Kevin Holland is determined to improve his wrestling after being grappled to decision defeats in consecutive fights.
‘Trailblazer’ slumped to a five-round loss against Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.
Holland clearly had the advantage on the feet but was unable to keep the fighting standing.
Brunson took him down each and every round. When the fight hit the floor Holland was unable to work up to his feet.
At UFC Vegas 23, Holland found himself in another main event match-up.
The 28-year-old accepted a late-notice call to square off against Marvin Vettori, after Darren Till was forced out of the bout due to injury.
Holland was once again outwrestled over five rounds, with Vettori breaking the UFC record for most takedowns in a middleweight fight.
Speaking post-fight to Megan Olivi, Holland noted his wrestling defence has not been good enough in his last couple of fights.
“Like [Daniel Cormier] said, gave up a lot of takedowns in the last two fights,” Holland said. “It sucks not to be in the winner’s circle. But at the end of the day I got a plane ride home and going to spend a lotta dollars at the lady’s club, so … it’s not that bad.”
“When I seen Marvin didn’t have an opponent, the smart thing to do would’ve been staying in that shower and not answering the phone call,” he added. “But I never said I was smart. Courageous and a company man is something that I am. So if people want to ridicule that, they can ridicule that. But at the end of the day, when they needed somebody to step in, I stepped in.
Holland revealed he is hoping to train his wrestling defence with former dual weight UFC champion, Daniel Cormier.
“Can’t say too much changes,” he said. “We’ll see, I honestly don’t know. Go spend some time with DC [Daniel Cormier], for sure, work on some of that wrestling. Go work on wrestling, learn to stop some of these takedowns. Other than that, same old same.”
“I’m not gonna change the fighter I am and try and become a wrestler just cuz these guys wanna wrestle,” Holland concluded. “I like to strike, I like to bang. I just do a better job at keeping the fight on the feet and deliver some more knockouts to the people and that way they’ll be back on the bandwagon, sooner or later.” (Transcribed by MMA Mania)
Do you think Kevin Holland will improve his wrestling skills enough to become a legitimate middleweight contender?