After a tough 2021 campaign Kevin Holland is starting off the new year by dropping down to welterweight for a fight with Alex Oliveira at UFC 272 on March 5th.
Holland had gone into last year as one of the UFC’s most hyped rising stars after having gone on a five-fight winning streak in the space of 12 months, but it wasn’t long before that record unravelled after his ground games deficiencies were laid bare for all to see by Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori.
Things then went from bad to worse when Holland was flash KO’d by a clash of heads with Kyle Daukaus in October, only for the fight to continue, leading to him being choked unconscious soon afterwards.
An immediate rematch was called for, but Holland withdrew for undisclosed reasons and is now re-emerging in 2022 having been working diligently on his grappling and also hoping that dropping down a division can help re-boot his career.
To do so he’ll have to get past ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira, who has also been on a downward spiral of late, having lose his last three fights in a row.
It’s a slide that began with submission losses to Shavkat Rakhmanov and Randy Brown and continued with a unanimous decision loss against Niko Price last October.
Holland vs. Oliveira joins a UFC 272 card that will he headlined by a bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan, while Bryce Mitchell vs. Edson Barboza and Yan Xiaonan vs. Marina Rodriguez also feature on the line-up so far.