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UFC 227 live blog: Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland

Thiago “Marreta” Santos faces off with Kevin Holland ahead of their middleweight bout at UFC 227 on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 227 live blog for Thiago Santos vs. Kevin Holland, a middleweight bout at Saturday’s UFC event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Santos, who has won four of his last five bouts, faces Holland, who is making his UFC debut on a four fight win streak, on the main card.

Check out the UFC 227 live blog below.

Round 1: Michael Beltran in the cage to oversee this one. Santos comes out aggressive, then counters a Holland knee with a takedown attempt. Holland counters by throwing up an omoplata attempt on the way down, but Santos drops into his guard. Holland with the straight armbar attempt from the bottom. Santos breaks free and fires a flurry of ground-and-pound. Santos stands up and starts kicking Holland’s legs. Holland responding with some wild upkicks. Santos drops back into Holland’s guard and attacks with short punches and hammer fists. Holland can’t get up and he is taking some hard shots. Santos stands up, but dives in with a punch. Back on the feet, Santos easily avoids a Holland charge. Holland’s left eye really starting to swell up.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Santos.

Round 2: Body kick connects solidly for Santos. They throw kicks simultaneously and Santos’s strike glances Holland’s cup, so there’s a brief stoppage. He’s talking a lot. High kick by Santos and Santos plays like he’s been rocked, Holland responds in kind. He’s jawing so much that his mouthpiece falls out. Santos gets in deep on a takedown and ends up in Holland’s half guard. Full mount for Santos, but Holland is able to get both feet on the fence and kick off to push Santos off and they rest on the feet. Santos punishing Holland’s body with a kick and a stiff left hand. Another body kick and Holland is backed up against the fence. Santos changes levels for a body lock and he drags Holland down. Holland stands up and takes a knee for his troubles. Holland firing back though and he clips Santos with a couple of hooks. Then a knee as Santos goes in for a takedown. Holland defending with a kimura and he ends up rolling Santos onto the mat and getting on top in side control. Good elbows by Holland. He maintains the position and closes the round with some more elbows.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Holland. Overall, 19-19.

Round 3: Santos keeping the distance with kicks this time, though he lunges in for a body punch and nearly eats a counter punch for his efforts. Santos with the trip. He’s in half guard and scoring with hammer fists. Holland giving up his back, but Santos wrestles him down and transitions to full mount. He’s laying on top and doing nothing with the position though. Just when he starts landing punches, Holland kicks off the cage again to get Santos off. Beltran calls for a standup. Santos unloading on Holland and Holland is just all over the place now, firing a high kick that goes nowhere. Takedown is stuffed by Santos and he marks Holland up with short punches before wrestling him down into full mount again. He’s looking for an arm-triangle. Santos gets to Holland’s side, but can’t finish the hold, and Holland rolls back and out of it. Santos is going to end this one in guard as Holland just ran out of options in round three.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Santos. Overall, 29-28 Santos.

Official result: Thiago Santos def. Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-26)