Kevin Holland Reacts to His Brutal Loss to Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279

Kevin Holland

Getty Kevin Holland

Kevin Holland wasn’t expecting to fight Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279, however he met the Russian-born fighter in the cage and was tapped out within minutes.

“Trailblazer” was originally scheduled to battle Daniel Rodriguez in a three-round 180-pound catchweight bout on the night’s main card. But after Chimaev weighed in at 178.5 pounds for his welterweight main event fight against Nate Diaz, the UFC reshuffled the night’s fights.

Holland was pitted against Chimaev and he was elevated to Saturday’s co-main slot. The contest was also scheduled as a five-round fight.

Trailblazer, who had prepared to fight the striking-based Rodriguez, was quickly taken down by Chimaev and after grappling for just over two minutes, Holland was caught in a D’Arce choke. Chimaev forced the tap and improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 12-0.

Holland’s two-fight win streak was snapped and his record fell to 23-8 with one no-contest.

Holland Said He Lost a ‘Grappling Match,’ Called Out Strikers Stephen Thompson & Rodriguez

Fans didn’t hear from Holland after he exited the Octagon until he posted a video on his Instagram page the following day. He called Chimaev “one hell of an athlete” and said that he didn’t want to end 2022 on that note. Trailblazer proceeded to call for fights with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Rodriguez, sharing that he wanted to fight a striker next.

“Yo, guys,” Holland said (h/t “I lost an amazing grappling match last night, I mean fight,” Holland said. “My bad, Chimaev is one hell of an athlete. Still gonna be talking s*** cause you know who I am.

“I hate ending the year like this, so I would love to go in there against a striker. I don’t know if I’m still deserving of a ‘Wonderboy’ fight, I would love a ‘Wonderboy’ fight, but if not a ‘Wonderboy’ fight, D-Rod, we were all the way on task to getting it done. We had to switch it up to save the card, so maybe we can get something nice and get it going and collect another check before the end of the year.”

Holland & Wonderboy Both Shared Interest in Fighting Each Other Prior to the Chimaev Fight

Both Wonderboy and Holland are campaigning to fight a striking-based combatant next. Wonderboy, who is ranked No. 7 at 170 pounds, is on a two-fight skid courtesy of Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad.

Thompson was taken down by both fighters and controlled on the ground for three rounds, losing each contest via unanimous decision.

While speaking with MMA Junkie in June, Wonderboy shared his interest in fighting Holland, who had just picked up a win over Tim Means and called out Sean Brady.

“Anybody ranked above, below me, I really don’t care,” Thompson said (h/t MMA News). “It doesn’t matter, to be honest with you. You’ve got a lotta guys who are coming up… Kevin Holland, who just won his fight. I know he’s calling out Sean Brady, but he’s definitely a guy that I’m keeping a close eye on as well because he’s moving up the rankings quick. He was great at 185, made the cut to 170 fairly easy.”

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