Kevin Holland grabbed his fourth UFC win this year at UFC Fight Night: Silva vs Hall. However, more than his performance, his back-and-forth with Israel Adesanya, after the win, made the headlines. Holland has now cleared that it was partly because the two had a history dating back to his own UFC debut.
‘Trailblazer’ literally slammed his way to victory over Charlie Ontiveros. Riding a hot streak right now, Holland will aim to become only the third fighter in UFC history to have five wins in a calendar year. His end goal will always remain a shot at the middleweight title. If he ever ends up fighting Israel Adesanya, the fight will be that much more interesting owing to the history between the two.
While talking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Holland explained what prompted him to go after the divisional champ following his win.
“It was just bringing back flashbacks. When I was walking over there and I had my shirt off and stuff. Then I started thinking like how in L.A. he tried to treat me like a little kid, like a freshman on the block. Kinda felt that he was trying to punk me in a way,” Holland said.
“It was in L.A. when I was fighting Thiago Santos. They were doing media the same day that we were doing the mock weigh-ins. They were getting done with media and they were going up the stairs and we were going down the stairs. I said something like, ‘Yo that’s Izzy right there he ain’t that big’. He was like what the f–k you said?”
“He was trying to turn and get all aggressive and stuff. My coach was like hey chill out to him. James Vick was pushing me downstairs and was like bro you’re gonna get kicked out of the UFC before you even get in. Chill out,” Holland remembered about the incident from UFC 227.
Although a significant has passed time since that altercation took place, Holland hasn’t really forgotten it. He still wonders if Adesanya believes that he was able to get the better of him that night.
“The more I sat at home and the more thought about it, I was like hey, I hope that he wouldn’t think he punked me. I don’t get punked. I hope he didn’t think that he punked me. Then when I saw him I was like I’m gonna say something about it. Then I was like I am probably tripping.”
While there seems to be genuine beef between Holland and Adesanya, he isn’t pinning all his hopes on a fight with him. If Adesanya decides to go up in weight to fight Jon Jones, ‘Trail Blazer’ is more than happy to fight Jorge Masvidal for the BMF belt instead.
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