It seems as though Kevin Holland did not do as much extensive wrestling training with American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) as we might’ve thought.
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 AKA in San Jose, California.
In a recent interview with The Schmo, Holland revealed that he actually only did one week of training at AKA and instead worked with former UFC welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks who was an NCAA division one wrestler in the past.
“So I only did like the one week,” said Holland. “So if anything’s not right, don’t credit it to them. But I’ve been doing a lot of work with Johnny Hendricks. I try to keep it Texas. I used to be from California, but now, I just go out there to party. So when I go out there to try and train, it’s kinda hard for me to stay focused.”
Holland revealed the reasoning behind his early exit from AKA when he found out fellow middleweight contender Edmen Shahbazyan was also there training, a possible future matchup in the eyes of “Trail Blazer”.
“I was already in California and then I realized Shahbazyan was there,” said Holland. “I was like, ‘Ah, you know what? That’s a scrap I want. So I’mma go ahead and turn around and go home.”
Holland was adamant that he is not here to play games and make friends. If you’re in the same division as him, expect to be seen as a potential threat to “Trail Blazer”.
“I’m not here for friends and stuff like that. Deron Winn’s a real cool guy; DC, a great mentor, a great guy; but when it comes to everybody else in the middleweight division, pretty much in the UFC, unless they live in Texas, it’s pretty much fuck ‘em.”
Holland is expected to face Kyle Daukaus in an exciting middleweight clash on a UFC Fight Night card scheduled for Oct. 2. as multiple sources from both Daukaus’ and Holland’s team confirmed the news. The American will look to replicate the success he had in 2020 as the trail back to victory will start come October.
Do you think we will see improved wrestling defence from Kevin Holland?