Kevin Holland Bashed for Fight IQ in UFC Orlando Loss

UFC, Kevin Holland

Getty Kevin Holland.

UFC star Kevin Holland came under fire from former middleweight champion Michael Bisping.

This past Saturday, Holland took on Stephen Thompson in the headlining bout of UFC on ESPN 42 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Stakes were high for both men as they looked to get back in the winning column. Holland rocked Thompson early with a huge overhand right in the first round. ‘Wonderboy’ recovered quickly and put on the performance of a lifetime that earned him a rare corner stoppage victory.

Although ‘Trailblazer’ had the opportunity to take the fight to the ground, he chose to let the striking maestro get up and keep engaged in a stand-up battle.

Following the outing, many fans and fighters heaped praises on Holland for putting on an exciting show and keeping things competitive in a Fight of the Year-worthy performance. However, fighter-turned-analyst and commentator Bisping was not particularly impressed with his showing.


Bisping Bashed Holland’s Fight IQ

During the UFC Orlando post-fight show on ESPN+, Bisping shared his thoughts on the unsaid agreement between Thompson and Holland to not grapple in the main event.

“We see all the time, people say, ‘The first one to shoot is a coward,’” Bisping said (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “But then guess what, people shoot, because you know what, it’s allowed in the rules. It’s a mixed martial arts contest. This was one of the first times, and maybe the only time, I’ve actually seen somebody truly live up to that.”

According to Bisping, Holland may feel differently about the decision after the outcome.

“Kevin Holland had top position. Clearly. A couple of times, he was like, ‘No, no, no. We’re going to strike. That’s what we came here to do.’ I believe he will regret that decision going forward, because that was his ego getting the better of him.”

‘The Count’ bashed Holland’s lack of fight IQ inside the octagon on the night.

“This is not a popularity contest in terms of, ‘Oh, everyone thinks I’m a real badass guy.’ No, you come here to win a fight. This is high stakes. Do you want to be a champion? Do you want to earn a lot of money?

“Do you want to be known as one of the best fighters in the world, or a guy who puts on a show and possibly gives away a victory. That was not high fight IQ.”


Holland Was Glad To Put On a Thrilling Fight for the Fans

Holland was rebounding off a loss to top-ranked welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev before facing Thompson and has now dropped two in a row. While his showdown with Chimaev did not come out of ideal circumstances, Holland’s fight with Thompson delivered in terms of excitement and earned Fight of the Night honors.

Despite the loss, Holland was content to put on a show for the fans. He took to Twitter to share his reaction and respond to UFC middleweight Derek Brunson about his approach.

Kevin Holland the type of guy who’d try to out moonwalk Michael Jackson , Kevin Holland the type of guy who’d try to out sing Beyoncé,” Brunson tweeted. “Kevin Holland the type of guy who’d try to out eat Joey Chestnut, Kevin Holland the type of guy who’d try out kickbox an 50-0 kickboxer.”

“Yes yes and yes,” Holland responded. “First good tweet you ever made. – Also the type of guy to come back up a weight class and smack that blonde head around. I’d be doing it just for the fans tho….. like always.”

“For my people,” wrote Holland.

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