A middleweight showcase will take place at the first-ever Ultimate Fighting Championship event in South Carolina. According to Sherdog’s own sources, Italy’s Alessio Di Chirico will touch gloves with Kevin Holland at ESPN+ 12 in June.
Bellator MMA and Legacy Fighting Alliance veteran Holland (14-4) earned himself a contract with the Nevada-based promotion after defeating Will Santiago Jr. on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series. Once in the UFC, he suffered a loss to Thiago Santos, who bested the Phalanx MMA Academy product via unanimous decision. “Trailblazer” bounced back by submitting John Phillips via rear-naked choke, then by defeating Gerald Meerschaert by split decision at UFC on ESPN 2 last month.
Di Chirico (12-2) is currently 3-2 in his UFC campaign. “Manzo” is riding a two-bout winning streak after knocking out Oluwale Bamgbose at UFC on Fox 26 and winning a split decision against Julian Marquez at “The Ultimate Fighter 27” finale. Di Chirico was scheduled to face Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night 147 in March, but an undisclosed injury forced him to pull out of the fight.
UFC on ESPN+ 12, also known as UFC Fight Night 153, goes down June 22 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. No headliner has been announced yet, but confirmed bouts include a heavyweight showcase between Allen Crowder and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, a middleweight fight between Bevon Lewis and Darren Stewart, the UFC debut of undefeated middleweight prospect Deron Winn against Markus Perez, and Ashley Yoder vs. Syuri Kondo in the strawweight division.