Kevin Holland is looking to be more active: “If I don’t have the strength to fight 4 to 5 times per year, then just retire.”


Kevin Holland prides himself on being one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster, but when that is no longer possible is the day he’ll hang up his gloves for good.

The 29-year-old veteran is one of only three fighters in UFC history — alongside Roger Huerta, and Neil Magny — to win five fights in a calendar year after he accomplished that feat back in 2020. Since that time, Holland fought three times in 2021 and he’s only gotten two bouts under his belt thus far in 2022, with his third set to take place at UFC 279 on Saturday.

While a rigorous schedule can sometimes be detrimental to the body and the mind, Holland admits that’s the only way he truly thrives, which is why he’s always hoping to get back to the grind sooner rather than later.

“This is only the third fight. I must fight at least four or five times per year.” Holland said to The Fighter. The Writer prior to UFC 279’s flurry of card changes. “See people think that [fighting] five times a year was crazy because it happened on the UFC scale but I was doing that way before I got in the UFC. I’ll always fight as many times as I can in a year. It doesn’t matter if it’s jiu jitsu, MMA or Muay Thai, it doesn’t matter what the case is. It’s not about the check — I do love the check. It’s about my mental and my spiritual well-being.

” I feel more human, better parent and better person. I believe I am a better Kevin when we fight at least four times per year.

Holland says that his desire to be more active is due to the hard reality of not being able to continue fighting at this level for long.

Now that might sound a little crazy for a fighter still two months away from celebrating his 30th birthday but Holland understands better than most that father time is the one opponent nobody can defeat.

“If I can’t fight four to five times a year, just retire me and I’m being honest,” Holland said. “If I can’t fight four to five times a year, retire me, I don’t need to fight anymore.

“I’d like to stay active until I’m 36 years old but if I can’t do it, physically or the job doesn’t want to allow me to do it, you might as well give me my retirement papers and tell me to hang it up. Because mentally, if I am a fighter, those are the battles I need. Simple as that.”

After a five-fight streak of undefeated in a single season, Holland suffered the worst time in his UFC career. He lost two consecutive fights and was declared out after a headbutt against Kyle Daukaus. This result ended Holland’s UFC career.

After those setbacks, Holland made the decision to move down to welterweight where he quickly picked up a knockout win over Alex Oliveira and then submitted Tim Means back in June. With his fight against Khamzat Chimiaev, he’ll be looking for the third in succession in UFC comain event.

Putting a number next to your name in the UFC usually means facing stiffer competition but don’t expect Holland to start slowing down or passing on opportunities just because he’ll be risking his spot in the division.

The way Holland sees it, he’s only got so much time to accomplish what he wants in this sport and he’ll never even get the chance to reach those goals if he’s not ready to answer when the UFC calls.

“My mind hasn’t changed thinking about going up the rankings,” Holland said. “My mind has changed thinking about going up in age. I’m getting older. If there’s some things that I want to accomplish, the window is starting to get a little bit smaller so I need to accomplish those things.

“I like to always be available for their calls. A truck driving company would require me to always be available for calls. Towing would be the same. I am the towing company. I’m the truck driver. I’m the one that’s going to haul this s*** wherever it’s got to go, no matter what it is.”