‘This is Bullcr*p’- Kevin Holland Not Happy with Kelvin Gastelum Getting a Fight Against Robert Whittaker

Published 03/18/2021, 1:30 AM 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)


Kevin Holland spoke out to the press heading into UFC Vegas 22, which serves as his first time headlining a card. ‘The Trailblazer’ steps in against Derek Brunson, a fight he’s been calling out for on multiple occasions. The surging contender is riding the wave from a successful 2020 UFC campaign, and he’s hoping to lock in more impressive performances.

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Chiefly, the middleweight division has been a shark tank of dangerous contenders all vying for the same prize, UFC gold. In fact, Brunson vs Holland in Vegas kicks off a series of exciting 185-pounds match-ups that will decide the next contender. Robert Whittaker, Kelvin Gastelum, Darren Till, and Marvin Vettori are the other players in that equation.

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Kevin Holland speaks on being a potential late replacement

Robert ‘The Reaper’ was supposed to face Paulo Costa on April 17 as part of an unofficial middleweight tournament bracket. However, Costa recently announced that he was withdrawing from the fight and the UFC scrambled Kelvin Gastelum as a replacement. Kevin Holland wasn’t too fond of the idea of not being able to slide in to fight the former champion.

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – MAY 15: Kevin Holland poses on the scale during the official UFC Fight Night weigh-in on May 15, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

He said, “Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa, that’s what, April 17? It’s March right, April is next. It was perfect. I’m already in shape for the Brunson fight. I could have went in and took the Whittaker fight, it made sense.”

“He [Costa] literally should have waited three more days before he announced that he couldn’t take the fight. Had he waited until I had already beat Brunson, then I would be fighting Robert Whittaker next.”

Holland doesn’t hold back on Kelvin Gastelum

‘The Trailblazer’ also went in on the fact that Gastelum was fighting a former champion after going 1-3 in his last four. Despite his recent skid, Gastelum can jump back in the mix if he beats Whittaker. Holland wasn’t too pleased to see Gastelum get such a bump up, and he made sure to voice his sentiments on the matter.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 19: Jack Hermansson of Sweden celebrates after his submission victory over Kelvin Gastelum in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Instead Kelvin Gastelum gets to fight Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum is coming off what three, four losses and he finally got one dub and he gets to fight the ex-champ? This is bullc**p. But they were supposed to fight already, I’m happy they finally get to fight. Props to those guys.”

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Kevin Holland has built his brand around being a late replacement fighter and he seemingly wants to continue that trend. However, as he climbs the ranks, he will be in longer training camps with high-profile match-ups. Regardless of the recent exposure, Holland is looking to keep his streak of being a late replacement fighter going.

What do you make of his reaction to Whittaker’s new opponent?

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Darryl Pinto

1478 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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