Fast-rising middleweight contender Kevin Holland will no longer be fighting in the main event of UFC Vegas 16.
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Holland has tested positive for COVID-19, which has seen his removal from the fight against Jack Hermansson next weekend. Per the report, Hermansson will likely stay on the fight card and take on another fellow contender in Marvin Vettori, who was supposed to fight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza at UFC 256.
Moments after the news broke, Holland confirmed its authenticity with a short message on social media.
I have been pulled from my main event bout next weekend due to a positive pre fight covid test. Hoping to test clean and get back inside the cage ASAP. pic.twitter.com/KfMF4jQFQg— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) November 28, 2020
“I have been pulled from my main event bout next weekend due to a positive pre fight covid test,” wrote Holland. “Hoping to test clean and get back inside the cage ASAP.”
There is no word on how soon Holland will be able to return to the Octagon.
Holland (20-5) has had a breakout year thus far, going 4-0 in the span of a couple of months. Holland began the year with a quick, 39-second technical knockout over Anthony Hernandez at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris in May. He returned in August against highlight-reel producer Joaquin Buckley at UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik and picked up his own highlight-reel knockout in a ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded showing.
Holland wanted to keep the momentum going and came back a month later opposite of Darren Stewart at UFC Fight Night: Covington vs. Woodley and earned a split decision. Holland was admittedly unhappy with the performance and wanted to return again soon, which he did in October against promotional-newcomer, Charlie Ontiveros at UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Silva. Another first round knockout for Holland resulted and he was now in title contention conversation.
Holland was attempting to go 5-0 this year when he stepped in on short-notice against the aforementioned Hermansson for an injured Darren Till, but that fight will no longer be happening in light of recent events.