While prepping for this card, I listened to Kevin Holland on Joe Rogan and my first perception of the guy is that he’s still a kid. He’s very immature and seems to take very little serious. He’s such a good fighter has done tremendous things in this sport in the last 15 months but overall, he needs to grow up.
Holland fought on the main event last night vs Derek Brunson. I’ve been on record to say that I don’t like Brunson. He’s the type of guy that will scream for a title shot after beating the #10 guy in the world. After hearing Holland on JRE, it seemed that he doesn’t take much seriously. Brunson, on the other hand, is a seasoned vet and will brawl for 5 rounds. OK maybe not brawl but you know what I mean.
Brunson took Holland down for 5 rounds and just grinded out a win. IT was impressive for Brunson but what stole the show was Holland’s non-stop talking. During the fight, in between rounds and even after, he’s talking to Dana, Khabib, the refs, the judges… You name it. In between the 3rd and the 4th rounds, Holland isn’t even listening to his coaches and he’s talking to Khabib. Holland even lands a take down in the 5th round and looks to the camera and says “that should be a win for me” in reference to Brunson never being taken down in his career.
In the 1st round, Holland tagged Brunson and wobbled him good. if Holland kept that focused, surely he would’ve won the fight. He was even checking himself out during the fight, staring at the camera. It was the Holland show and I think we want a refund. Holland disappointed me and many others, I was sold on him being a ticket pusher. I was sold on the hype that he could be the real deal. The kid needs to mature a bit because he can be great. Brunson was the better man last night, landing 226 strikes, 43 significant strikes and 6 takedowns. Unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49,45). I don’t know why one judge saw a 10-8 round somewhere but nonetheless, I had it 49-46.
What does this mean for Brunson? Well I think he earned a top 5 fight now. He was #7 going into last night. Maybe Marvin Vetoori at #5 or Jared Canonnier at #4. Both great fights for all fighters. Holland? well he said he might want to go to 170, he has a frame for 185 and I don’t know how he can make 170, he’s already super thin.