Holland lost to Chimaev via first-round submission in the UFC 279 co-main event. He was originally supposed to face Daniel Rodriguez in a catchweight bout before Chimaev’s Friday weight miss forced the UFC to switch the matchups around at the last minute.
Holland and Chimaev went at it both on social media and backstage at the UFC 279 pre-fight press conference, resulting in the cancelation of the presser altogether. Despite their recent animosity, tensions seemed to cool down following the fight.
Chimaev bull-rushed Holland in the opening seconds and showcased his freakish grappling abilities. Holland wasn’t able to escape and was eventually caught in a choke in the opening round.
Holland’s loss to Chimaev was his first since making the move to welterweight. He earned recent wins over the likes of Tim Means and Alex Oliveira.
Kevin Holland Reflects On “Grappling Match” Loss To Khamzat Chimaev
During a recent Instagram video post, Holland recapped his performance against Chimaev and looked ahead to what’s next.
“I lost an amazing grappling match last night – I mean fight, my bad,” Holland said. “Chimaev is one hell of an athlete. I’m still gonna be talking shit, because you know who I am.
“Hate ending the year like this,” Holland continued. “So, would love to go in there against a striker. I don’t know if I’m still deserving of a ‘Wonderboy’ fight but would love a ‘Wonderboy’ fight. If not a ‘Wonderboy’ fight, ‘D-Rod,’ we were all the way on task to getting it done. We had to switch it up to save the card. So, maybe we can get something nice and get it going and collect another check before the end of the year, my guy.”
Holland has called out Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the past and a fight between the two welterweights could make sense. A fight with Rodriguez, which was supposed to happen at UFC 279, would arguably be even more fitting.
Despite the loss to Chimaev, Holland’s star power remains high. He’s turned into one of the most entertaining fighters in the sport and has become a fan favorite.
Holland will look to get back on track in his next UFC appearance with hopefully no last-second opponent switches on the horizon.
Who do you want Kevin Holland to face next?