Dana White says Kevin Holland had a “mental breakdown” during the main event; Derek Brunson disagrees

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Kevin Holland’s five-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Vegas 22.

While Holland spent a lot of time talking to Brunson during the fight – even seeking advice from former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov between rounds – he ultimately couldn’t stay away, it was there he spent the majority of the 25 minutes.

Prior to this setback, Holland had behaved in much the same way finishing four of his last five opponents, but the trashy speech didn’t seem to bother Brunson, who remained calm while running the scorecards to win. victory.

Subsequently, UFC President Dana White criticized Holland’s performance, not to mention his constant antics during the fight.

“I think it was a nervous breakdown,” White said. Yahoo! Sports after the event. “The only other thing I saw like it was [in boxing] when Lennox Lewis fought this guy [Oliver McCall] who kept his hands by his side and cried.

“I don’t know what he was doing. I think he may not have been able to handle the pressure and just broke mentally. I haven’t seen anything like it.

In addition to his mid-fight chat with Nurmagomedov, who sat next to the cage at UFC APEX, Holland was also addressing White and that only exacerbated the UFC president further, especially considering what he was watching unfold in the octagon.

“He wasn’t complaining about anything,” White said. “He thought everyone here was his friend and he was just having fun.”

Despite White’s comments to Holland after his performance, Brunson disagreed that the words and antics really played a part in the result.

Instead, Brunson was quick to point to his dominant wrestling showcase where he took Holland down multiple times throughout the fight and never really allowed him to come out of the mat until the end of the fight. a lap.

“No, he just couldn’t stop the eliminations,” Brunson said of Holland at the post-fight press conference. “It’s funny. He kept presenting his hips. He’s a guy who is very explosive, who likes to run but he’s long so he gets away a bit at times. So he kept presenting his hips. , and he was there for the teardown.

“Dana White is one of those guys, he’ll be mad at you, I’ll take out the next fight and knock a guy out and he’ll be happy again.” It’s perfect. I went [against] [Edmen] Shahbazyan and finished the last child’s fight and I didn’t get any bonus for this fight. Main event. Finished him. No one was too happy with it. So that’s what it is. I come here to fight. Every fight can’t be beautiful, but I’ve been here for a long time. This division was kind of built on my back. Me with these crazy fights so it’s like that.

For anyone to say that Holland was acting weird or that his antics were something he suddenly introduced into his first main event, it’s possible they haven’t watched him compete in the past year or so, where to talk to his opponents during the fight has become a fixture. of each performance.

The outcome may have been different, but Brunson maintains that Holland was always the same.

“That’s what Kevin Holland does,” Brunson said. “He was talking all the time. Anyone can change the narrative.

Despite all the ways they faced each other on social media and through interviews leading up to the UFC Vegas 22 main event, it looks like Holland and Brunson can definitely agree on at least one topic now that the fight is over.

“I’ll never stop talking,” Holland said in an Instagram post after the main event. “If you don’t like it, guys, devils.

“I will be me [till] I die. I never said I wanted to be the champion. I said I wanted to have a good time and I did. Let’s move on to the next one.


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