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Cormier: UFC Orlando’s stoppage was Kevin Holland’s decision, not his coaches’

According to Daniel Cormier, UFC Orlando’s fifth round stoppage was Kevin Holland’s decision, not his corner’s.

UFC Orlando’s banger of a main event last Saturday ended at the end of the fourth round when Kevin Holland was unable to continue. “Trailblazer” had been in a stand-up war with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and broke his right hand in the process.

What was seen on the broadcast and what was declared on the official scorecards was a TKO win for Thompson via corner stoppage. But as Daniel Cormier revealed in a recent episode of his ESPN show with Ryan Clark, it was Holland who opted to not continue.

“(Coach) Bob Perez did ultimately go and tell the official that the fight was off. But, that decision was not made by Bob Perez. Kevin Holland made that decision.

“Kevin Holland, when he went to the corner after the fourth round, his coaches came in to corner him and coach him and give him instructions. And he said, ‘I can’t.’ And he said, ’take the glove off me.’”

Cormier says declaring it a corner stoppage would make the fighter look good. But the reality, he says, was Holland decided to make his health a priority.

“Kevin Holland made that decision. That was him, at least to my eyes, saying, ‘I’m losing this fight, my hand’s broken, I’mma live to fight another day.’ And recognizing that in that moment.

“It sounds better when they say the coach threw in the towel, but the reality is the fighter made the decision, a conscious decision. And ultimately, he recognized that the coaches work for the fighter. And I don’t know why no one has isolated that audio after that round, to where we can shed some light on what really happened.”

UFC Orlando marked Holland’s second straight defeat, as he now holds a record of 23-9 (with 1 NC). He did take a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.