Kevin Holland, the No. 13 middleweight in the world in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings, made his welterweight debut at UFC 272 this past weekend, taking on Alex Oliveira in a feature bout on the main card. It was a good night at the office for Holland, who secured a TKO stoppage just 38 seconds into Round 2 following a competitive opening round.
But Holland wasn’t very happy with the performance.
“C+. It was a rough first round. The microphone could have been a bit better. It was alright. Can always do better,” Holland said Monday on The MMA Hour.
“He did a really good job of moving around. But I was still touching his leg. Tax the leg, tax the leg, tax the leg. He couldn’t be found with his hands, so I taxed him on the leg. I believe that the legs became a bit heavier over time. Then, badabing, badabang, I found him with the hands so I taxed his leg, and eventually it got a little heavy.
He certainly shouldn’t. “Trailblazer” had gone 0-2 with 1 no-contest over his past three fights before Saturday, which prompted Holland to finally drop down to the welterweight division. But although he described the weight cut down to 170 pounds as “really easy”, Holland said Monday that he’s not done with the middleweight division just yet either.
” “Everything depends on timing,” Holland stated. “I had fun at ’85, still plan on having some more fun there, so I can’t complain. I have a pretty decent name at ’85. I was ranked 14 going into this fight, at middleweight. … You’ve got some of these guys ranked ahead of me at middleweight on some losing skids.
“If we’re just speaking here, just throwing out things, I feel like I could be ranked higher than those guys. And if we’re talking about 170, I would like to see where that goes. It’s not a wish, but [I don’t] that it had happened sooner. I like where I’m sitting. It could be fun .”
to be ranked in both the weight and height classes.
Although bouncing around between weight classes could be difficult to build momentum in the UFC title race, Holland insists that he doesn’t want to stay in one spot. Instead, Holland is looking to recreate the success of his 2020 campaign — one that saw him go 5-0 in the UFC — by fighting as many times as possible, in either weight class.
“Shoot, if they’ve got something available next month at 185 pounds — because I don’t feel like going on a diet right this second — then I’ll do that, too,” Holland said.
” It would be a mess if it was something I was trying to achieve. My goal is to just be an active man. I’m just shooting to continue to grow and get experience and be a better fighter. So if I can fight five, six times this year, that’d be awesome. Because I enjoy fighting, I don’t have the time to do all of my 170 fights. However, I will fight six fights this year. There’s still some good fights at ’85, so I’ll take whatever comes. I think an ’85 fight sounds good right now if I want to go out and eat carne asada for the next few weeks.”
Since joining the UFC in 2018, Holland has remained one of the more active fighters in the sport, competing 14 times in the octagon, plus his bout on the Contender Series. And now with two divisions to find fights in, Holland is hoping he’ll be able to stay as busy as he likes.
” “For me that’s normal,” Holland stated. “When I first got to the UFC, I couldn’t fight that much because I wasn’t on that type of schedule with them, but I made it up with pro matches in jiu-jitsu and stuff like that. Because I enjoy fighting, and staying active, it is something I love to do.
“Realistically, we could do up to three at 170 pound. We already got one done so we could do two more if we need to, and then we could do two at ’85 or three at ’85, however they want to do it. If they wish .”
, we could do three or three.