UFC on ESPN 8: Kevin Holland Campaigns for Empty Arena Shows Once a Year

“You don’t get paid by the hour, so you never want to do more time than you have to,” Kevin Holland observed following a 39-second TKO finish of Anthony Hernandez at UFC on ESPN 8.

The finish was set up by the crushing elbow, but even then, Holland wasn’t sure his opponent was hurt. “I don’t like to pull the race card, but he comes from the Hispanic bloodline. So no, I did not think he was hurt from the elbow,” Holland told Cageside Press during the virtual post-fight media scrum following the event. “But I did have a good feeling that we could drop him with a body shot. So soon as the knee hit him in the body, he started to fold over. And I took advantage of that, full advantage of that. And when the ref pulled me off, to be honest, I wasn’t done yet. I wanted to test that cardio. So yeah, I could have kept going.”

Cardio is key for a fighter who likes to stay active. Holland, for one, normally fights at a pretty brisk pace. That hasn’t mean the case of late, however, a situation Holland said “sucks.”

“I mean, sucks. Nobody wants to sit at home. Nobody wants to not fight,” he observed. “I love to fight. I mean, I really really love to fight. The check is awesome. But at the end of the day fighting keeps me sane, you know?”

When he’s fighting, “I’m a better person to my friends and my family,” he admitted. Which makes not being able to fight “probably like one of the worst things in the world. You know what I mean? It keeps me on schedule. Fighting keeps me on schedule with life all the way around. Love being able to be fight.”

“Not being able to fight, I’m losing hair,” he joked. “See, I’ve got short hair this time.”

The empty arena setting has been a big subject of conversation this past week. Count Kevin Holland as a fan. He had a little taste on the Contender Series, which had him ready for Jacksonville.

“My grandpa called me and was like ‘this is perfect for you. It’s perfect for you, you need to fight right now. You’re used to this type of stuff. Nobody talking is good. They could hear you talk, you need to fight now,” Holland recalled. For him, everything went smoothly. “I can finally hear my coaches. It was wonderful, man. It was wonderful. I like it. I mean, yeah, the fans are great to have there. But I mean, we could have a week like this, every year, where we just go out there, having fights with no fans there and you can hear every smack, let’s do it. Let’s do it. I’m the Smack Man. I like to hear the smacks.”

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 8 post-fight virtual media scrum with Kevin Holland above!