“Poor Sportsmanship,” “Dogs Barking”: UFC’s Kevin Holland Explains Catalyst for Masvidal Feud

Kevin Holland UFC
Kevin Holland, UFC 279 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Kevin Holland and Jorge Masvidal stole headlines ahead of last week’s UFC 287, getting into a pair of altercations outside the cage despite not actually being scheduled to face each other inside it. Much to UFC President Dana White’s dismay, as it turned out.

While White opted to blame the media for “instigating,” neglecting to note that the pair first got into a scuffle at the host hotel in Miami with no journalists barking questions, Holland shed some light into what led to the altercations — and downplayed the seriousness of them, suggesting that there was some misinterpretation involved.

“It’s ‘He says/she says,’ you know what I mean? Just some things got misinterpreted,” Holland recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “But at the end of the day, back in the day, big fan of the way the guy got down. Over time, things change. It was the Leon Edwards thing – none of my business. I try to look at it like it was cool – it became a highlight of success, and I was like, ‘Damn, when did punching people behind the stage become something that we do? That we get love for?’

“I’m like, ‘Well sh*t, if that’s what it takes, maybe I should punch somebody behind the stage.’ Then the Colby thing to me was a little outrageous, but I guess when people cross the line, they cross the line. But you had a chance to handle it in the cage and it didn’t get handled, so it was kind of like poor sportsmanship.”

Aside from poor sportsmanship, Holland also suggested the feud came down to “dogs barking.” He also noted that Masvidal, who retired following his loss against Gilbert Burns on Saturday, has something he wants.

“At the end of the day it was just a bunch of dogs barking,” Holland said. “For me, he does have something I want, which is the ‘BMF’ belt. BMF: ‘Bigmouth Motherf*cker.’ Makes sense to me. So other than that, it’s nothing. The guy is successful, wish him nothing but the best. He’s outside of the sport now, so whatever he does has nothing to do with me. He’s doing his own thing. He retired, so f*ck it. Let it go.”

Masvidal won the BMF (that’s “baddest motherf*cker”) title against Nate Diaz at UFC 244 in 2019. The fight was the final win for “Gamebred” inside the octagon, and the title — essentially a promotional prop, but one that clearly struck a chord with fight fans — has never been up for grabs since.