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Who is Next for Kevin Holland After UFC Austin Win? 4 Potential Opponents

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What is next for Kevin Holland?

Kevin Holland is one of the most talked-about fighters in the sport. Over the last few years, his infamous antics both in and out of the cage have garnered him a large following. Talking to his opponents, catching burglars and going on a 5 fight-winning streak during 2020 have made him one of the most recognizable names the UFC has to offer at the moment.

A recent move down to the welterweight division has so far been extremely successful for Holland, who won his second fight in the weight class at UFC Austin against the crafty veteran Tim Means. This latest victory leaves Holland on a two-fight win streak and has proved that he is a force to be reckoned with at welterweight. The next aim for Holland will be to climb his way through the rankings and break into the top-15 against some truly legitimate contenders. This article will examine some possible matchups for Holland and how they could propel him up the rankings. 

Michel Pereira 

This matchup would surely produce fireworks. Both men are hugely entertaining. Holland, despite his talk and bravado, is not only interesting outside of the cage but is able to put on a show inside also. Michel Pereira is well…. an enigma. A quick search of his highlights on YouTube will show flying knee knockouts, Brock Lesnar-style German suplexes, cartwheel kicks as well as literally back flipping onto a downed opponent. Both Pereira and Holland like to put on a show, and a fight between the two would surely live up to the inevitable hype.

Pereira is also just coming off of a split decision win over Santiago Ponzinibbio and is currently sitting at No. 14 in the welterweight division, so a win here would do wonders for Holland trying to break his way into the top-15. 

Sean Brady

This is a man who has long been regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in the entire welterweight division. Currently sitting at No. 9 in the rankings with an undefeated record of 15-0 and wins over the likes of Michael Chiesa, Sean Brady may no longer qualify as a ‘prospect’. Instead, he is a respected top-10 fighter in the division and a man who many believe will be challenging the upper echelons of the weight class sooner rather than later.

While the rankings would suggest that a fight versus Holland would be a step back in his career, I believe this is not the case. With the fighters towards the top of the division tied up with Leon Edwards fighting Kamaru Usman for the title and Colby Covington and Khamzat Chimaev likely to face off against one another, it is unlikely that Brady will get an opportunity to truly scale the rankings anytime soon.

Instead, he should work on increasing his profile and improving his popularity within the MMA fandom. A quick look through the rankings below the top-5 in welterweight reveals that Kevin Holland is more well-known and would be a more high-profile win than the majority of these ranked contenders. A win over Holland would do wonders to boost Brady’s popularity and would be the perfect springboard to catapult him into a fight with a top-5 ranked welterweight. A win for Holland would without a shadow of a doubt show that he is truly a top contender at welterweight and would likely leave him around the edge of the top-10 and in a favorable position to scale his way up even further.

Randy Brown 

This is a matchup that I personally would love to see, as it is shocking that Randy Brown himself is not in the top-15 considering his only loss over the last three years has been to Vicente Luque and he has won five fights during this time frame. Yet while he does not hold the all-important little number beside his name, he is a proven welterweight with a proven track record.

A win over Randy Brown is nothing to be dismissed. A win over him would boost Holland’s credibility and would surely pave the way for a ranked opponent. Likewise, for Brown, a win over Holland would probably do the same.

This matchup is not as appealing for Holland due to Brown not being a ranked opponent. However, fans and other fighters will know that Holland is a serious problem at welterweight if he is able to defeat Brown, particularly if he manages to do so in an emphatic fashion.

Daniel Rodriguez

This was a fight that was initially supposed to welcome Holland to the 170lb division but unfortunately never happened. Now is the time. Daniel Rodriguez is 6-1 in the UFC and has proven, similarly to Randy Brown, that he is a legitimate fighter at welterweight. A win over Rodriguez would do wonders to improve Holland’s stock in the division.

What is also worth noting is that Rodriguez is a very good striker, and with both men preferring to stay on the feet as opposed to taking the fight to the floor, a match-up against Rodriguez would certainly result in a fight that would suit Holland’s style.

This fight, if it were to be made, would be massively hyped by fans and has all the makings of being a people’s main event, similar to the possible fight with Michel Pereira, as both Rodriguez and Holland have very crowd-pleasing styles. A win for Rodriguez would massively boost his profile, and his resume would be greatly improved with a win over Kevin Holland.

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