The always upbeat Kevin Holland was looking to continue his strong showing during the pandemic on Saturday, seeking to pick up a third win over Britain’s Darren Stewart. “The Dentist” had fought back in August, and was himself looking to make it two in a row at UFC Vegas 11 this weekend.
Holland opened the action with kick/punch combination, before the two both fired off a flurry of shots, then moved into the clinch. And throughout the round, and frankly the fight, he rarely stopped talking. The action was paused for a moment when Stewart landed an accidental low blow, and even then Holland stayed chatty. When action resumed Stewart looked to work the low kick and Holland fired back with a pair of lightning fast high kicks. The two exchanged again; Stewart landed the harder shot and Holland was hurt. Stewart rushed in and looked to finish but Holland fired back with both men eating leather to land their shots. By the end of the exchanged, Holland had recovered and perhaps even had an edge. They went to work in the clinch, with knees and punches. Holland backed off and Stewart came forward, Holland then fired out a side kick followed by a hammer fist that Stewart walked through.
As the round wound down, Stewart went for a single leg takedown but Holland kept his balance and defended against the cage. He then spun around and looked for his own takedown but Stewart was able to defend. Another quick exchange and the round was over.
CHINS OF GRANITE!
These two are just TRADING back and forth 😳
— UFC (@ufc) September 20, 2020
Both men came out slowly and looked to get their timing down in the second. Holland fired first with a side kick but went for another kick that Stewart caught, taking him to the ground. Holland was kicking from his back to push Stewart off and the two were in a stand off with Stewart looking to land on a downed Holland, until the ref stood Holland up. Stewart kept moving forward and Holland landed some kicks to the legs. Stewart continued moving forward and Holland fired back. Holland tried to drop levels when Stewart came in with a punch over the top, but Stewart caught him and drove him to the mat. Darren Stewart then fired a punch on Hollow as he stood up and they went back to it on their feet. Holland rushed forward with a combination, punctuated with a a pair of knees on the defending Stewart as the horn sounded.
In the third, Stewart tried to strike first but Holland was ready and landed a counter. Stewart came back and looked for the take down. Holland stopped the attempt but Stewart stuck with it and succeeded on the second. Holland locked in a Kimura and the two rolled; Stewart broke free but Holland kept the clinch and tried to work inside. Stewart broke free then engaged again, Holland fired back then dropped down for the take down. Stewart caught the attempt and the two men worked in the clinch. Stewart landed a solid inside elbow on Holland and followed it up with a take down. Now in half guard, Stewart started to land strikes. Holland ate a few before he fired back with some elbows from the bottom. Stewart answered with a hard right and a hard elbow himself. Stewart piled on the strikes and Holland to his credit fired back, while both men continued to smack talk each other as the fight came to a close. The third round was Stewart’s but the fight, albeit close, was another story. Holland took home the split decision in the end.
Official Result: Kevin Holland def. Darren Stewart by Split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)