"I find it hard to believe" - When fans were stunned by Kevin Holland's retirement announcement

Kevin Holland
When fans were taken aback by Kevin Holland's (left and right) retirement announcement (Images via Instagram @TrailBlaze2Top)

Fans were once surprised to hear UFC welterweight Kevin Holland prematurely announce his retirement from mixed martial arts.

In September 2022, controversy struck at UFC 279 when Khamzat Chimaev drastically missed weight for his main event against Nate Diaz. As a result, the top three matchups on the pay-per-view main card were shuffled, leading to Daniel Rodriguez vs Li Jingliang, Chimaev vs Holland, and Diaz vs Tony Ferguson.

Holland arguably received the worst outcome, as he was outmatched by the grappling-heavy Chimaev, who won by first-round D'arce choke. In the aftermath of UFC 279, the American voiced his frustration with the result by saying this during his podcast, Real Eyes Recognize, which was transcribed by MMA Fighting:

"So I'm retired. I'm officially retired. I'm retired from fighting. I had a good fight, good payday, I had a good run... Times are rough for your boy. But I'm really, really happy on the green side. Unless something super-duper magical pops up, Yeam, I'm pretty happy with the way things are."

Kevin Holland's unexpected retirement announcement was re-posted on Reddit at the time, with fans reacting in the comment section:

"He's a g if he's sticking to this, I find it hard to believe though"
"Nooooooo he was my favorite fighter and I thought I'd be able to watch him for at least another 5 years:("
"I call bull sh*t"
"Unless he leaves USADA testing pool I don't believe it"
Reddit comments
Reddit comments

What's next for Kevin Holland under the UFC banner?

Kevin Holland's retirement was short-lived, as he fought Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson two months later. Since then, the 31-year-old has fought four more times, including his last two being decision losses against Jack Della Maddalena and Michael 'Venom' Page.

On June 1, Holland will take a step back in competition and look to regain momentum in the welterweight division. The striking-heavy fan favorite is scheduled to fight Michal Oleksiejczuk inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey at UFC 302.

Holland vs Oleksiejczuk has been added to the pay-per-view main card featuring Randy Brown vs Elizeu Zaleski, Jailton Almeida vs Alexandr Romanov, Sean Strickland vs Paulo Costa (co-main event), and Islam Makhachev vs Dustin Poirier (main event).

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