Kevin Holland picked up another big win on Saturday night when he defeated UFC veteran Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza with an impressive grounded knockout finish. After the fight, Holland said to Joe Rogan that he wants to fight Khamzat Chimaev next. Chimaev was removed from the Dec. 19 event after his opponent, Leon Edwards, tested positive for COVID-19.
“I know Chimaev was supposed to fight on Dec. 19, you know?” Holland said. “He fights at 85 and 70. Come back up to 85! I think he should stay at 70, I think he could be a champ at 170. But if he comes up here to 185, I’m gonna bang that boy up!” (transcript via MMA Mania).
In this video, Patrick Auger and Matthew Wells react to Holland’s impressive KO and callout.
Wells says it’s a really smart callout. It’s a great move for Holland to attach himself to Chimaev’s fast rise. But is it the matchup he wants to see? Not really. Wells doesn’t want to see two rising fighters fight each other just yet. Let them take on established contenders and make their way up before being matched with each other.
Auger agrees and appreciates the ballsiness of the callout but would prefer to see Leon Edwards vs. Khamzat Chimaev rebooked for early in 2021. He’d also want to see Kevin Holland vs. Marvin Vettori.
Wells says that everything could change in the next couple of months. If Holland fights Vettori and wins, then he’s looking like a true contender at middleweight and looks to be in a better spot than Chimaev.
So, who would win Kevin Holland vs. Khamzat Chimaev?
Auger is going Chimaev. He says Holland’s weakness is being taken down and his last loss was via submission. He expects Chimaev to just ragdoll Holland and it’ll be a first-round mauling in favor of Khamzat Chimaev.
Wells says it’s hard to pick against Chimaev but Holland has been taking out guys that we don’t expect him to. Could he do it again? What if his trash talk took Chimaev off his game and the fight ended up with Khamzat being knocked out on the ground like Souza was? Wells picks Holland at first but later suggests to Auger that he wouldn’t back against Chimaev.
Both Holland and Chimaev have benefited greatly from fighting multiple times in 2020. Holland moved to 5-0 for the year after his win against Souza and Chimaev has made a statement in all three appearances this year.
Later, in the post-fight press conference, Holland had more to say about Khamzat Chimaev.
“He doesn’t have a reputation for fighting all the time, that’s just what all the casuals think, that he fights all the time,” Holland said. “He fought three times this year, two times against bums and then another time against Gerald Meerschaert. Gerald Meerschaert’s not a bum, but he was coming off a knockout. He hasn’t beaten anybody in the UFC with a win.” (transcript via MMA Junkie).
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Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.