Rising middleweight star Kevin Holland suffered the third loss of his UFC career against Marvin Vettori in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Just three weeks after dropping a lopsided unanimous decision loss to Derek Brunson, Holland (21-7) once again stepped in on short notice to replace Vettori's original opponent, Darren Till, after the Brit withdrew from their scheduled bout due to a broken collarbone.
There's a formula for beating Holland that Vettori executed perfectly on Saturday night: repeatedly drag him down to the mat. In practice, it may sound simple, but it is actually far more difficult to implement. Just ask Alessio Di Chirico and Anthony Hernandez, the latter of which just submitted Rodolfo Vieira.
So, sure, Brunson may have shown the blueprint for beating Holland, but Vettori was able to land 11 takedowns en route to a unanimous decision, setting a new UFC record in the process.
Regardless, the harsh reality is that Holland has now suffered two consecutive losses in a row for the first time in his UFC career, a stark contrast to his meteoric rise to fame in 2020.
Shortly following his latest setback, he took to Instagram to issue a quick statement to all of his followers on social media.
While his initial statement was short but sweet, Holland did admit in a post-fight interview with Megan Olivi that he plans to train with Daniel Cormier at American Kickboxing Academy to fix the holes in his wrestling.
"Like [Daniel Cormier] said, gave up a lot of takedowns in the last two fights,” Holland said. “It sucks not to be in the winner’s circle. But at the end of the day I got a plane ride home and going to spend a lotta dollars at the lady’s club, so it’s not that bad."
"When I seen Marvin didn’t have an opponent, the smart thing to do would’ve been staying in that shower and not answering the phone call," he added. "But I never said I was smart. Courageous and a company man is something that I am. So if people want to ridicule that, they can ridicule that. But at the end of the day, when they needed somebody to step in, I stepped in.
"I fought seven times since the pandemic. I’m gonna go spend a couple days with the kid, and then we’ll get back to it. It’s nothing to a sniper. Sometimes we miss the shot, sometimes we land the shot. I’m not the only one who lost tonight, but I’m the only one that did five rounds and didn’t get finished in either one. Against elite levels guys each time, you know?"
While Holland has no plans to drastically alter his overall game, he is aware that his lack of wrestling and poor takedown defense are issues that must be addressed.
"Can’t say too much changes," he said. "We’ll see, I honestly don’t know. Go spend some time with DC [Daniel Cormier], for sure, work on some of that wrestling. Go work on wrestling, learn to stop some of these takedowns. Other than that, same old same.
"I’m not gonna change the fighter I am and try and become a wrestler just cuz these guys wanna wrestle. I like to strike, I like to bang. I just do a better job at keeping the fight on the feet and deliver some more knockouts to the people and that way they’ll be back on the bandwagon, sooner or later."News Now - Sport News