5 potential opponents for Kevin Holland after UFC 272 win

UFC Fight Night: Hernandez v Holland
UFC Fight Night: Hernandez v Holland

At UFC 272, Kevin Holland made his UFC welterweight debut, instantly putting the division on notice with a brutal second-round TKO of Alex 'Cowboy' Oliviera. Holland had previously hinted that his future lies at 170 pounds and everything about that performance indicates that he has made the right decision.

Previously a middleweight, Holland racked up five consecutive wins in 2020 alone, defeating the likes of Jacare Souza, Darren Stewart and Joaquin Buckley. These impressive victories saw Holland enter the top 15 of the division.

However, it was here that the 'Trailblazer' began to have issues. Opponents with larger physical frames were able to outwrestle him with ease, as both Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson showed in their unanimous decision victories over Holland.

Now at welterweight, Holland will look to mount a new run at the top 10 of the division. He is still likely one win away from entering the rankings, so picking the next opponent carefully is crucial. With that being said, here are five potential fights for Kevin Holland to take next.

UFC Fight Night: Vettori v Holland
UFC Fight Night: Vettori v Holland

#5. Kevin Holland vs. Donald Cerrone

Following Kevin Holland's emphatic knockout victory over Alex Oliveira, he instantly called out Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone.

The UFC veteran is currently booked to fight Joe Lauzon at UFC 274. However, he has already stated that a bout with 'Trailblazer' would appeal to him later in the year.

The reason Cerrone is not higher on the list is because the fight really makes little sense right now in either fighter's career. Cerrone is well past his prime and has not won a fight in his last six walks to the octagon.

Holland, meanwhile, is already on the cusp of breaking into the rankings and should only be fighting against the top 20 names in the division.

UFC 272: Spivak v Hardy
UFC 272: Spivak v Hardy

#4. Kevin Holland vs. Niko Price

Over the past few years, Niko 'The Hybrid' Price has picked up a reputation as one of the most exciting and lethal individuals competing in the UFC's welterweight division.

Knockout finishes off his back and blistering firefights are a cornerstone of Price's MMA career. Considering Kevin Holland's style, locking him in a cage with 'The Hybrid' can only produce a massively fan-friendly matchup.

UFC 249 Luque v Price
UFC 249 Luque v Price

#3. Kevin Holland vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov

Shavkat Rakhmonov is the new rising prospect in the welterweight division. With a perfect 15-0 record, Rakhmonov has finished all three of his UFC opponents in emphatic fashion.

UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje Weigh-in
UFC 254: Khabib v Gaethje Weigh-in

His most recent win came over Carlston Harris, whom he TKO'd with a spinning wheel kick. The win saw Rakhmonov enter the rankings at No.15. Should Holland be able to overcome 'Nomad,' he may be able to not only steal his ranking, but also his hype.

#2. Kevin Holland vs. Michel Pereira

In terms of just pure entertainment, Kevin Holland vs. Michel Pereira has to take the prize. Pereira has proven to be an absolute wild man in the octagon, regularly throwing a huge variety of outlandish and unorthodox techniques at his opponents.

However, as of late, Pereira has clearly begun taking his MMA career more seriously. He still utilizes the crazy moves, but now with a clearer purpose and end goal behind them.

A fight between him and Holland would no doubt result in fireworks and establish the long-time middleweight's place inside the welterweight division.

UFC 270: Michel Pereira v Fialho
UFC 270: Michel Pereira v Fialho

#1. Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez may not be the biggest name in the welterweight division, but he is a solid action fighter who until recently was ranked within the top 15. A win over 'D-Rod' would certainly catapult Holland straight into the rankings.

However, Daniel Rodriguez is no walk in the park. The gritty striker has wins over Tim Means, Mike Perry and Kevin Lee, proving his ability to hang with the MMA elite.

Holland also stated in the UFC 271 post-fight presser that Daniel Rodriguez is the opponent that he is hoping for next.

The full post-fight interview can be seen below:


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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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