Kevin Holland’s road to his seventh UFC bout has been strange to say the least.
The UFC middleweight had two bouts fall out over the past few months. The first was back in May when he was forced to withdraw from UFC on ESPN 9 due to injury. And then last weekend at UFC on ESPN+ 31, Holland’s opponent, Trevin Gile,s fainted just minutes before walking out to the octagon. The unexpected incident forced Nevada Athletic Commission officials to cancel the fight.
Luckily for Holland (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC), the UFC was able to find him a spot and an opponent for Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 32 event in Las Vegas.
“I feel really, really good about the fight this week, but I mean, I was ready last week,” Holland told reporters at the UFC on ESPN+ 32 virtual media day Thursday. “So I guess I’m double ready this week. The fight not going through last week, I mean, yeah things happen, man. It is what it is.”
Holland, who takes on Bellator and LFA veteran Joaquin Buckley, has been forced to adapt and get ready for a new opponent. He’s been studying tape during fight week.
The 27-year-old competitor is happy his opponent is getting a shot at the big leagues, but his objective is still the same.
“Congratulations to him for getting to the UFC,” Holland said. “I definitely look forward to flooring him with the right hand, and if I don’t floor him with the right hand, I definitely look forward to testing out my new back belt skills. So we’ll see how it goes.”
The attitude of anybody, anywhere is starting to become a staple for Holland. The “Trail Blazer” wants to follow the foot steps of fan-favorite Donald Cerrone.
“One of my favorite fighters, just because of his persona and they way he steps up and always comes through, is ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone,” Holland said. “He’s the GOAT at stepping up and taking fights. It’s like I always figured that’s the type of fighter you’re supposed to be. Be ready anytime, ready any place, and if you’re scared, you should probably find a different profession. That being said, I love stepping up and taking fights. It doesn’t matter who it is, when it is.”
UFC on ESPN+32 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.