People are still buzzing about Saturday night’s main event showdown between Kevin Holland and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
Fans at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida were treated to a spectacular night of fights including the main card that featured seven bouts, all with highlight reel finishes. None were better than the showing delivered by Holland and Thompson in one of the most uniquely contested fights in promotional history.
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping was on the call that night and shared his thoughts on the highly-entertaining encounter on his YouTube channel, suggesting that fans were treated to perhaps the best contest in the fight company’s 30-year history.
“Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Kevin Holland might have been the best fight we’ve ever seen in the UFC Octagon and I know that’s big talk. ‘You’re crazy Bisping,’ but we’ve had a lot of good fights, and maybe it’s recency bias, but in Orlando, Florida, Saturday night in front of a sold house, the crowd was epic. That fight was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. The techniques that we saw from Stephen Thomspon. The showmanship and the gameness and the toughness that we saw from Kevin Holland and the excitement back and forth. I mean, come on.”
Kevin Holland Sticks to Their Gentleman’s Agreement… Mostly.
Going into the matchup, Kevin Holland and Stephen Thompson made a gentleman’s agreement that they would leave wrestling out of it and handle business on the feet. Both fighters did exactly that, much to the appreciation of the Orlando crowd and Bisping.
“There was a couple of occasions where Holland actually got on top. Not from a takedown [or] from a scramble. A slip from catching a kick. A lot of crazy stuff happens in the Octagon when you’re fighting at that kind of pace. That pace was ridiculous. That’s another reason why the fight was so exciting. But in those scrambles in the madness. In the melee on the tele, he fell on the floor and Holland could have stayed on top of him, but he didn’t. He was a man of his word which was beautiful to see.”
Later in the contest, Kevin Holland did shoot in for a desperation takedown as ‘Wonderboy’ continued to light him up on the feet. It should be noted that Holland was practically a one-armed man at that point, having broken his hand in the opening round. Despite that, ‘Trailblazer’ continued to push forward and put everything he had into his strikes. In the end, the damage was simply too much.
Holland’s manager Oren Hodak later revealed that he had broke and displaced his third, fourth and fifth metacarpal bones. The injury will require surgery.