Kevin Holland is hoping to be quite active in 2022.
Holland had his first fight of the year on Saturday on the main card of UFC 272, which also marked his return to welterweight. On the regional scene, Holland fought at 170 but eventually moved up to middleweight where he had some success, including going 5-0 in 2020. Yet, after an 0-2 and one No Contest campaign in 2021, he made the drop down to 170lbs.
In his return to welterweight, Holland took on Alex Oliveira, and in the first round, he struggled early on. However, he came out guns blazing in the second round and got the TKO win. Following the victory, he made it clear he wants to fight as often as possible and recapture the success he has in 2020.
“Everything is about timing,” Holland said on The MMA Hour. “I had fun at ‘85, still plan on having some more fun there, so I can’t complain. I have a pretty decent name at ‘85. I was ranked 14 going into this fight, at middleweight. … You’ve got some of these guys ranked ahead of me at middleweight on some losing skids.
“If we’re just speaking here, just throwing out things, I feel like I could be ranked higher than those guys,” Holland continued. “And if we’re talking about 170, I would like to see where that goes. So no, [I don’t] wish that I did it sooner. I like where I’m sitting. I might be the only guy ranked at both weight classes, so it could be fun.”
After the win, Holland called out Donald Cerrone who’s fighting Joe Lauzon on May 7. Yet, in his post-fight press conference, he walked back on it and said he has his eyes set on Daniel Rodriguez, who’s coming off a decision victory over Kevin Lee back in August.
With Holland possibly being open to fighting at 185lbs again, he hopes he can get six fights in 2022.
“Shoot, if they’ve got something available next month at 185 pounds — because I don’t feel like going on a diet right this second — then I’ll do that, too,” Holland said.
“It would mess things up if I was shooting for something specifically. I’m just shooting to be an active guy. I’m just shooting to continue to grow and get experience and be a better fighter. So if I can fight five, six times this year, that’d be awesome. I like to fight a lot, so I can’t do every fight at 170 pounds if I’m gonna fight six times this year. There’s still some good fights at ‘85, so I’ll take whatever comes. I think an ‘85 fight sounds good right now if I want to go out and eat carne asada for the next few weeks.” (h/t MMA Fighting)
With the win at UFC 272, Kevin Holland is now 22-7 and one No Contest and will likely get a big name next. The Rodriguez fight does make sense, as the two were scheduled to fight one another on May 30, 2020, just two weeks after Holland beat Anthony Hernandez at middleweight, but Holland was forced out of the bout due to an injury.
Who would you like to see Kevin Holland fight next?