SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH — Kevin Holland believes Michael Chiesa should call it a mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Holland finally picked up a win over a Top 15-ranked Welterweight, tapping the No. 12-seeded Chiesa at UFC 291 last night (Sat., July 29, 2023) from inside Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah (watch highlights). In the process, “Trailblazer” also picked up his seventh “Performance of the Night” for his slick d’arce choke submission.
After the fight, Chiesa removed his gloves inside the cage, indicating that he might call it quits. “Maverick,” however, confirmed that he is, in fact, not retiring, but his loss “sucked.”
“Well, that sucked,” Chiesa wrote on social media. “Congrats to [Holland] and his team. Kevin is a helluva fighter, one of the most game fighters in combat sports. I knew this was a very challenging opponent to face coming off almost a tw- year layoff, but I’ve never said no to a fight.
“I’ll dust myself off, get back in the gym and get back to work,” Chiesa concluded. “I ain’t done yet.”
While Chiesa isn’t retiring, Holland thinks he should.
“Yeah, you know, it’s like the game has circled and passed him and seriously left him,” Holland told reporters during UFC 291’s post-fight interview. “Guys, you have to be realistic. People always talk about, ‘Oh, I want to get a title. I want to get a title.’ I mean, let’s be real. Some of you guys are in the UFC, and you’re never gonna get a f—king title. It’s like, buy some jewelry like me. And then it’s like, retire, commentate, focus on your family; you’re never gonna get a title.
“And if that’s what you’re here for, it’s not going to happen,” Holland added. “You’re already collecting the check by not getting hurt. So just stop. You’re a really good commentator, and there’s no reason to take brain damage. The next guy might be a little bit more dangerous than me, and he might not go for the submission. He might just keep pounding your head. And so it’s like, just stop while you can ... it’s over and done for his career.”
Holland is now on a two-fight win streak since losing a “Fight of the Night” to Stephen Thompson at UFC Orlando late last year.
For complete UFC 291 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.