Holland (21-5 MMA, 7-2 UFC) became just the third fighter in UFC history to go 5-0 in a calendar year when he beat perennial contender “Jacare” (26-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) by first-round knockout, courtesy of some wild strikes from bottom to set up the finish.
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
Only two others in modern UFC history have hit the 5-0 mark in a calendar year. Neil Magny did it in 2014, taking 266 days to accomplish the feat. Roger Huerta’s run in 2007 took 308 days. Holland blew both out of the water, getting all his wins in a 210-day stretch.
Holland came out swinging with a big overhand, but his aggression led to a quick takedown from Souza. Holland was aggressive from his back, throwing hard elbows and attacking with submissions. Souza was happy to engage in the grappling and from top.
The pair engaged in some loud talk, then Holland did something remarkable, landing some big shots from the bottom that stunned Souza. Then Holland stood up and landed savage punches to fold Souza backward on his knees to finish it at the 1:45 mark of Round 1.
Now on the biggest upward trajectory of his career, Holland’s five-fight UFC winning streak at 185 pounds is good for second best in the division, trailing only champion Israel Adesanya, who is current on a nine-fight winning streak in the weight class.
The middleweight bout was part of the UFC 256 main card at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 256 results include:
- Kevin Holland def. Ronaldo Souza via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:45
- Ciryl Gane def. Junior Dos Santos via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:34
- Cub Swanson def. Daniel Pineda via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:52
- Rafael Fiziev def. Renato Moicano via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:05
- Gavin Tucker def. Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tecia Torres def. Sam Hughes via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Chase Hooper def. Peter Barrett via submission (heel hook) – Round 3, 3:02