Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Holland Believes It’s Time For Usman To Change Careers

Kevin Holland has only been competing at welterweight for less than a year, but he recently shared some harsh criticism for the division’s former champion.

“Trailblazer” is set to take on Khamzat Chimaev in a 180-pound catchweight bout in the co-main event of UFC 279. The 29-year-old is already 2-0 since moving to welterweight earlier this year, and a win over “Borz” could set him up for a potential title shot.

Welterweight recently experienced a significant shakeup when longtime champion Kamaru Usman was knocked out in the fifth round of his title defense against Leon Edwards at UFC 278.

Holland acknowledged at the UFC 279 media day that Usman has dealt with the loss well but also expressed significant doubt regarding the 35-year-old’s chances of reclaiming his belt.

“I think he has kinda got that head to him where he thought he was invincible,” Holland explained. “And I think it’s kinda hard to come back from that when you’ve been on top for so long. Kinda like Anderson Silva when he was trying to get his belt back. I just don’t really think Usman’s gonna get it back. If Leon Edwards shows up and fights the whole time like how he fought in the first and the fifth, I think he finishes Usman again.”

“I Think It’s Movie Time”

It’s impossible to predict how a third fight between Usman and Edwards will go after the dramatic ending to their fight at UFC 278, but the former champion has already opened as a favorite to regain his belt.

All signs point to the UFC booking the trilogy bout between Usman and Edwards as soon as possible, but the welterweight division has no shortage of talented fighters looking to challenge for the belt. Holland believes that one of those fighters is his UFC 279 opponent, and that Usman should consider abandoning fighting all together.

Usman seemed headed for a decision victory before being head kicked by Edwards at UFC 278. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

“And if he does get the fuckin’ belt, I think that Chimaev will take the belt from him. I just don’t think Usman has what he used to have in him anymore. I think it’s movie time. I think it’s time for him to go get paid.”

It should be noted that Holland’s remarks above were made before the last-minute switch for him to face Chimaev tonight. With a victory over Chimaev, it is Holland who could be next up for a title shot.

Nevertheless, Chimaev has enjoyed one of the more rapid rises to stardom in the sport’s history, and many fans have labelled him as a future champion practically since his first fight in the UFC. This reputation is no doubt what helped move Holland to issue this prediction in favor of his future opponent.

What do you think of Holland’s comments about whether or not Usman can reclaim his UFC title?

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