Kevin ‘Big Mouth’ Holland’s unbelievable surge came to an end, as his five match winning streak was broken by a vastly experienced and calculated Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Vegas 22. The number 10 ranked middleweight contender came into the fight, looking forward to keeping his juggernaut rolling, but Brunson had other plans as he completely outwrestled ‘The Trailblazer’, ultimately winning via. unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46 x 2).
In the recent episode of DC & Helwani MMA, Daniel Cormier was tasked with answering a tricky question from Ariel Helwani. Helwani asked DC if things would have panned out differently for Holland, had he remained quiet instead of being mouthy throughout the fight. Despite acknowledging that it was a good question, DC was quick to point out that the result would have been the same, even if Kevin Holland had been quiet. He reasoned it saying that Kevin Holland had absolutely no idea about takedown defence.
‘It would not have been different because he doesn’t really understand takedown defence‘ – Daniel Cormier on Kevin Holland
Cormier was quoted as saying, “I can say, I don’t think so, because he would have just been quietly getting taken-down. He hasn’t shown that ability yet, to defend those takedowns at those level. It’s not like he was talking in the middle of getting taken down, he was trying to defend, he just doesn’t have the knowledge of takedown defence that allowed him to stay up. I don’t think if he was quiet it would have made much of a difference.” [H/T FirstSportz]
He further added, “It would not have been different because he doesn’t really understand takedown defence at a level, that would allow him to stop a guy like Derek Brunson who is just a fascinating long-time veteran.” [H/T FirstSportz]
DC is spot on. Kevin Holland’s inability to defend takedowns was very evident throughout the match, and he will have to work on it, if he wants to reach elite status.
Can Kevin Holland bounce back from this setback?