Dana White shared his thoughts on the sudden retirement of Kevin Holland.
Holland took on top-ranked welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev in a catchweight bout at UFC 279. Chimaev put in another dominant performance, completely shutting down Holland on his way to a first-round finish without absorbing a single significant strike for the fourth time under the UFC banner.
Following the tough loss, Holland unexpectedly announced that he would be stepping away from competition.
Dana White believes it’s ‘too soon’ for Kevin Holland to retire
At the post-fight press conference for past Tuesday’s Dana White’s Contender Series, UFC president White gave his take on the abrupt end to Holland’s career.
“We talked about that. Obviously, you know I’m really close to this kid, and I like him a lot,” White said (ht MMA News). “I think when you are competing in a sport like this and you’ve done the things that Kevin Holland has done, you know — he gets out of the fight with Brunson and realizes he needs to work on his wrestling more, so he dives in, starts working on his wrestling, and I think when what happened to him happens to you, I don’t know, I think you lay in bed at night and go, ‘Holy shit, how did that happen to me.’”
White thinks emotions got the better of Holland
According to White, emotions might have gotten the better of Holland. He shares a close bond with ‘Trailblazer’ and believes it’s too early for him to hang up his gloves.
“He’s an emotional guy, so it think his emotions got the best of him. Just take some time, get back in the gym, and whatever he wants to do, obviously. I love the kid, whatever he wants to do, he can do, but I think retirement, it’s a little bit too soon.”