It was exactly the kind of performance Holland wanted to return to the win column as he showcased superior power throughout the fight. The end came after Holland caught a kick from Ponzinibbio and then launched a huge left hook that dropped his opponent to the canvas in violent fashion.
Referee Dan Miragliotta swooped in for the stoppage at 3:16 in the third round as Holland celebrated an emphatic victory. Afterwards, Holland wasted no time turning his attention to Jorge Masvidal after they got involved in several altercations over this past week leading into UFC 287.
“Look, I would have continued to [throw punches] if it was anybody else,” Holland said about the stoppage.
“Hey Jorge, if you don’t want to retire after Gilbert Burns gets done whopping your ass tonight, I’d definitely love a chance for that BMF belt. There’s no badder motherf***** than me. See you soon, boy.”
Prior to the finish and his call out, Holland was displaying a strong striking arsenal while using his reach advantage to keep Ponzinibbio at the end of his punches and kicks. In response, Ponzinibbio was stepping forward with fast hands and a nasty kick that came crashing into Holland’s lead leg several times.
Late in the opening round, Ponzinibbio caught a leg during a kick attempt but Holland made him pay with a nasty back fist that actually dropped the Argentinean momentarily. While Ponzinibbio was quick to get back to his feet as the round ended, Holland showed just how much power he could generate from an unconventional position.
On the reset, Ponzinibbio was staying fast on his feet, circling away from Holland and then firing off more of those punishing leg kicks. Once again, however, Holland only needed a single shot to land clean to do damage as he tagged Ponzinibbio with a stinging left hand in the middle of an offensive flurry.
While Ponzinibbio was definitely having his moments, especially with the continued leg kicks, Holland was still generating a lot more power in his hands. He proved that after he stopped a kick from Ponzinibbio and then delivered the knockout blow.
Ponzinibbio was quick to get back to his feet as he protested the stoppage but replays showed the referee did a good job after he crashed face first to the canvas from the punch landed by Holland.
Holland will now pay close attention to the UFC 287 co-main event as he waits to see if Masvidal might just accept his challenge and set up a future fight between them to settle whatever grudge has been built up in recent days.