Kevin Holland didn’t want UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, explains why

Kevin Holland didn’t exactly give Dana White the best first impression, but apparently he wasn’t trying to?

Holland defeated Will Santiago at Dana White’s Contender Series 9 in June 2018 but did not earn a UFC contract for his efforts. White wasn’t particularly impressed with Holland’s “Big Mouth,” and it appeared to cost him.

But in a recent interview with UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald, Holland revealed that he didn’t even want a UFC contract on that night, and there’s a reason why.

“My game plan was not to finish Santiago,” Holland said. “Sounds stupid, right? That was my first fight ever that I was gonna win by decision as a pro. I didn’t want the contract. From my understanding, I didn’t want to deal with USADA. I was scared of USADA. I was like, if I can’t smoke weed, I’m not gonna wanna do this.”

Just two months after the Contender Series, Holland would get the UFC call regardless. He stepped in on short notice against Thiago Santos but fell short in a valiant effort. That would just be the beginning for Holland though, who would go on to win eight of his next nine bouts. He capped off an incredible 2020 by tying the UFC’s record for most wins in a calendar year at five when he scored an incredible knockout of Ronaldo Souza.

After going winless in his past three fights, Holland will look to seek new life when he returns to 170 pounds against Alex Oliveira on Saturday’s UFC 272 main card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Author: Farah Hannoun

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