Kevin Holland returned to the Octagon at UFC 287 determined to get back into the win column after dropping his last two bouts against undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev and perennial contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. Standing in his way was Argentinian striker Santiago Ponzinibbio. Coming off a third-round knockout against Alex Morono in December, Ponzinibbio looked to make it two-in-a-row against the fan-favorite Holland.
Kevin Holland comes out looking to utilize his reach and speed right away. Holland lands a nice sidekick to the body of Ponzinibbio. Both fighters begin trading leg kicks. Ponzinibbio looks to get inside and land while remaining cautious as Holland continues to attack the lead leg. Holland goes upstairs with a kick, but Ponzinibbio gets the forearm up. Ponzinibbio begins to push the pace. Holland responds with a barrage of kicks, attacking the legs and the body of Ponzinibbio. Holland throws a kick that is caught by Ponzinibbio. Keeping his balance on one foot, Holland unloads a back fist that drops Ponzinibbio as the round comes to an end.
Kevin Holland comes out a little more willing to throw his hands in round two. Ponzinibbio goes high with a kick that is blocked by Holland. Ponzinibbio lands a solid right hand, but Holland eats it. A combination from Ponzinibbio lands and he follows it up with a calf kick. Holland is the one moving forward, but he’s not landing much offense. Ponzinibbio checks a low kick from Holland. A low kick from Ponzinibbio lands. Holland throws heavy leather and lands a solid right that forces Ponzinibbio to clinch. Elbow over the top from Holland lands. Ponzinibbio attempts to wing a few strikes in the closing seconds, but nothing lands.
Santiago Ponzinibbio uncorks a big right hand to open the round that is blocked by Holland. Ponzinibbio again goes to the low kick and lands heavy. Holland’s movement is compromised by the continued attacks to his lead led, but he continues marching forward. Ponzinibbio attacks the leg again. The front kick by Holland partially connects. Ponzinibbio goes for the leg again and Holland comes back with a big overhand right that hits nothing, but air. Ponzinibbio throws another calf kick and Holland catches it. Holland unleashes a nasty left hook that connects clean and Ponzinibbio goes down face first. Holland bounces, but the referee calls for the stoppage immediately, recognizing that Ponzinibbio was clearly out despite the fact that he bounced back to his fit immediately following the stoppage.
Official Result: Kevin Holland def. Santiago Ponzinibbio via KO (strikes) at 3:16 of Round 3
Check Out Highlights From Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 287 Below:
“You smell weed?!”
Kevin Holland is a UFC treasure 🤣 #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/jOTtSXpFS3
— 𝗧𝗥𝗢𝗬 𝗛𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗘𝗦 (@TommySledge) April 9, 2023
Kevin Holland, on one leg, lands a backfist and rocks Ponzinibbio 😆👏👏 #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/WtB2vwt0ph
— SpecialHead 💪👊🤙 (@UFCSpecialHead) April 9, 2023
KEVIN HOLLAND KNOCKS OUT PONZINIBBIO 😱 #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/t47EVLtqQO
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 9, 2023
BIG MOUTH'S BAAAAACK 🗣@Trailblaze2Top gets back in the win column with the KO in Round 3! #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/Enqy4bEalK
— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2023
Calling his next shot!@Trailblaze2Top knows exactly who he wants after that #UFC287 performance 👀 pic.twitter.com/DVCNUC1TDW
— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2023