On March 20, two ranked middleweights will clash in a quasi-grudge match when Derek Brunson meets Kevin Holland. Kevin Holland called for this fight after rolling through 2020 with the best record of the year of 5-0 and finds himself with an opportunity to begin positioning himself for a future title shot with a win over the #7-ranked Brunson. Holland is currently ranked #10 in the division, but Brunson believes that Holland is not on his level or the level of many of the names he has shared the Octagon with.
“His skill set isn’t up there with the guys that I fought, but he’s a young, hungry guy, confident,” Brunson said on the Schmozone Podcast. “That says a lot. Whenever you’re confident, having fun, the fans are on your side, you’re just riding that momentum. I’ve seen guys in this sport just being in it for a while is that guys are getting the most out of their career. They’re performing at a high level. But ultimately, I don’t think really that skill set values that. But sometimes when you’re hot, when you’re confident, that’s what you need at the time.”
Some of the names that Derek Brunson has competed against are Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, and many others who are widely revered around MMA circles. Brunson did not specify the number of his former opponents that Holland fails to compare to, but he was sure to address Holland’s trash-talking skills as well.
“Kevin Holland’s trash talk’s a little cheesy, just corny 12-15-year-old people would think it’s funny,” Brunson said. “But I’m cool for the trash talk. He don’t really have a legit beef, he’s just trying to be funny. So I just want to know if he’s gonna think it’s funny after the fight.”
Where do you think Kevin Holland ranks on the list of opponents Derek Brunson has faced in his career?