Kevin Holland capped off his 2020 in spectacular fashion while earning his fifth win of the year.
The always outspoken middleweight engaged in a ground battle with submission specialist Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza but it was Holland who somehow managed end the fight with a series of punishing punches off his back. Holland threw a blistering right hand that hurt Souza and he followed that up with a barrage of punches that finished the multi-time grappling champion.
“If I can give somebody like ‘Jacare’ problems on the ground, then I guess I deserve my black belt,” Holland said after getting the stoppage at 1:45 into the first round.
Taking on a noted striker, it was “Jacare” who wasted no time looking for the takedown but Holland wasn’t making anything easy for him. On the ground, Holland was throwing elbows from his back and even tossed up an armbar attempt to show Souza that he wasn’t going away without a fight.
Holland continued to give Souza problems on the ground, which eventually led to the finish during a second exchange on the canvas.
After telling Souza that it was a dream to grapple with him, Holland starting throwing punches from the bottom and that’s when he landed the right hand that eventually led to the end of the fight. Once Souza stumbled backwards, Holland just continued to hammer away with machine-gun like fire until the referee rushed into stop the fight.
It was certainly one of the most unique finishes ever witnessed inside the UFC octagon.
Rather than celebrate his victory, however, Holland was quick to turn his attention to possibly booking a sixth fight in 2020 against one of the fastest rising stars in the sport.
“I know [Khamzat] Chimaev was supposed to fight on the 19th,” Holland said when calling out the undefeated prospect. “I think he could be a champion at 170 but he comes up here to 185, I’m going to bang that boy up.”
Chimaev was originally scheduled to headline next weekend’s UFC card but his opponent Leon Edwards tested positive for COVID-19. That fight is now expected to headline an upcoming UFC event on Jan. 20 but Holland is obviously holding out hope that he can convince Chimaev to return to action in just seven days’ time.