A week ago, Kevin Holland had tweeted that he wanted to fight in November. While he will not get a fight in November, he would be more than happy with what’s in store for him next.
Darren Till was scheduled to take on Jack Hermansson in a pivotal bout in the UFC middleweight division at UFC on ESPN+ 43. However, the Englishman had to pull out due to an injury, and thus Kevin Holland was chosen as a replacement for Till.
While the fight against ‘Joker’ will be the biggest of his career, Holland in all probability will also get to headline the card.
The venue for the card, however, is yet to be decided.
Kevin Holland had already made history on October 31st when he became the first fighter to gather 4 wins in the pandemic struck 2020.
What’s even more impressive is that Holland had his first 2020 bout in May and has thus collected four scalps in just over six months.
Hermansson is ranked fourth in the UFC middleweight division while Holland is yet to crack the top 15. Therefore, this fight will be Kevin Holland’s biggest challenge in the UFC yet.
However, a win here not only will ensure that Holland debuts in the UFC rankings in the top ten but could also mean that he is just one additional win away from the next shot at the 185-pound gold currently held by Israel Adesanya.
Kevin Holland set to join elite UFC company
The fight against Hermansson is important for Holland not just because of the ranking ramifications, but also because it puts him in the company of the elite UFC competitors.
If he wins his fight against the Joker, he would become only the fifth fighter in UFC history to get five wins in a calendar year. He would join the likes of Royce Gracie (8-0 in 1994), Mark Coleman (5-0 in 1996), Roger Huerta (5-0 in 2007), and Neil Magny (5-0 in 2014) in achieving this feat.
And while failure will be the last thing on Holland’s mind, even a loss would ensure he joins the likes of Don Frye, Dan Severn, Marco Ruas, Vitor Belfort, Donald Cerrone, Thiago Santos, and Neil Magny as fighters with a 4-1 or better record in a calendar year.
An opportunity has knocked on Kevin Holland’s door and he would be looking to make the most of it come December 5th.