UFC: Kevin Holland Agrees to Bout with Derek Brunson, While Still Pursuing Edwards Fight

Kevin Holland UFC
Kevin Holland, UFC Vegas 11 Weigh-In Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

UFC middleweight Kevin Holland is looking to stay busy. Really, really busy.

Holland, a candidate for Fighter of the Year in 2020 after going 5-0 in the pandemic, has agreed to a March 20 date with Derek Brunson. That’s per a report by ESPN. But with no desire to wait all the way until Spring (Saturday, March 20 is actually the first day of Spring next year), Holland is also campaigning to fill in for Khamzat Chimaev against Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Island 8 on January 20.

Now wouldn’t that be something.

In a statement to MMA Junkie, Holland (via management) stated that he’s looking to fight sooner than March, hence throwing his name in the Edwards sweepstakes.

“We verbally agreed to fight Brunson on March 20, but Kevin is still campaigning for January or February for an additional bout,” the statement read. “It’s no longer ‘Call Big Mouth’ when something falls through. We’re the A-side. Just put us in. Put us in the game. Put us in the fight.”

He also stated his case on social media.

Holland (21-5) is coming off a win earlier this month against Jacare Souza, and finished four of his five wins in 2020. Three of those wins nabbed him Performance of the Night bonuses.

Derek Brunson (21-7) is currently on a three fight win streak of his own. Most recently, he stopped young upstart Edmen Shahbazyan in the main event of August’s UFC Vegas 5. Leon Edwards (18-3), meanwhile, is on an eight-fight win streak. The welterweight, however, has not fought since July of 2019, when he defeated Rafael dos Anjos at UFC San Antonio.

While the UFC does not generally double-book fighters, it briefly made an exception for Khamzat Chimaev earlier this year, lining him up with Demian Maia despite already being booked against Gerald Meerschaert. Of course, the Maia fight never materialized in the end — but it does pave the way for Holland to feature in both fights.