Holland vs Thompson headlines UFC Orlando, Twitter reacts
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Any talk of the legitimacy of Kevin Holland’s retirement has died down as he has been booked to headline UFC Orlando against Stephen Thompson on Dec. 3.
Earlier this month, Holland had a 2-0 winning start at welterweight that was halted by the seemingly unstoppable force that is undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev. The loss came on just one day’s notice, with ‘Trailblazer’ initially expected to be dropped along with fellow striker Daniel Rodriguez.
Despite this, Holland appeared to announce his retirement a few weeks after the quick bid loss. In a number of Instagram posts, the former ranked middleweight claimed to be “retired at 30,” a statement he doubled down on during a podcast appearance this week.
The retreat was doubted by many, and alas, those who remained skeptical were right to do so.
On Wednesday, the UFC officially announced that Holland will appear in the Octagon inside the Amway Center in Orlando on December 3. In the main event of the night, he will meet two-time welterweight title challenger “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Thompson, who hasn’t made it to the top of the 170-pound mountain twice against Tyron Woodley, is coming off a two-fight losing skid that saw his hopes of another shot at gold crushed by matches of Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad.
After turning down an offer to face Shavkat Rakhmonov this year, expressing his desire to bounce back against a striker, the 39-year-old fan favorite has had his wish granted, and against a man who shared similar hope after his last outing.
After a successful transition to welterweight that saw him earn two stoppage victories over Alex Oliveira and Tim Means, Holland was hoping to claim his spot in the UFC 279 rankings.
While he missed that goal after falling victim to major card changes late in the day, ‘Big Mouth’ had the opportunity to move up the ranks against the No. 7 ranked man in the division at the UFC Orlando.
The current fights scheduled to take place at UFC Orlando on December 3 are as follows:
Kevin Holland vs. Stephen Thompson (Welterweight Main Event)
Derek Brunson vs. Jack Hermansson (middleweight)
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Bryan Barberena (welterweight)
Matheus Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell (Flyweight)
Angela Hill vs. Emily Ducote (women’s strawweight)
Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas (women’s flyweight)
Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman (lightweight)
Michael Johnson vs. Marc Diakiese (lightweight)
Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce (featherweight)
Eryk Anders vs. Kyle Daukaus (middleweight)
Natan Levy vs. Genaro Valdez (lightweight)
Francis Marshall vs. Marcelo Rojo (bantamweight)
Twitter reacts to Kevin Holland’s return after his ‘retirement’
As expected, the unexpected announcement sparked some interesting reactions on social media, with the dominant topic being Holland’s fake retirement.
Commenting on the promotion’s post, UFC featherweight Sodiq Yusuff gave a take that was common on MMA Twitter…
Like many, one user claimed they weren’t fooled at all by Holland’s career-ending claims. Additionally, they suggested that the “stand and bang” match between Holland and Thompson was the perfect fight to have.
It was a similar story with MMA reporter Adam Martin and former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight king Ben Askren, who both praised Holland’s pre-fight announcement trickery.
Another common feeling was the quality of the pairing. While ‘Wonderboy’ has long been renowned for his karate-style stand-up play, which has seen him defeat Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal in recent times, Holland has used his batting skills to record a record five straight wins. in 2020.
Who do you think will have their hands raised at UFC Orlando, Kevin Holland or Stephen Thompson?