Kevin Holland is gratified to be getting bigger fights, 5-spherical fights, and first tournament fights.
At a UFC Fight Evening tournament on March 20, Holland (21-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC) will compete in his first UFC headliner in opposition to longtime middleweight contender Derek Brunson.
While he recognizes Brunson’s history of stopping rising stars fancy UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and extinct champion Robert Whittaker earlier than they won championship gold, Holland indicated he sees the matchup as lackluster and low-reward.
“I correct despise that Brunson is my first valuable tournament,” Holland told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “I imply, the storyline is correct. It’s cool. Every little thing is unbelievable there. I’m having enjoyable with him on-line. He’s extra or less making me earn pleasure from that it is far him. Nonetheless on the same time, Brunson? He’s extra or less the gatekeeper. He’s yet every other 300 and sixty five days older. It was as soon as correct his birthday. This, that, etc., etc., etc.
“It’s fancy, beat Brunson, there are going to be 1,000 excuses why you beat Brunson, too. A valuable tournament in opposition to any individual without a excuses? That can’ve been unbelievable. The precious tournament, beating Brunson, and there’s going to be a thousand excuses after I beat, him? Ooh. Frigid.”
Holland, who fought 5 times over the final seven months of 2020, has stayed lively when wholesome. Ready three months in between fights is territory he hasn’t charted for some time. If a brief-see different arises within the approaching weeks, Holland will elevate his hand.
“I’m wholesome,” Holland stated. “As soon as they came motivate to the Apex, I figured that would possibly perchance well well be big. If the boss wants March, I’ll capture March. If anything occurs in between (that) time and so that they need any individual to step up into one thing. I’ll attain that and I’ll smooth attain Brunson in March.”
In preparation, Holland has already planned out one sequence he thinks would possibly perchance well well happen within the battle – an unorthodox one. Holland has three knockout wins on his UFC resume and is desirous to construct it four with a “knockout of the century.”
“If I can time his celebrated combo correct, it would possibly perchance well well no longer be 5 rounds,” Holland stated. “I’m undoubtedly getting ready for 5, so we’ll see how it goes. I no doubt possess hundreds of time to prepare, so I would possibly perchance well well simply smooth be bigger than big. I’ve got a series. If I wander his jab, roll his overhand, after which hit him with a correct hip thrust while he goes for a takedown, I’ll knock him out with my cojones. That correct there would possibly perchance well well be a knockout for the century.”
Brunson, 37, has been with the UFC since 2012. Since his debut, he’s competed in opposition to a who’s who of the middleweight division and has headlined a couple of cards. With a staunch wrestling attack, Brunson has been in a position, now and then, to seize an eye on his opponents when the battle hits the mat.
Holland hopes Brunson retains the grappling to a minimum on March 20.
“He says I can’t wrestle, so I can’t wrestle,” Holland stated. “We’ll see when that evening comes. I correct pray that he doesn’t are trying to jog for a fat 25 minutes. Staunch give me 5 minutes of placing, Brunson. Staunch 5 minutes. That’s all I quiz you. While you give me 5 minutes of placing, I’ll give you 20 minutes of humping.”
If all goes in accordance alongside with his map and he wins, Holland thinks a title eliminator battle would possibly perchance well well very wisely be on the horizon. At the least that’s what he’s taken far from history.
“The history of the 185-pound division over the last couple of years has been, ‘Beat Brunson, earn a title shot,’” Holland stated. “So yeah, I judge (a title eliminator would possibly perchance well well be next).