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Kevin Holland Says Israel Adesanya Is ‘Not The Champ’ After UFC 259 Loss: ‘It’s My Division, Not His’

Kevin Holland tears into middleweight champ Israel Adesanya for losing in his champ-champ efforts

Kevin Holland Says Israel Adesanya Is ‘Not The Champ’ After UFC 259 Loss: ‘It’s My Division, Not His’

Israel Adesanya was unsuccessful in his attempt to move up in weight and capture a second title. In the eyes of Kevin Holland, this means that he is no longer the champ at 185lb either.

Few fighters had the type of year that Holland had in 2020. The middleweight prospect went a staggering 5-0 in the year, culminating with a highlight reel knockout over Jacare Souza to close the calendar.

Now he is taking a step up in the rankings, as Kevin squares off against number 7 ranked Derek Brunson. An impressive win here will surely set him up for a top 5 foe, or maybe even a crack at Israel Adesanya.

Kevin Holland Owns The Middleweight Division

The last several months have seen Kevin Holland take aim at middleweight champ Adesanya, and things show no signs of slowing down. In fact, he does not even believe that Izzy is deserving of that title anymore.

Speaking in a recent interview, Kevin made it clear that because Adesanya lost his last fight, a light heavyweight champ-champ bid to Jan Blachowicz, that means that 185lb no longer has a champion.

“Right now, the way I look at it, the 185lb division doesn’t have a champ. Our champ went up to 205, vacated the belt and lost. You’re only as good as your last fight,” Holland said.

“His last fight was a fight on TV. He lost. He’s not the ’85 champ. He’s no champ right now. He’s fighting for the vacated belt the next time he fights, that’s about it. He’s not the champ, he’s just another guy swimming in the middleweight division, and if you ask the people, it’s my division not his.”

Israel Adesanya Wants An Easy Fight

Following his defeat to Blachowicz, Adesanya has been calling for a fight with Darren Till as the next defense of the middleweight title. Some critics, including Kevin Holland, felt this a bit odd, given that Till is 1-1 in the division, and is coming off of a loss.

However Kevin seems to think he knows why Izzy wants this fight. He believes that because of the way Jan handled Adesanya in the grappling department, the champ is looking to fight someone who will not wrestle him.

“He’s likes a fight where there’s no ideas of a takedown, because you see what happens when there’s ideas of a takedown. Even his striking doesn’t look as good,” Holland explained.

“When you invite a fight where you mix it up, he doesn’t like that. He wants another kickboxing match, and if he wants another kickboxing match he should go back to kickboxing.”

“But he’s been knocked out once or twice there with five losses. He doesn’t want to go back there. He’s not the type of guy who likes to lose,” Holland continued. 

“I’m the type of guy who don’t care. He’s the type of guy who cares too much. That’s why he’s basing his life on anime and I’m basing my life off how much money I can make. It’s just the difference, real life fake life.”

For now, Kevin Holland has his hands full with his upcoming bout against Derek Brunson. That said, there seems to be some excitement behind the idea of a fight between he and Israel Adesanya, at some point in the future.

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