Following his win at UFC Vegas 12, Kevin Holland got into a bit of an altercation with middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. Now he explains the origins of this beef, and what the two said to each other in the cage.
There are few middleweight prospects with as much hype behind them as Holland has right now. The 28-year old has fought four times in 2020, winning all of the bouts with three TKO’s along the way. His most recent win saw him brutalize Charles Ontiveros, finishing him in the first round after hurting him with a huge slam. Yet what was making the rounds after the fact, was the back and forth between he and Adesanya, who was sitting cageside for the fight.
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Kevin Holland Explains Origins Of The Beef
After this exchange, Kevin Holland told Michael Bisping that he has beef with Israel Adesanya that stemmed back to his UFC debut. Speaking in a recent interview, Kevin explained what happened. Apparently the two came face to face while passing each other and exchanged words, starting this rivalry right away.
“It was out in L.A. when I was fighting Thiago Santos,” Holland explained. “They were doing media the same day we were doing the mock weigh-ins. They were doing media and I believe they were going up the stairs and we were going down the stairs, and I said something like ‘Yo, that’s Izzy right there, he ain’t that big.’ He was like ‘What the f–k did you say?’ and tried to turn and get all aggressive and stuff. My coach was like ‘Hey chill out’ to him and James Vick was pushing me down the stairs like ‘Youre getting kicked out the UFC before you even get in, chill out.’ I was like ‘Yeah you’re right, let me chill.’
“The more I sat at home the more I thought about it, the more I’m like hey I hope this fool don’t think he puked me,” Holland continued. “Because I don’t get punked. So I hope he don’t think he punked me. So when I saw him (at UFC Vegas 12), I was like ‘I’m going to say something about this,’ but then I was like ‘No, maybe I’m tripping.’ Then we were getting Covid tested… As he was walking out, the security guard saw him and was like ‘Hey Kev…when are you going to fight Izzy?’ I’m like ‘Whenever the time comes it comes. I’ll keep working for it.’ Izzy was like ‘What’d you say?’ and like takes his earbud out and tried to say it all agressive and s–t. I was like ‘I was talking to the security guard but I can be talking to you if you want me to.’ As I’m saying that, he puts his earbud back in his ear and walks off.
“I’m like, okay bro, we’re not in the Octagon right now, we don’t have a fight scheduled. So as far as I’m concerned this is a street scrap and I’ll beat your a–. I’m poking eyes, I’m slapping nuts, I’m getting dirty with it, you know what I mean? I know how good you are. We’ll get at it.”
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What Was Said In The Octagon
So after that exchange, Kevin Holland was fired up when he saw Israel Adesanya sitting outside the cage. After his win, he decided to go straight up to the middleweight champ and speak his mind.
“When I saw him outside the cage, I saw that he wasn’t dancing to my music and I got mad,” Holland said. “I just started thinking about everything and I was like ‘Im going to say something to this man.’ Then he laughed when I got head kicked and I was like ‘Okay I’m definitely going to say something to the man.’ So I said something to the man.
“I just called him a boy,” Holland continued. “When I seen (before the fight) and I told him I was going to get his Pumas when they came out, and I was walking away, he tells his teammate ‘That’s the guy I was telling you about.’ In my mind I’m like ‘Why am I the guy you’re talking about?’ I’m not top 20, I’m getting there. I know I fought a lot this year but why are you worried about me? You’re the champ. Target’s on your back, target’s not on my back. You shouldn’t be worried about little ol’ Kev, but now I see why he’s worried about little ol’ Kev.”
When he spoke to Adesanya, Holland called the middleweight champ his boy. Kevin says this was a way to demean Izzy, and that the New Zealander reminds him of his little brother.
“I was letting him know you’re my boy, you’re my little boy. You’ll be my little boy when I get done with you,” Holland said. “He reminds me of my little brother with his style and everything, so he’ll be my little boy when I’m done with him.”
What do you make of this rivalry between Kevin Holland and Israel Adesanya?