The UFC‘s Big Mouth is getting ready to make his return to the Octagon. Late last night, MMA Fighting was the first to report that the promotion had finalized a middleweight battle between Kevin Holland (21-7) and Kyle Daukaus (10-2).
The middleweight matchup is currently scheduled to take place at a UFC Fight Night on October 2nd. For Kyle Daukaus, this will be his fourth trip to the octagon. So far, it’s been a mixed bag for the middleweight.
Daukaus made his UFC debut just over a year ago against Brendan Allen. Allen was a big favorite, however, Daukaus pushed him to the limit in their fight. Ultimately, Allen still got his hand raised and Daukaus lost the first fight of his career.
Daukaus’ second octagon appearance came at UFC 255 when he took on Dustin Stoltzfus. He picked up his first UFC win that night by decision. He returned back in May when he took on the surging Phil Hawes.
Hawes won by decision and dropped Daukaus to 1-2 in the UFC. While he has a losing record, it is worth nothing that Kyle Daukaus has faced good competition in the UFC. This fight in October will be his first fight against a ranked opponent.
UFC Redemption for Holland
2021 hasn’t been great for Kevin Holland inside the octagon. After becoming a surging star for the UFC in 2020, Holland has come back to Earth a little here in 2021. We all were introduced to Kevin Holland back in 2018 on the Contender Series.
Despite winning his fight, the UFC didn’t give him a contract right away. That said, when the UFC needed someone to step in to fight Thiago Santos at UFC 227 on short-notice, Holland gladly accepted the fight. Holland lost that fight, but then went on to win three straight.
Late in 2019, Holland suffered a submission loss to Brendan Allen. When the year hit 2020, all things changed for Kevin Holland. Holland went on an incredible run that saw him go 5-0 in seven months. He was one of the Fighters of the Year in 2020 for the UFC.
His incredible year earned him a main event slot against Derek Brunson in March. Unfortunately for Holland, Brunson dominated their fight. Holland then turned around and took a short-notice main event against Marvin Vettori and was again dominated.
In both of those fights, Holland really struggled with keeping the fight on the feet. After remaining incredibly active for the UFC in 2020, Holland wanted to take some time away to work on his grappling. After having some time to work on it, he’s back to take on Daukaus in October and you know Daukaus with eight submission wins is going to test his takedown defense.