Kevin Holland
Trail Blazer


Not competitive in main event
April 10, 2021
Holland lost to Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision (44-50, 44-50, 44-50) at UFC on ABC 2 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Holland made a concerted effort to come in and take this fight considerably more seriously than his bout against Derek Brunson a couple weeks ago. He was successful in that endeavor, but the good times ended there. Simply put, Holland can't wrestle. At least not at this level. His grappling was exposed in a major way by Brunson and an even worse way by Vettori on Saturday. It's highly concerning because Vettori isn't known as a guy who racks up a ton of takedowns. Holland is tall and lanky with limited upper-body strength. He doesn't possess the ability to get back to his feet if an opponent is on top of him. Any halfway decent fighter is going to do whatever is necessary to ensure Holland isn't allowed to remain upright. There's a case to be made that Holland is fighting in the wrong division. His body may not be able to make the cut down to 170 pounds, but it's difficult to imagine him getting back on track at middleweight.
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Taking on Marvin Vettori
April 1, 2021
Holland will join the April 10 card versus Marvin Vettori as the main event, reports.
Holland won't wait long to retake the Octagon after taking a loss to Derek Brunson on March 20, as he'll step in on short notice to take on Vettori after Darren Till (collarbone) was forced to withdraw. Vettori is an even tougher challenge after he just lost to Brunson, so look for Holland to be a sizable underdog.
Exposed by veteran Derek Brunson
March 20, 2021
Holland lost to Derek Brunson via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday.
Holland slips and falls to his back in Round 1, leading to Brunson dominating the rest of the round with top control and damage. Holland hurt Brunson during the striking exchanges in Round 2, but Brunson could get the fight to the ground twice, where he dominated with top control to end the round. Round 3 starts, and Brunson took Holland down again and maintains top control for the remainder of the round. Both trade shots in Round 4, but eventually, Brunson takes Holland down multiple times and earns top control time. In Round 5, Holland takes down Brunson (the first time Brunson's been taken down in the UFC). Brunson worked his way back to his feet and then took down Holland with a double leg against the fence to end the round in the top position. Brunson's superior grappling and experience helped propel him to victory. Holland's lack of urgency has cost him another fight in the UFC. He is a very talented fighter, but to become a top-10 fighter at middleweight, he'll need to adjust his future strategy.
Paired with Derek Brunson
December 29, 2020
Holland will take on Derek Brunson in a main-event fight on March 20, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Holland was in incredible form in 2020, winning five straight fights, with just one lasting the full 15 minutes. He finished his opponent in the first round three times, most recently knocking out Ronaldo Souza in just 105 seconds in mid-December. Brunson is in good form himself, winning three straight matches including a third-round TKO victory over Edmen Shahbazyan in August.
Roll continues in Vegas
December 12, 2020
Holland defeat Ronaldo Souza via TKO (punches) at 1:45 of Round 1 at UFC 256 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Well, that's a new one. It's Holland's fifth win of 2020, all of which have come since May. This may have been the most impressive of all. After surviving an early takedown from Jacare, Holland responded with a wild strike from the seat of his pants that connected full force. Souza was clearly dazed and in a compromising position, and Holland responded by unloading everything but the kitchen sink. Jacare was done almost immediately but was forced to endure a handful of unnecessary additional strikes due to the incompetence of referee Mark Smith. Holland was viewed as nothing more than roster depth upon joining the UFC in August 2018 but has quickly established himself as a legitimate force at 185 pounds. Not only does he have five wins in 2020, but three of them -- included Saturday night -- resulted in $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses.
Facing Souza at UFC 256
November 28, 2020
Holland (illness) will face Ricardo Souza in a middleweight bout at UFC 256 on Dec. 12, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Holland was originally set to fight Jack Hermansson next weekend, but the "Trail Blazer" was forced to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. Hermansson will instead go up against Marvin Vettori, who was previously slated to fight Souza at UFC 256. Holland will only have one additional week to recover from the virus, but assuming all goes well he'll be taking on Souza in two weeks.