In what would certainly be a surprising turn of events, UFC welterweight Kevin Holland has appeared to hint at a possible retirement from mixed martial arts.
This year, Holland returned to form through a drop to 170 pounds following defeats to Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson at middleweight. After stopping both Alex Oliveira and Tim Means, “Trailblazer” was booked against Daniel Rodriguez at this month’s UFC 279 pay-per-view.
But the entertaining 29-year-old pulled the short straw when planned headliner Khamzat Chimaev missed weight. Having weighed in for a 180-pound catchweight contest, Holland was asked to meet “Borz” in the co-main event.
Having accepted his part on the revised card, Holland became Chimaev’s latest victim, with the Chechen born-Swede extending his perfect record to 12-0 with a first-round D’Arce choke submission.
In the aftermath, Holland outlined his hopes to rebound before the end of the year, naming a re-arranged clash with “D-Rod” or a much-called for date in the cage with Stephen Thompson as options.
But having seen reports of Rodriguez having another opponent lined up, Holland has hinted towards retirement on social media.
Holland: “Got Paid, I’m Out”
On Thursday, Holland took to social media, first seemingly expressing frustration at reports of Daniel Rodriguez and Neil Magny squaring off next month.
Prior to UFC 279, Holland expressed his desire to fight four or five times every year in an interview with MMA Fighting, suggesting that if he couldn’t accomplish that level of activity, he may as well retire.
In a story, he wrote, “Lol, (didn’t) I just ask for this scrap, that’s wild,” perhaps believing he was owed the re-arranged matchup with the hard-hitting welterweight given that he agreed to face Chimaev on a day’s notice.
Minutes later, he uploaded a post that hinted at a retirement from MMA.
“Had a good run 30 in little over a month got paid I’m out,” Holland wrote. “Next career choice?”
He then posted another story that simply read, “Retired before 30,” with a salute emoji.
Holland later went on to discuss a future beyond fighting in another story, noting that “opening a car club” is his number-one goal.
Reactions have been mixed since the posts went up. Whilst some fans have understandably questioned how genuine the claims are, others have praised Holland for choosing to retire whilst still in good condition.
One user suggested that there’s “zero chance this is a real retirement,” whilst another noted their shock by exclaiming that “Kevin Holland retiring is not news I expected to get this morning. F*ck man.”
Some fans even answered Holland’s question about a new career, with one advising “Big Mouth” to harness his recent street heroics for a stint in law enforcement.
Should Holland’s claims prove to be genuine, he’ll exit the sport with a 23-8 professional record, and following a stint in the UFC that included a record-breaking five straight wins in 2020.
Do you think Kevin Holland’s apparent retirement could be legitimate?