Ahead of his upcoming UFC Orlando headliner following a brief retirement from professional mixed martial arts, welterweight contender, Kevin Holland has claimed opponent, Khamzat Chimaev instigated their press conference altercation after push-kicking him – apparently almost ruining his garments.
Set to take main event honors on December 3. at UFC Orlando, Holland will draw two-time welterweight title chaser, Stephen Thompson, making his third outing in the promotional headliner.
Last month, Holland, a native of Riverside, co-headlined UFC 279 in an impromptu catchweight fight against Chimaev, after the latter missed weight for his welterweight headliner by seven and a half pounds for a fight with Nate Diaz.
Initially scheduled to fight fellow Californian striker, Daniel Rodriguez in a long-awaited clash, Holland would suffer his first loss at the welterweight limit since his move to the division earlier this year.
Taken down by Chimaev en cue, Holland was submitted with a first round D’Arce choke in his co-main event slot.
However, on Thursday during fight week, Holland and Chimaev were involved in an altercation backstage ahead of a press conference, ultimately forcing the cancellation of the pre-fight showcase.
Kevin Holland joked that he should likely avoid Khamzat Chimaev in the future
Explaining his side of the story, Holland joked that a push-kick from Chimaev almost ruined his Burberry clothes, resulting in a drawn-out altercation between the two before they were corralled.
“I pushed (Khamzat) Chimaev, Chimaev threw a push-kick, he hit me,” Kevin Holland told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “And I got mad ’cause he f*cked – he almost f*cked up the Burberry. You know, you can’t mess with a man’s Burberry, so I got a little p*ssed off.”
“I told him don’t step in my bubble (he) stepped in my personal space,” Kevin Holland continued. “Remember last time we were in each other’s personal space, I pushed him, so he pushed me – then he got the push-kick, so long story short, Chimaev just keeps whooping my ass, I might wanna stay away from that guy. That’s why I was gonna retire, I can post all the memes I want with no repercussions. But now I’m back, so I’ve got all the repercussions.”
Before his loss against Chimaev, Holland had turned in back-to-back finishes over division veterans, Alex Oliveira, and then Tim Means earlier this year.