Hours after doubling down on his decision to retire, Kevin Holland has in fact now booked his next fight against Stephen Thompson, which headline UFC Fight Night 216 in Orlando, Florida on December 3rd.
Most fans had been somewhat sceptical of Holland’s retirement claims from the start, with even Dana White suggesting last week that Holland was just sulking after having been defeated in the first round by Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279 recently.
Holland had also vented his frustration that a fight he had called for next with his originally scheduled UFC 279 opponent Daniel Rodriguez was shut down when they booked D-Rod to fight Neil Magny instead.
However, Holland’s first choice had always appeared to be a fight with Thompson, and that’s what he’s ended up getting.
The fight will see the 29-year-old Holland move back down to welterweight after his last bout with Chimaev was contested at a 180lb catchweight, and it’s a division that he’s fared well in so far, having racked up back-to-back wins against Alex Oliveira and Tim Means since dropping down from middleweight earlier this year.
As for the 39-year-old Thompson, this will be his first and only fight of 2022 and finds him coming off back-to-back decision losses against Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad last year.
Thompson vs. Holland headlines a UFC Fight Night 216 card that will also include Jack Hermansson vs. Derek Brunson, Rafael dos Anjos vs. Bryan Barberena and Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman.