It looks like Kevin Holland is getting his wish in a big way. Following his dominating victory over UFC newcomer Charlie Ontiveros back on Halloween, Holland made a plea to the UFC matchmakers: to get him a fight with a name opponent.
“I kinda really want to fight somebody with a little bit of a name,” Holland admitted after being asked about his “easy” win over Ontiveros. “I know I keep getting these last second fights, that I keep taking them last second, and the guys get hurt – or they catch COVID, something happens – then I get a guy in. I really really would like to fight somebody with a name. That way, people could stop saying I’m fighting people without a name.”
Sporting a current UFC record of 7-2 (20-5 overall) it seems as though higher level opposition should be in reach for the 28-year-old Travis Lutter disciple. But the UFC rankings are notoriously hard to crack, with most fighters on the rise looking only to fight people ahead of them. Sometimes, however, fortune smiles upon us. For Kevin Holland, Darren Till’s loss is his gain.
ESPN reports that the #6 ranked Till has suffered an injury ahead of his planned December bout against #4 ranked Jack Hermansson, resulting in his removal from the event. As such, the ever ready Holland is getting the call to headline next month’s UFC Fight Night offering against the ‘Joker’.
Breaking: Injury has forced Darren Till out of his UFC Fight Night main event against Jack Hermansson on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas. Kevin Holland steps in as a replacement. pic.twitter.com/8R5V0yk4Vc— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) November 6, 2020
Hermansson picked up a shockingly decisive win over Kelvin Gastelum back in July, in the co-main event of Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2—ending the fight in just over a minute with a beautiful heel hook submission. That victory provided a badly needed bounce-back from a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier in what could have provided the Swedish-born Norwegian fighter a clear path to no. 1 contender status. Hermansson is 8-3 over his 4 years fighting with the UFC including wins over Jacare Souza and Thales Leites. His defeat at the hands of Cannonier snapped a four fight winning streak.
UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs. Holland has not yet received an official location from the promotion, although the card is expected to take place at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, NV. Alongside the middleweight main event, the undercard is expected to feature a light heavyweight bout between Ovince St. Preux and Jamahal Hill, as well as the final bout of former bantamweight title contender Bethe Correia’s MMA career. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as fight night approaches.