When Kevin Holland steps into the cage for his bout against Anthony Hernandez on the prelim card tonight, I recommend all viewers turn your TV volume up. With no crowd on hand, everyone is likely to hear what a Holland fight really sounds like. It’s a lot like listening to your little brother’s sleepover with his friends.
In his UFC debut, Holland took on the fearsome Thiago Santos on thirteen days notice. From bell to bell, you dared not look away as there was no telling what would happen next in the fight, nor what would come out of Holland’s mouth. Though he lost a decision and his mouthpiece a few times, he earned his spot on the roster. A spot which all who follow Holland knows was well-deserved; the kid is a superstar in the making. Who else asks one of the hardest-hitting fighters on the roster “why you hitting me so hard, bro?” in the middle of a fight on live TV? His give-a-s**t level is non-existent.
Whether he’s soliciting wrestling advice from Daniel Cormier during his fights or telling me to shut up while offering instruction from the corner in his bout with Gerald Meerschaert, ‘Big Mouth’, as Dana White dubbed him, will keep you on your toes. I hate sparring with him, for the fact that he carries a conversation better while kicking me in the stomach than he does at lunch afterwards.
When asked about his opponent, Anthony Hernandez, Holland agrees that he’s a tough out. In fact, Hernandez beat Brendan Allen, who Kevin lost to in his last UFC bout. A win here would be a bit of payback, in Holland’s eyes. Not only that, but there’s a bit of a side wager ongoing between these two combatants.
At weigh-ins yesterday, Holland told Hernandez that the winner of this fight has to call out Marvin Vettori, who’s fight with Karl Roberson fell out earlier this week. Vettori and Holland had words online and again in the lobby, though ‘Trailblazer’ is fully aware of the challenge standing in front of him now. That’s why he invited Hernandez to join in, the winner gets ‘The Italian Dream’, who quickly agreed to the challenge.
So be sure to tune in tonight for what Dana White is picking for his potential Fight of the Night bout between Kevin Holland and Anthony Hernandez. Put your phones on silent, mute your kids and turn up your TVs because everyone from Laura Sanko to headliner Walt Harris has mentioned their eager anticipation of tonight and what comes out of the mouth of the ‘Trailblazer’ – while he’s kickin’ ass.