“Do not overlook your opponent” and “Focus on the task at hand” are two aphorisms that have grown ever more common in the sport of MMA in recent years. Whether Kevin Holland is guilty of looking past fighters (namely UFC Vegas 22 opponent Derek Brunson) remains known to perhaps only him. What we do know is that Holland is always ready for whatever the future brings.
His thoughts may be concerning where he could fit on an upcoming card the following week or weeks ahead or, as he suggested in a recent media scrum, where he’d fit in another division. Seemingly considering the outcome of his UFC Vegas 22 bout against Derek Brunson to be a formality, Holland says a fight against Kamaru Usman or Jorge Masvidal with a belt on the line would top his wish list.
“I’m definitely focused on the task at hand. But a victory over Derek Brunson, I keep telling everybody, everybody probably thinks I’m playing, I’m gonna go down to 170 pounds and fight Kamaru Usman for the belt or Jorge Masvidal for his BMF belt, one or the other,” Holland told reporters.
“Picture-perfect world, I’d do Jorge Masvidal at a catchweight, then I’ll do Usman at 170. I woke up today at 188 pounds. I ain’t cuttin’ no weight for this fight.”
Holland Puts Fight Against Adesanya On The Back Burner
As Holland envisions it, he wants to drop down to welterweight and create some buzz before returning back up to middleweight after the division is no longer stagnant. Holland blames the current stagnation on champion Israel Adesanya, who recently took a divisional detour of his own when he unsuccessfully challenged Jan Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title at UFC 259.
Adesanya saw his strides toward more gold peter out in the championship rounds and will now be stepping back down to middleweight in the near future. The Last Stylebender has stated that one person he does not expect to see upon return or any time soon is Kevin Holland, who he believes has more work to be done. This all factored into Holland’s preference to make a quick visit to welterweight while everything at 185 sorts itself out.
“With the quote unquote ‘ex-champ’ (since he’s coming off a loss) saying I don’t deserve a title shot right after this one, it makes sense,” Holland says on the welterweight pit stop.”He’s not doing anything but repeating what I told him last year when we seen each other. I told him I’d have four, five more wins before I could see him. So when I see him, I’m gonna make sure I take him out.”
What are your thoughts on Kevin Holland’s plans to drop down to welterweight to fight Kamaru Usman or Jorge Masvidal after UFC Vegas 22?