With UFC 256 in the books, 2020 ended in stellar fashion with a card that delivered from top to bottom. One of the most talked-about finishes from the event was the concussive blow that Kevin Holland delivered to Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza from his back, rendering the former Strikeforce champion unconscious and handing Holland his fifth victory under the UFC banner in seven months.
With such an unorthodox style, I sat down with Holland’s striking coach ‘Shug’ Dorsey of CD Powertrain to discuss the fight, his own history and what plans he had for the future.
Shug Dorsey boasts quite an impressive yet scattered past. From incarceration to training boxing world champions, his history has more random bullet points than a Family Feud survey board. Some of them are as follows:
-2007/2008 Regional Fort Worth, Texas heavyweight boxing champion
-Lost over one-hundred pounds at 24-years-old to begin boxing career
-Paid sparring partner for David Tua and Dillian Whyte
-Lead crewman on a oil and gas exploration company
-Moved to the Virgin Islands
-Helped train Clayton Laurent for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics
The list goes on. Never held back do to past brushes with the law, it’s simple to say that Dorsey yearns for improvement. I got a little bit of insight from him through his questions below.
Favorite combo and why?
Dorsey: Rhythm combos are my favorite. Anything to throw your opponent off.
What sets you apart as a striking coach?
Dorsey: I’m a nationally accredited trainer with speciality certifications in strength and conditioning. And if ya knock my hat off my head during sparring, I’m ripping that body.
What’s benefitted Kevin Holland the most since you all started working together?
Dorsey: We’ve improved his speed, agility and accuracy. The stats say it all. he’s the number one most accurate striker in the middleweight division. Not (Israel) Adesanya, not Anderson Silva. Kevin. Plus that Vertimax and Kinesio taping does wonders for his strength.
What’s your favorite boxing/MMA bout?
Dorsey: (Arturo) Gatti vs (Micky) Ward. There wasn’t any quit in them.
Dream match up for Kevin Holland?
Dorsey: I want to see us fight (Marvin) Vettori. He thinks his boxing is the best because he works with Mike Tyson’s trainer [Rafael Cordeiro] but we have some tricks of our sleeve for Marvin.
Dorsey is also working with current UFC fighter Shayna Dobson, as well as some up and coming young fighters. Niko Collazo and Colton Loud are both forces to look out for. With the improvements we’ve seen in ‘Trailblazer’s’ game this year, there is little doubt that we’ll soon be hearing some noise about these stablemates.
In the meantime, ‘Shug’ Dorsey will have his hands full with Holland. As long as he doesn’t get his hat knocked off his head in sparring.