Monday, November 28, 2022

Holland Gives Middle Fingers To Chimaev’s Training Offer

UFC welterweight Kevin Holland has given a firm response to the training offer Khamzat Chimaev sent him following last month’s pay-per-view.

In the buildup to UFC 279, Holland had his sights set on a third consecutive victory at 170 pounds. He made the drop earlier this year after he followed his record-breaking 2020 middleweight form, which saw him go 5-0, with two losses and a no contest in 2021.

Having finished both Alex Oliveira and Tim Means in his first two welterweight outings, “Trailblazer” was matched up with Daniel Rodriguez. But while he was preparing for the striking threat that “D-Rod” brings to the Octagon, come fight night, Holland found himself tapping to a D’Arce choke at the hands of Chimaev in round one.

How did he get there? A late card alteration that was forced by the Chechen-born Swede’s sizable weight miss the day before the Las Vegas-held event. While Rodriguez went on to narrowly outpoint Li Jingliang, Holland was left with the task of handling the undefeated “Borz” on one day’s notice.

While the pair had exchanged words before, even coming to blows backstage at the eventually cancelled UFC 279 press conference, they did show respect following the conclusion of their co-main event.

That continued in the aftermath, with the #3-ranked welterweight even inviting his latest fallen opponent to his Stockholm-based gym.

“Now this war is over, if he wants, he can come to my gym and be one of us… and he’s nice guy, good guy, tough guy, you know? He has a lot of things to learn, so yeah, he’s one of the warriors,” Chimaev said during the post-fight press conference.

While Chimaev has had a similar offer in the past accepted, with Darren Till’s decision to head to Sweden resulting in an unlikely bond and friendship, Holland won’t be making the ‘Smesh Bros’ the ‘Smesh Trio’…

Holland Sends Chimaev A Firm No: “My Squad Is My Squad”

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Holland was asked whether he’s tempted to utilize Chimaev’s skills and help to aid in fixing his wrestling deficiencies, which were also on display last year in a pair of middleweight losses to Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori.

As far as rejections go, Holland’s firmly sits on the convincing end of the scale.

After insisting that he has a ‘ride or die’ mentality with his team, “Big Mouth” gave Chimaev a pair of verbal middle fingers.

“It’s more likely for the universe to change and we all look like cartoon characters. I’m not training with that guy. I don’t know what the f*ck he was thinking,” Holland said. “I guess because I asked him how many times a week they work wrestling. But hey, I’m just trying to steal the recipe for me and my guys. He shot a fast shot.

“It’s me and my team against the world. I’m not training with no other squads. I may stop in, say what’s up to some people I think are really cool, shout out to those boys out there at RSVCA… But my squad is my squad. My team is my team,” Holland continued. “No thanks, whatsoever. There’s no thank you even involved. Just two middle fingers, but I ain’t gonna throw it up on Ariel Helwani‘s show.”

Fortunately for Holland, he’ll almost certainly not be needing the help of Chimaev or any other elite grapplers for his next contest.

Following a brief faux retirement, it was announced that Holland will return to action before the end of 2022, headlining UFC Orlando against Stephen Thompson on December 3. Given both men’s public calls to face strikers in their next outings, the Amway Center crowd will no doubt be expecting standup affair.

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