UFC Vegas 38’s co-main event saw a fair share of controversy, but in the end, it would wind up being a no contest.
After doing a stint in the exotic locale of Hendrickstan alongside former UFC welterweight champion Johnny Hendricks, had Kevin Holland shored up his wrestling enough to go up against some of the top talents in the UFC’s middleweight division?
That was the question heading into UFC Vegas 38 on Saturday, which saw Holland paired up with Kyle Daukaus.
In the end, we didn’t really get an answer, but that was no fault of anyone involved.
Daukaus predictably opened up the fight with a takedown attempt, but Holland did a good job of keeping the fight standing. After stuffing the attempt, the two stayed in the clinch but were separated following a lack of action. Amusingly, the UFC’s resident loud mouth, Holland, chatted with the commentary team during the sequence, yelling “little better, right DC?” to color commentator Daniel Cormier at one point.
Holland and Daukaus started trading after that, but Holland went down hard following an accidental headbutt that knocked Holland out temporarily. Holland quickly woke up and Daukaus went for the kill, landing huge shots and looking for a d’arce choke that Holland was able to escape but he was badly rocked. Daukas eventually getting the back where Daukaus got a standing rear-naked-choke in and Holland was forced to tap. However, even as Holland was hitting the canvas from the headbutt, referee Dan Miragliotta was signalling for the replay.
The only question should be whether the foul led to the finish. If it did, no contest. If it didn't, and you rule the finish came about naturally, you let the finish stand. Really feels like a NC. It knocked Holland out, he wasn't in the fight after that. #UFCVegas38
— Cageside Press (@Cagesidepress) October 3, 2021
Commission members and referee met outside the cage for quite a while before officially making a decision on the fight. The main point of contention in the fight was that Holland was knocked out cold by the headbutt, and that led to the sequence that ended the fight. Senior ref Herb Dean was overhead telling Miragliotta that if he wasn’t comfortable with the decision in the cage, he could rule the bout a No Contest. Despite at first seeming that it would be a submission victory for Daukaus, ultimately in the end it was up to referee Dan Miragliotta, who ruled that the fight should be a no-contest.
Official Result: Kevin Holland vs Kyle Duakaus ends in a No Contest, Round 1, 3:43