Kevin Holland has seen the future and there’s not a doubt in his mind that he’ll become a UFC champion at welterweight.
Now that information didn’t happen after the always outspoken Holland took a trip on a DeLorean to see where he’d be over the next few years but he definitely went on a journey to get there.
“I’m going to be the champ,” Holland said on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “Mark my f****** words. I’m going to be the champ. I popped some [mushrooms] about a couple weeks ago and I had these visions, and I’m going to be champ. My first time
“My first time popping shrooms and they say you see the future. I’ve seen the future. I’m going to be the f****** champ. I’m ready to f****** do it. It was out of competition when I did it, so it didn’t f****** matter. I’m ready to go out there and do everything I’ve got to do. Put in the work, swim those extra laps, ride the bike for those extra miles. I ain’t running, I ain’t no runner cause I don’t run from s*** but yeah I’m getting it done. I’m going to be that guy.”
When he first got into the UFC, Holland was better known for talking to his opponents, the UFC commentary team and just about anybody else nearby while he was putting on performances inside the octagon. He also earned a reputation for stepping up to fight whenever the UFC needed him, which helped make Holland one of the most active fighters on the entire roster.
While he has no plans to admonish any part of his reputation now that he’s competing at 170 pounds, Holland promises that his goals in this new division will take him to greater heights than he’s ever seen before.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’m a company man,” Holland said. “I keep saying it over and over again. It’s whatever. When the ranked opponents come, the ranked opponents come. People say that I had a tough time with Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson, they’re big boys and they did not nothing but lay on me and try to pray on me.
“I think I’m going to have a phenomenal time no matter who it is at 170 pounds, whether they’re a great wrestler or a great striker, I think I’ll be OK.”
Of course, Holland is already prepared to hear about how he can’t handle wrestlers, which was a problem that plagued him towards the end of his last run at middleweight where he dropped back-to-back fights where he largely spent time on his back after being taken down.
There’s no shortage of grapplers at 170 pounds including reigning champion Kamaru Usman, top-ranked contender Colby Covington and fast rising star Khamzat Chimaev but Holland isn’t all that concerned about how he’ll deal with any of them when the time comes.
“I ain’t worried about none of them,” Holland said. “Superman [Khamzat Chimaev] finally looked human. Superman finally looked human against Gilbert Burns. The same guy that Usman knocked out with a jab. I think styles make fights and as long as I’m putting in work, my style is tailor made for anybody in that division.”
First things first, Holland has to get through Means on Saturday while competing in his adopted home state of Texas as he performs there for the first time in over four years.
Holland anticipates a lively crowd in Austin and he expects the fight against Means to steal the show despite not actually serving as the headliner for the event.
“I don’t care who else is on the card, the people’s main event that night, it’s me versus Tim Means,” Holland said. “Tim Means is an OG of the game, he’s beat a lot of guys that live in Texas, from Texas, train out of Texas, and me, I’m from California — let’s not ever get it confused, Ontario, Calif. at that, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario Hills — but back to the point, I’ve been in Texas since I was 18 years old. I just know how it goes.
“I’m going to be talking to the crowd. I’m going to be fighting Tim Means. Big mouth’s going to be in full effect. Trailblazer’s going to do what Trailblazer does. It’s going to be a magical night.”