LAS VEGAS – The change in Kevin Holland was apparent from the second he stepped into the room for his Wednesday media session at the UFC Apex.
Gone was the boisterous, jovial Holland of factual three weeks prior. Instead, Holland’s tone was much more subdued.
“It’s kill or be killed,” Holland informed MMA Junkie. “Exit there and obtain the kill, obtain the job done, skedaddle dwelling – what I mean? Achieve my factor.”
Holland’s approach to the media day was a clear reaction to the criticism he obtained following a rather bizarre combat with Derek Brunson factual a few weeks ago, the place he appeared more focused on talking to Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was cageside, than actually beating his opponent. Following a lackluster decision loss, Holland was the target of some very pointed backlash.
Holland said the message was obtained – despite the fact that he didn’t necessarily agree with it all.
“I’m factual right here to conclude the job, what I mean,” Holland said. “It’s cherish everyone wants ‘Tremendous Mouth’ unless ‘Tremendous Mouth’ failed, (and) now they don’t want ‘Tremendous Mouth’ anymore, so as far as I’m concerned, I’ll skedaddle in the market and conclude what ‘Trailblazer’ does, gather my ‘W,’ and then take my black ass back dwelling.”
Holland (21-6 MMA, 8-3 UFC) will obtain a chance to position the performance behind him when he faces Marvin Vettori (16-3-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) in the headlining bout of Saturday’s UFC on ABC 2 match, which airs are residing on ABC from the UFC Apex.
Stepping in for an injured Darren Except, Holland now competes in his second UFC main match in exactly three weeks, and while he knows things want to be a little various than his last time out, he believes he’s proving his worth to the promotion by taking the contest.
“I mediate there have been some things I wanted to work on before I obtained this main match, but at the same time, when the company needs someone to step up, I’m right here to step up when no person else will,” Holland said. “I mediate it was one of these situations the place “Trailblazer’ wanted to be right here, and I’m right here.”
For fans, the originate-as much as the matchup will certainly have less flavor than one may have hoped. While there is history between them, Holland made it clear he’s no longer prepared to partake in as much pre-combat banter as he has in earlier contests. That said, he serene believes he can obtain the best of Vettori even with out the pre-combat mind games.
“I’m going to mess with him in the cage,” Holland said. “At the conclude of the day, he’s going to obtain toyed with, what I mean? The work with Marvin’s head has already been build in you, so when we obtain in the market, I’ll present you guys exactly what I mean.”
A hit has a way of fixing a lot of concerns in MMA, and Holland has certainly confirmed a penchant for entertaining while earning a victory. But Holland, the 2020 MMA Junkie “Fighter of the Year,” said he’s no longer overly concerned with what fans may have to say after Saturday.
UFC president Dana White signs the checks, and therefore his opinion matters. Any others, no longer rather a lot.
“Dana wasn’t really happy with the performance, and I can understand why he wasn’t happy with the performance,” Holland said. “He’s the boss, ? He was having a stare forward to me doing certain things to Brunson so, , it may convey better earnings later on. I don’t mediate Brunson brings suitable earnings to the game or to the sport, so I may really feel the place he was upset from – everyone else who was upset, shut the f*ck up, what I mean?
“So yeah, I can understand the place the boss is upset from. I understand the place the boss is coming from 100 percent. … Here and there he’s had things to say, and best believe I’ve had originate ears and I’ve listened.”
To gape the plump interview with Holland, take a look at out the video above.