UFC welterweight Kevin Holland has explained how the promotion’s system displays favoritism to some fighters and leaves others getting “scooped on.”
This weekend, Holland will headline as a 170-pound fighter for the first time, having made the move down from middleweight earlier this year following a three-fight winless run.
He’ll be looking to make the most of the main event spotlight inside the Amway Center on Saturday, when he challenges high-ranked contender Stephen Thompson at UFC Orlando.
The loss came at the hands of Khamzat Chimaev, whom Holland faced on just one day’s notice after the Chechen-born Swede’s weight miss forced him out of the pay-per-view’s headliner.
Despite throwing the card up in the air late in the day, it still appears that “Borz” is within touching distance of a title shot, perhaps even at middleweight.
During UFC Orlando media day on Wednesday, Holland was less than pleased about the situation, suggesting that the promotion is showing favoritism to Chimaev whilst failing to honor assurances given to him.
“If I wake up Sunday morning after beating Wonderboy, and you guys have Chimaev fighting for the 185-pound title, and he’s never won a fight at 185 in the top 15, I’ll retire,” Holland said. “I understand business is business, but favoritism is favoritism. The kid missed weight, I had to step up to fight him and make the fight happen. I shouldn’t have had to do that, but I did what I had to do as a company man.
“So I’m sitting here and telling you now, certain things have to go certain ways. If they don’t go certain ways, if we don’t get what we were promised, things that we talked about aren’t honored, you might as well give me my resignation papers,” Holland added.
Holland’s Grudge Goes Beyond Just Chimaev
While the manner of his defeat to Chimaev and the events that have happened since have perhaps shone a light on certain areas of the UFC business for Holland, the perception that some fighters pull the short straws while others are handed the long ones is nothing new for him.
Giving another example of what he sees as favoritism, Holland recalled his efforts to become a playable character on EA Sports’ UFC video game.
But while his calls to be added to the roster were turned down a while back, two newcomers, 2022 Dana White‘s Contender Series alums Raul Rosas Jr. and Bo Nickal, found themselves in the game without even stepping foot inside the Octagon.
With that in mind, “Big Mouth” is evidently beginning to feel hard done by.
“Just in the sport. It’s like, remember when I was bitching about the video game?” Holland recalled. “I got told I don’t make those decisions… Who the f*ck makes those decisions then if I wake up the next day and this guy who’s been in the organization for a very short amount of time is in the video game? Same thing, you got a 17-year-old kid… you put him in the game before he even got a UFC fight, same with Bo Nickal. There’s just certain things that don’t make sense… Everyone should have a fair chance.
“You can only work somewhere for so long before you start to feel some type of way… I work for a fantastic company, but I just think sometimes, some things get done, probably not intentionally and probably because it makes sense business-wise,” Holland continued. “But then for us fighters, we get scooped on, we get f*cked, and we feel like, ‘Goddamn, why did we get done like that?’ Maybe I’m just feeling like, why did I get done like that?”
While Holland’s ‘retirement’ post-UFC 279 turned out to be brief, his latest remarks would suggest it perhaps wasn’t the playful joke that it seemed and may even be a real possibility depending on how things play out.
Do you agree with Kevin Holland? Does the UFC show favoritism to some fighters?
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