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Kevin Holland releases statement after UFC 279 defeat against Khamzat Chimaev: ‘I lost an amazing grappling match’

Hear what “Trailblazer” had to say about his last-minute fight against “Borz” and what he’d like to do next in the Octagon.

Kevin Holland’s UFC 279 experience didn’t get any easier after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight, forcing a big shuffle of half the pay-per-view (PPV) main card fights. Holland ended up going from fighting striker Daniel Rodriguez to facing the undefeated Chechen, who is best known for his crushing grappling abilities.

It went about as well as you’d expect: Holland scrambled valiantly for the first 1.5 minutes of their fight, but ended up stuck in a d’arce choke that forced him to tap 2:13 into the opening round (watch highlights here).

“Trailblazer” came into his new bout with realistic expectations, and that’s reflected in his post-loss statement.

“Yo guys ... I lost an amazing grappling match last night — I mean ‘fight,’” he said in an Instagram video. “My bad, Chimaev is one hell of an athlete. Still gonna be talking s—t cause you know who I am.

“I hate ending the year like this, so I would love to go in there against a striker,” he continued. “I don’t know if I’m still deserving of a Wonderboy fight. I would love a Wonderboy fight! But, if not a Wonderboy fight, D-Rod, we were all the way on task to getting it done. We had to switch it up to save the card, so maybe we can get something nice and get it going and collect another check before the end of the year.”

Holland was certainly happy with his pay upgrade for being part of the six-man switch-up to save UFC 279. After agreeing to fight Chimaev on one-day notice, his agent posted a video of “Big Mouth” dancing.

“Bags on bags for this man, Kevin Holland,” Oren Hodak, head of KO Reps wrote. “Man knows his worth and UFC came to play. The deal is now actually official.”

Of course, we’ll never learn just how much cash UFC had to splash to get everything lined up. A stone faced Dana White refused to engage with questions regarding pay bumps for the UFC 279 hero squad, saying simply, “These guys all have deals. Everybody has a deal.”

Nate Diaz definitely had a deal.

And the deal Holland got for accepting the Chimaev fight was also obviously pretty sweet. Now, hopefully they throw him a striker for his next fight to make up for him getting caught in the “Borz” blowback.

For complete UFC 279 results and play-by-play click here and here.

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