Kevin Holland has a real good reason why he moved down to the welterweight division and it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The former middleweight contender will now start making the cut down to 170 pounds for his next UFC appearance. As one of the more outspoken fighters on the UFC roster today Holland has not been shy in explaining his decision to drop down in weight. The man known as “Big Mouth” has comfortably hit the 185-pound mark in the past so fighting one weight class down should not hinder him too much.
Holland, who fought a bunch of times at 170 pounds prior to his UFC career, produced a 8-4 (1 NC) record in the middleweight division since his promotional debut in 2018. The 29-year-old hit a bit of a rough patch earlier this year with back-to-back losses against Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. Those fights proved that Holland wasn’t necessarily strong enough to keep up with some of the best grapplers in the middleweight division.
“I had that time off after the two losses back-to-back and I bought a bunch of weights and stuff like that,” Holland explained when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I got a bad ass weight set for the house. Doing a bunch of lifting. Every time I’d go out of town, I’d book a hotel with the best lifting spots. I’d lift and I was getting into the lifting lifestyle. I’m going to be like Jon Jones, you know what I mean? Big!
“It just didn’t work out. Could never gain the weight. The more I lifted, the more I eat, the more I sh*t.”
After his debut loss to Thiago Santos over three years ago Holland went on to win eight of his next nine Octagon appearances, which culminated with a knockout win over legendary fighter Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. It wasn’t until “Trailblazer” encountered the likes of Brunson and Vettori that he realized the tops guys know how to use their weight a little better than most.
“It never really made a difference but when you get to the top 10, top 15, those guys just know how to use their weight a little better,” Holland said. “They like to make love inside the octagon. So you have to watch those types of things.
“So I prefer my women a certain size when I’m making love so I’ve got to make sure men are a certain size, too. Just make love making a little bit easier.”
With a move to welterweight Holland believes he won’t have the same issues against wrestlers looking to take him down. He believes that his wrestling defense was getting a little better at middleweight so if it was applied to 170-pound competition he shouldn’t have an issue staying on his feet and showing off his dangerous striking.
“Make no mistake about it, I’m getting humped by these huge ass guys at 185,” Holland said. “They’re not doing no damage, they’re just laying on top of me. I go down 170 pounds, if I can get up from these guys who are pretty good wrestlers at 85, I know for sure what I can do at 170.
“The toughest fights at 70 would probably be a Leon Edwards, [Kamaru] Usman and [Khamzat] Chimaev. Other than that, everybody else is [getting] dog walked. I’m running these fools over. I don’t care if they’ve got an undefeated record or not. I’m going to show them who the big man is at 170. Once I get done with that, once I get a title, I can go up to 185 and fight the champ [Israel Adesanya]. I’m tired of fighting all these humpers anyways. That’s the only striker left around here that’s anywhere near my weight class.”
Considering Holland came in light for some of his middleweight bouts it shouldn’t take him too much time to break his body down for a move to welterweight. In fact, “Big Mouth” already has a fighter in mind for his first UFC appearance at 170 pounds. It would come in the form of streaking contender Daniel Rodriguez, who is coming off a masterful performance against the recently released Kevin Lee.
“I’m looking at the guys in the top 15 and I like every single one of them,” Holland said. “D-Rod (Daniel Rodriguez) is a very, very fun fight coming down. Very, very fun fight. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way D-Rod fights. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way D-Rod gets down on a day to day basis. It’s a fun fight and a fun fight is a fun fight. The guy that Chimaev just fought [Li] Jingliang, I’d like to fight him. I think he wanted to go out there and bang a little bit and he didn’t get that opportunity. I’ll give him that opportunity. Matt Brown didn’t get his fight, he needs somebody but he’s not top 15 — he’s just a legend. It’s like who wouldn’t want to go against an immortal? That would be amazing.
“You name them, you pick them, I’m with it. I don’t really care who it is. Anybody who wants it.”
Despite his move down to welterweight, Holland is still open to returning to 185 pounds if his services are needed. The former contender has always been a company man so if someone falls out and he needs to move back up it’s a scenario worth visiting.
“I still don’t mind fighting the big boys,” Holland said. “I have to go make my claim at 170 and prove I can do it, so on and so forth, go on a five-fight win streak there but make no mistake about it, somebody catches a cramp in their vaginal muscles right before a fight, I’ll swoop in. I can still save the day.
“Big mouth is at 185 [pounds], Trailblazer’s at 170. Kevin Holland’s for the bedroom. I’ve got it all together.”