Kevin Holland had some kind words for Khabib Nurmagomedov, who offered him advice in between rounds during his fight against Derek Brunson. The No.10 ranked middleweight recognized Nurmagomedov's wrestling intellect and referred to the Dagestani as a "true wrestling genius."
Holland was defeated for the first time since tying the record for most wins in a calendar year. Trailblazer won five fights last year to successfully establish himself as one of the most promising middleweights in the division.
During his UFC Vegas 22 main event clash against Brunson, Kevin Holland asked for a piece of advice from Nurmagomedov, who was sitting cageside along with Dana White. The Eagle responded to Holland, and asked him to control his hips.
Abiding by his words, Holland became the first man in UFC history to successfully secure a takedown opposite Brunson. The 28-year-old posted a video to his Instagram and thanked Nurmagomedov.
"See you soon Khabib Nurmagomedov. One little piece of advice and I take down a guy who’s never been took down in octagon true wrestling genius you are," Holland wrote.
Kevin Holland suffered a lopsided loss against Brunson, as the judges scored the contest 49–45, 49–46, 49–46.
Dana White says Kevin Holland had a "mental breakdown"
Following Kevin Holland's loss at UFC Vegas 22, Dana White expressed his frustration with Trailblazer's performance. According to Yahoo Sports, White said that Holland suffered a "mental breakdown" against Brunson.
“I think that was a mental breakdown. The only other thing I saw like it was (in boxing) when Lennox Lewis fought that guy (Oliver McCall) who kept his hands at his side and was crying. I don’t know what he was doing. I think he might not have been able to handle the pressure and just broke mentally. I haven’t seen anything like that," White told Yahoo Sports.
Holland is apparently now considering hiring a nutritionist and moving down a weight class to compete at welterweight, according to ESPN's Brett Okamoto. Currently, Holland finds himself at No.10 in the divisional rankings, thanks to his astonishing five wins in 2020.