Kevin Holland’s retirement is about more than just winning and losing.
The 30 year-old “Trailblazer” wants the promotion to make good on certain promises after the former middleweight agreed to a short-notice fight opposite overweight Khamzat Chimaev in order to keep the UFC 279 pay-per-view (PPV) card from falling apart.
That’s why Holland, who briefly retired earlier this year, is remaining noncommittal about his fighting future, particularly with all the rumors circulating about a potential title fight between the mouthy Chimaev and newly-crowned 185-pound titleholder Alex Pereira.
“(My retirement) was serious as hell – super serious,” Holland told TheMacLife at the UFC Orlando media day (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “It’s still on the table. If I wake up Sunday morning after beating ‘Wonderboy’ and you guys have Chimaev fighting for a 185-pound world title, and he’s never won a fight at ’85 in the Top 15, I’m retired. I understand business is business, but favoritism is favoritism. The kid missed weight. I had to step up and fight him after he missed weight to make the fight happen. I shouldn’t have had to do that.”
Holland was submitted by Chimaev in the first round of their UFC 279 co-main event.
“I did what I had to do,” Holland continued. “I did what I was supposed to do as a company man, so I’m sitting here telling you guys now: Certain things have to go certain ways. If they don’t go certain ways and we don’t get what we were promised, the things we talked about aren’t honored, you might as well give me my resignation papers and go home and smoke weed and play video games for the rest of my life.”
Holland (23-8, 1 NC), currently unranked at 170 pounds, returns to welterweight action opposite two-time title challenger Stephen Thompson atop the UFC Orlando card this Sat. night (Dec. 3, 2022) on ESPN and ESPN+ from inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.