Despite already having a fight lined up, that hasn’t stopped “Trail Blazer” from scoping out the middleweight division for future matchups given how active Holland is. One of those names is former UFC middleweight champion Rockhold.
In a recent interview with MMA Island, Holland expressed his eagerness to fight the former champion after his scheduled bout with Daukaus, before telling Rockhold he had a questionable chin.
“Luke [Rockhold] deserves a fight.” Holland told MMA Island. “As long as my name’s ringing bells after this fight– Luke deserves somebody with a nice name right now. My name is not as hot as it needs to be. So, if the name’s hot as it needs to be after the fight, me and Luke can run it. You got a glass jaw, you should watch your mouth, right? That’s what 50 Cent said.”
After having an amazing 2020 where Holland went 5-0, tying the UFC record for most wins in a calendar year, “Trailblazer” fell to a two-fight losing skid this year against Derek Brunson and recent title challenger Marvin Vettori. In both fights, Holland was soundly beaten, bringing to light an obvious flaw in his fighting style: his takedown defense. Holland was taken down multiple times in both fights, and a lot of times did not show much urgency to get back up.
After displaying a glaring chink in the armor, Holland has since sought out help from former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier to improve his wrestling and joined the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. Ironically, this is where Luke Rockhold has also trained throughout most of his career.
Rockhold recently showed a possible interest in a fight with Holland, stating that the latter was the only guy at middleweight who wanted to fight him. Holland said that he’s not looking past his next opponent as he looks to show everyone how well he can wrestle in his upcoming fight. Once he gets past Kyle Daukaus, then “Big Mouth” would be open to fighting Rockhold, possibly at the end of the year.
“If everybody wants to see me fight Luke Rockhold, I would love for it to be this year.” Holland said. “If it’s going to be this year, it’s probably gonna have to be like a decent card at the end of the year. Everybody hates to see me at main events, but maybe another main event at the end of the year because Luke Rockhold is a big name. First things first, man, let’s get past this guy [Kyle Daukaus].
“Once we get past this guy, [we’ll] show the whole world that we’re learning how to wrestle, then we’ll see whatever it is, whatever the UFC wants me to do. I always say I’m a company man. I’m here for the smacking of all smackings and I’m the smack man, baby.”
Holland is currently scheduled to fight Kyle Daukaus in October at UFC Fight Night 195, which is expected to be headlined by former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker. The location and venue are currently unknown.
Would you want to see a future matchup between Luke Rockhold and Kevin Holland?