On the verge of his 30th birthday, Kevin Holland threw out a curveball earlier this week when he claimed on Instagram that he’s retiring, but Michael Bisping is one of many who aren’t buying it.
“That’s bulls—t,” said Bisping on the Believe You Me podcast. “Kevin Holland is a great fighter, he’s very well-known. He was the 2020 Fighter of the Year. He’s a favorite, he’s making money, he loves shiny things — I’m talking about gold and jewelery and stuff like that. And he wants to buy a lot more of it. He’s in the prime of his life. If he was quitting, walking away, he would at least jazz it up a little touch. As opposed to using a font last seen on an Atari f—king game system.
“There’s no way. He’s a very stylish guy, he’s not announcing his retirement in a font from a ZX Spectrum…I don’t think he’s retiring at all. I don’t know what he’s playing at.”
Bisping went on to speculate that Holland is just at a low point after accepting a fight with Khamzat Chimaev on just 24 hours notice at UFC 279 which he’d go on to lose by submission in the first round.
“The reality is, when you lose a fight — and that was a big fight with a lot of spotlight on it — against a guy like Khamzat Chimaev, and you get beaten, you just try to stop being entertaining for a second and really, really look at it. Maybe he’s going through a period of depression right now. Maybe he’s deflated, would be a better word. He’s a great fighter with a tremendous amount of opportunity and maybe he’s gone out there and fought Khamzat and thought, ’S—t, wow’. That fact that he ragdolled me like that, with respect is kind of what happened.
“Maybe he’s just going through a little soul-searching right now. Who knows? But I’ve been there.”
The fact that Holland called for his originally scheduled fight with Daniel Rodriguez to be run back after the loss to Chimaev, only to learn this week that D-Rod has been booked to fight Neil Magny instead, could also be a factor that led to his Instagram post.
Whatever the reason, as Bisping says, it seems highly unlikely that ‘The Trailblazer’ will be turning his back on the sport at a stage in his career where he still has a lot to offer, and a lot of money left to make.