When Darren Till was forced out of his headlining fight with Marvin Vettori at UFC On ABC 2 earlier this week due to a broken collarbone, Kevin Holland quickly stated he’d be willing to take his place, and the UFC brass have quickly jumped at the offer.
Holland is looking for a quick opportunity to reverse his fortunes after his five-fight unbeaten run in the UFC was brought to an end by Derek Brunson less than two weeks ago.
Holland was heavily criticized during that fight for his outspoken antics, which saw him constantly talking and joking to his opponent, while also holding a conversation with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was watching alongside Dana White, both during and inbetween rounds.
Though the 28-year-old had become known for his larger-than-life personality inside and outside the Octagon, it’s the kind of thing that worked great at bringing more attention to him when he was winning, but rubbed some people the wrong way when he was in the midst of being completed outgrappled for five rounds.
So much so in fact that Dana White claimed post-fight that he thought Holland was “having a mental breakdown” in the Octagon, but the fighter himself has shrugged off his critics and now has an opportunity to silence them if he can get back to winning ways.
Coming back so soon against another tough opponent like Vettori could potentially backfire on him though as ‘The Italian Dream’ is in fine form after having put together four wins in a row in the past two years, with his latest victory being by decision against Jack Hermansson in December of last year.
Vettori is a hard-headed, well-rounded fighter with a good wrestling game, so this will be another tough test for Holland.
Vettori vs. Holland now headlines a UFC On ABC 2 card that will also feature Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff and Mike Perry vs. Daniel Rodriguez.