Kevin Holland is entering Saturday on another short-notice assignment, and he’s more than happy to be a guy the UFC can rely on.
With Krzysztof Jotko forced out, Holland (19-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) has agreed to step in on two weeks’ notice to face Makhmud Muradov at UFC on ESPN+ 39, which takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Always willing to save the day, Holland’s activity has paid dividends, with “The Trailblazer” claiming three wins in just four months.
“I take what they give me,” Holland told MMA Junkie. “I’m trying to be a real company man, so if they give me something, I try and take it. Actually, they tried to offer me full camps and, for some reason, I guess we were in the process of seeing how healthy we truly were, getting looked at and stuff like that and they booked those people against somebody else, so I missed out on those, so here I am back at it.”
He takes on the streaking Muradov (24-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC), who since joining the UFC roster in September 2019 has picked up two wins, most recently a “Performance of the Night” knockout of Trevor Smith last December at UFC on ESPN 7.
Holland admits that he didn’t know too much about Muradov, but was able to study his performance against a man that he has also defeated.
“I’ve seen him fight Alessio Di Chirico, that was a common opponent, so I watched those two fight and I feel like he used the same game plan I did against Alessio Di Chirico, he just switched up the rounds on it,” Holland said. “But I did it with one hand, so that tells you a lot.”
He continued, “He shoots a pretty nice takedown off some of his strikes, so I’m looking forward to that and it’s gonna be a fight. When I go in there, I never really know what I’m gonna do, I just do it. I just go out there and scrap.”