‘I Think That Was a Mental Breakdown’- Dana White Says Kevin Holland’s Antics Were Very Unusual

Published 03/21/2021, 12:13 PM EDT
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)


The main event of UFC Vegas 22 was supposed to be the latest step in the rise of middleweight Kevin Holland to the top. He was on an incredible run of five consecutive wins and would’ve been two fights away from a title shot with a win against Derek Brunson. However, his latest display must have sent the UFC president Dana White head-scratching.

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The fight was completely one-sided, and Brunson dominated the proceedings due to his wrestling. Incredibly, Holland started trash talking between the fight and, at one point, started asking Khabib Nurmagomedov for some advice, who was sitting ringside.

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Dana White was understandably upset with his performance and said that Holland broke down mentally. “I think that was a mental breakdown. I don’t know what he was doing.

He went on to say that Holland couldn’t handle the pressure and added, “I think he might not have been able to handle the pressure and just broke mentally. I haven’t seen anything like that.”

Derek Brunson reacts to Dana White being angry after the fight

A reporter asked Derek Brunson about Dana’s words and whether Kevin Holland’s antics disturbed his focus. Derek refuted Dana’s opinion and said that it wasn’t a mental breakdown.

No, he just couldn’t stop the takedowns. He kept presenting his hips. He’s kinda guy who’s very explosive, like to run in, but he’s long, so he kind of get away with it at times. He kept presenting his hips, and he was there for the taking,” Brunson said, explaining his strategy.

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He also added that White’s anger didn’t really bother him that much. Brunson believes that Dana would be fine again when he knocks a guy out. “Dana White, he’s one of these guys, you know. He’ll be upset with you, I’ll come out next fight, knock a guy out, and he’ll be happy again,” he explained.

Brunson knocked out another Middleweight rising star in Edmen Shahbazyan in his last fight and showed his superiority. It was weird to see Holland’s antics in the middle of the fight, but it’s not something out of the ordinary. Kevin has been known to trash-talk in his fights before, and this time it backfired.

Do you think Derek Brunson deserves to be ranked higher in the official Middleweight rankings?

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Aniket Awasthi

189 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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