Kevin Holland was the last man that Marvin Vettori fought before facing Israel Adesanya for the middleweight title. “Big Mouth” lived up to his nickname by mocking Vettori’s performance, saying that he tried to warn the challenger.
Holland was on quite a run to start off the year, having won five fights in a row, before running into a two-fight skid in 2021. The second of these losses came on short notice against Vettori, who fought for the title immediately after.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani, Kevin said that he tried to warn Marvin that he needed to improve his striking before fighting the champ. He then mocked the Italian for the way he performed, saying that Marvin did not heed his advice.
“(It was) exactly what I told him in the cage after we fought you know, ‘Work on your striking before you fight (Adesanya). He didn’t work on his striking before he went and fought (Adesanya), and he looked like a clown out there trying to hit him,” Holland said.
“I thought he had really good takedowns against me. His takedowns weren’t so good there, granted Izzy probably just had better hips and understood the gameplan. I just think that Israel did a really, really good job of shutting Marvin down…
“(Vettori) told me, he said ‘Work on your wrestling.’ I was like ‘Work on your striking,'” Holland clarified with a chuckle.
Kevin Holland Wants Jake Paul vs Darren Till
This weekend features a boxing match between former UFC champ Tyron Woodley and YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul. Kevin Holland made it clear that while he wants to see Tyron win, he thinks Jake will be able to get it done.
In fact, he explained that if fans want to see an MMA fighter take out the YouTuber, it should not be a wrestler trying to box. Instead he suggested Darren Till as the man who could beat the younger Paul brother.
“Tyron Woodley’s been doing work with Floyd (Mayweather), so maybe he looks a little more fluid with his boxing, but man if you haven’t done real boxing rounds, and you haven’t gone in there with boxers that really don’t care about who you are, it’s different” Holland said.
“Everybody thinks those Paul brothers aren’t boxers. They’ve been putting in the work. Those boys can box. If you can’t box yourself, you need to stop trying to represent MMA. I think the wrestlers need to stick with what they do, and the strikers need to go do what we need to do.
“I think Jake gets it done,” Holland added. “You know what, you want to see a good MMA person go over there and fight Jake, you send Darren Till. You send somebody like Darren Till over there to fight Jake. You got two good names, and Darren Till will clean his clock, hands down.”
Kevin Holland returns to the Octagon himself, when he takes on Kyle Daukaus on October 2nd. It will be interesting to see what changes he has made to his skills in this time off.