Following his statement victory over former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza at UFC 256 last weekend — the streaking striker, Kevin ‘The Trailblazer’ Holland certainly isn’t wasting any time on a swift Octagon return.
According to sources close to MMA Power Hour, the UFC is currently targeting a middleweight matchup between longtime top-ten contender, Derek Brunson, and Holland to feature at UFC Fight Night 186 on January 30th. — with a location and venue for the event yet to be determined by the promotion. Both Brunson and Holland, as per sources who requested anonymity — have both verbally agreed to meet.
Fresh from a standout performance at UFC Vegas 5 in August, Brunson took main event status on short-notice against the surging, Edmen Shahbazyan — finishing the striker with punches in the third round of their headlining tilt.
Notching his staggering fifth consecutive victory of 2020, Riverside, California native, Holland made a high-profile Octagon appearance at UFC 256 last weekend at the UFC Apex, finishing the above-mentioned Souza with a massive right-hook off his back before a subsequent barrage of strikes. The win saw Holland become the lone middleweight to score five victories in a calendar year in promotional history.
Brunson, 36 has scored victories in his last three on the trot, adding the exciting prospect, Shahbazyan to a pair of decision triumphs over both Ian Heinisch, and Elias Theodorou last year.
The 21-7 striker has competed professionally since May 2010, scoring twelve total knockouts — knocking back the likes of Lorenz Larkin, Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, Uriah Hall, and Lyoto Machida. Brunson currently sits at #7 in the official middleweight pile.
Dana White’s Contender Series 9 alum, Holland has made massive waves amongst his peers this year alone. Adding the biggest victory of his career to his résumé last weekend, the Phalanx MMA Academy trainee and Travis Lutter Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has secured other victories over Charlie Ontiveros, Darren Stewart, Joaquin Buckley, and Anthony Hernandez this year.
His innovative finish over Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon Jacare last weekend earned him a Performance of the Night bonus as well as the #10 spot in the official 185-pound rankings.