At the media day for Saturday’s fight card at UFC APEX, Strickland took a shot – or several shots – at the outspoken Holland as he described a run-in that might have ended up in a fight were it not for UFC security.
“He started talking sh*t to me on Instagram, and I think I one-upped him, which I don’t think is a one-up – I’m telling you some really f*cked up things,” said Strickland after venting said opinion, a characteristically crass boast about his physical dominance.
“So anyway, I see him at the [UFC Performance Institute] the other day – he like pops out his f*cking chest, like, ‘C’mon,’ trying to fight me. Like, Kevin Holland, bro, you have my Instagram. We can’t fight here. Edgar, my UFC guy with the abs, he’s going to break this sh*t up. We can’t fight here. You’ve got to f*cking call me, we’ll go this f*cking parking lot, and we’ll do the man dance.”
In the parlance of Strickland, that means fight. But according to the UFC middleweight, Holland wasn’t willing to engage him on those terms. And of course, that gave Strickland the opportunity to do a verbal victory dance.
“The thing about Kevin Holland, he doesn’t know how to embrace his feelings,” Strickland said. “He doesn’t know how to feel. He’s scared of his feelings. So like Kevin Holland’s one of these guys, he sees me and he’s scared of me. It’s fair, he’s a very tall, scary Black man. A part of him scares me, but I can look at him and say, ‘Kevin Holland, you scare me, I’m OK with that.’ I allow myself to feel, but I will still take you out in the f*cking parking lot and fight you to the f*cking death. And Kevin Holland is not that way.
“I was like, ‘Kevin, I don’t need money. You just walk out these doors, let’s go,’ and he was like, ‘F*ck that, I’m right here.’ He’s just being a p*ssy. He’s scared to feel. Kevin Holland, you can call me, we’ll talk about your feelings. I got you. Don’t be scared.”
Strickland’s full interview is above. As per the usual, it was a string of politically incorrect and downright offensive observations on life in his world as well as his upcoming fight with Hermansson. The Swedish-born Hermansson seeks to snap a five-fight winning streak that’s upped Strickland’s stock – and given the American a platform to spout every unfiltered thought on his mind.