he meets Daukaus (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in a middleweight bout on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.

Daukaus doesn’t think Holland deserves all the hate he’s received for his grappling defense.

“A lot of people think he has terrible wrestling defense and all this stuff, but I think he’s good,” Daukaus told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 193 media day. “I think he’s decent. I think he struggles at one thing, and it’s cage defense, and I’m going to take advantage of that in this fight. I just think the fans go too hard and go at him too bad. I think he’s a lot better than people think he is.”

Just because Daukaus has a higher opinion of Holland’s wrestling than most doesn’t mean anything come fight night. Daukaus said he would be foolish not to lean on that part of his game, and if that means it turns into a dull affair, then so be it.

To hear more from Daukaus, check out his complete UFC Fight Night 193 media day interview above.


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