Kevin Holland promises there’s no gimmick behind his retirement announcement because he’s actually done with fighting.
Fresh off a loss to Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279, Holland dropped the news that he was calling it a career, although his announcement was immediately met with skepticism. Addressing the situation publicly outside of social media for the first time while launching his new podcast, Holland says he’s serious about retiring, especially after he earned a hefty payday following the short notice fight with Chimaev.
“So I’m retired. I’m officially retired,” Holland said. “I’m retired from fighting. I had a good fight, good payday, I had a good run. I see some of the people online [saying] ‘obviously he realizes he’ll never get the belt’ and my little psychedelic trip, that means I was wrong. I can’t be wrong on a psychedelic trip. I’ve lost coming out to Young Boy. That was my last hope, never losing coming out to Young Boy. Times are rough for your boy.
“But I’m really, really happy on the green side. Unless something super-duper magical pops up, yeah, I’m pretty happy with the way things are.”
Holland suffered a first-round submission loss to Chimaev after he was originally scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez on the same card. The disappointment from that performance aside, the 29-year-old Contender Series veteran was still satisfied with the financial compensation he received and he added that there was no animosity towards Chimaev whatsoever after the fight was over.
“He put me in a very good spot in my life,” Holland said about Chimaev. “We love that guy. I’m actually thinking about getting a poster of that guy hung up in my bathroom.”
Now that he’s retired from MMA, Holland says he’s going to spend time on his new podcast while also looking at opening his own gym in the Fort Worth area in Texas.
Of course while Holland may be done with his MMA career, he might still look to settle another beef — namely responding to ex-UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub, who claimed that the changes made to the fights at UFC 279 came down to pay-per-view sales rather than Chimaev missing weight for his scheduled bout against Nate Diaz.
Because Chimaev missed weight so dramatically — he weighed 7.5 pounds over the welterweight limit for a non-title fight — the UFC shifted gears and put him in the fight against Holland while Diaz ended up facing Tony Ferguson in the main event.
For his part, Holland wasn’t necessarily irate when addressing Schaub, although he did suggest the two of them meet for a friendly sparring session to settle their differences.
“Brendan Schaub, he’s always saying weird stuff,” Holland said. “He said something that I thought was weird and I thought it was Schaub’s page but I guess it’s his people. I message him ‘what’s up with what you said?’ and they were like this is not Schaub and I felt kind of dumb.
“We’ve got to get some boxing rounds in for some of the fly stuff he was saying. No MMA. He might take me down and I don’t have time for that s***. That’s why I retired, I don’t want to wrestle anymore.. I think he’s down [to box]. He’s not a p**** unless he’s a p**** and then he wouldn’t be down. For sure, boxing, me, Schaub, weight doesn’t even matter in that situation.”