BREAKING: Kevin Holland Gets His First Fight for 2021

Published 12/29/2020, 11:31 PM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 12: Kevin Holland celebrates his KO victory over Jacare Souza of Brazil in their middleweight bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC middleweight Kevin Holland is looking to build upon his incredible 2020 run with a booking against a divisional staple. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported a five-round headlining feature between Kevin Holland and Derek Brunson set for March 20, 2021. Both the parties have agreed to headline the Fight Night Event; however, contracts are still to be enlisted.

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The bout could be extremely crucial for both fighters as each brings a compelling element to the table. Brunson has been surging as of late, and he remains a staple step to reach a title shot in the middleweight division. As for Holland, he enters 2021 as one of the most highly touted fighters based on his incredible 2020 campaign.

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UFC middleweights: Kevin Holland vs Derek Brunson

‘The Trailblazer’ closed out the year with a record-setting 5-0 and has streaked towards the top 10 of the division. Only two other fighters in modern UFC history have been able to put up a 5-0 record in a calendar year. Also, his most recent KO over Jacare Souza came through as though he truly belongs amongst the elite competition.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 31: Kevin Holland prepares to fight Charlie Ontiveros in a middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 31, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

A win over Brunson would open up several doors for Holland, who’s in contention for ‘Fighter of the Year.’ Traditionally, a stoppage win over Brunson has led to fighters like Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya looking towards gold. Additionally, Holland’s versatility on the ground will be an encouraging factor when considering Brunson’s decorated wrestling background.

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Derek Brunson comes in on a three-fight win streak with notable victories over game challengers and surging fighters. His TKO demolition over up and comer Edmen Shahbazyan reminded fans why Brunson has remained at the top of the heap for several years. Moreover, he managed to shake off the ‘gate-keeper’ stigma that was being crafted around his name.

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Brunson’s last loss came to the current undisputed champion Israel Adesanya back in November 2018. He now has the opportunity to swipe some major buzz off Holland, who’s garnered massive notoriety in the company. Chiefly, a decisive finish over Trailblazer would set up the veteran fighter to make a legitimate push towards an Adesanya rematch.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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