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UFC welterweight Kevin Holland survived a few seconds longer than expected against undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279.
At the September 10 pay-per-view, Holland pulled the end of the stick when the main card underwent significant changes following Chimaev’s 7.5-pound weight loss a day before the event.
With that, while watching originally scheduled opponent Daniel Rodriguez make the march to take on Li Jingliang, Holland found himself drilling an unexpected fight backstage ahead of a co-main event with “Borz.”
In the end, it was a short night for ‘Trailblazer’, who was submitted via the D’Arce choke inside the first round after battling against Chimaev’s stifling grappling game from the first second. .
While visibly frustrated with the way the fight unfolded inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, Holland took at least one small positive from his failed first outing at welterweight.
Holland secure short-lived win after Chimaev loss
During an appearance on MMA hour with Ariel HelwaniHolland thought back to the loss and the undefeated man he shared the Octagon with that night.
Although he credited the Chechen-born Swede for his ability and performance, Holland suggested he was ready for a quicker submission loss.
“I’m not looking for excuses. Congratulations to Chimaev,” Holland said. “Like I said, he’s a hell of an athlete. He did a fantastic job. I always thought the kid was good… Not tougher than I thought though. I thought he would have replaced me a little faster than that. I thought his initial takedown would have been a little different than that. So whatever, it doesn’t matter to me.
After a brief fake retirement, Holland will be looking to ride out the loss by adding a victory to his record before the end of the calendar year. Having had his call to face a granted striker, “Trailblazer” will collide with ranked welterweight Stephen Thompson in the UFC Orlando headliner.
And barring a quick knockout win, Holland will no doubt be expecting a longer night on Dec. 3 than when he appeared last month.
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