From going 5-0 in 2020, number ten-ranked UFC middleweight Kevin Holland is now staring at two straight losses in 2021. His most recent setback came at the hands of Marvin Vettori at UFC on ABC 2 on Saturday.
But even with his two-fight skid, “Trailblazer” (a.k.a “Big Mouth”) is shrugging it off and moving forward.
“When I seen Marvin didn’t have an opponent, the smart thing to do would’ve been staying in that shower and not answering the phone call,” Holland told Megan Olivi in a post-fight interview. “But I never said I was smart. Courageous and a company man is something I am. So if people want to ridicule that, they can ridicule that. But at the end of the day, when they needed somebody to step in, I stepped in.
“I fought seven times since the pandemic. I’mma go spend a couple days with the kid, and then we’ll get back to it. It’s nothing to a sniper. Sometimes we miss the shot, sometimes we land the shot. I’m not the only one who lost tonight, but I’m the only one that did five rounds and didn’t get finished in either one. Against elite levels guys each time.”
Holland’s losses had the same theme: takedowns. He ran into that problem against Derek Brunson two weeks ago then again against Vettori. While he doesn’t plan to drastically change his fighting style, he does intend to sharpen his wrestling skills under the tutelage of one of the best.
“Go spend some time with DC, for sure, work on some of that wrestling,” Holland said when asked about his plans moving forward. “Go work on wrestling, learn to stop some of these takedowns. Other than that, same old same. I’m not gonna change the fighter I am and try and become a wrestler just ‘cause these guys wanna wrestle.
“I like to strike, I like to bang. I just do a better job at keeping the fight on the feet and deliver some more knockouts to the people and that way they’ll be back on the bandwagon sooner or later.”
After the loss to Vettori, Holland now drops to a win-loss record of 21-7.