On December 5th, UFC fans will be in for a treat when Kevin Holland takes on Jack Hermansson. For Holland, 2020 has been a storybook year, and he looks to cap it off in emphatic fashion. Coming off a dominant win over Charlie Ontiveros — in which the fight was ended via verbal submission — Holland looks to make it 5-0 in 2020 with a win over Hermansson. In my previous UFC article on Holland, I believed his last fight would earn him a spot in the T15. While he is still unranked for this matchup with ‘The Joker,’ this is the type of fight I was expecting he would be given. It is clear that Holland is currently the front runner for “fighter of the year,” along with UFC star-boy Khamzat Chimaev.
This fight is going to be a good one for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, Hermansson is one of the best middleweights in the division, and the little #5 next to his name isn’t just for show. Despite a tough loss to Cannonier back at UFC Fight Night 160, he’s one of the most feared and well-rounded fighters in the division. Coming off a win via submission (Heel hook) over Kevin Gastellum in his most recent fight back in July, Hermansson looks to keep the momentum rolling. Aside from his defeat to Cannonier, his previous five fights have all been victories. He is able to spread out his attacks and fight a very technical and poised fight.
As for Holland, there is no debating his drive in his chase for greatness. Having fought four times this year already, he’s clearly one of the most in-form fighters right now. Following his victory in his last fight, Holland had some choice words for Israel Adesanya. It appears as if him calling out Izzy paid off for him. While he didn’t get that fight, his activity and mentality to fight anyone and everyone got him this fight. Darren Till’s injury is unfortunate for UFC fans, as there will be no raw dogging in this one, but it opened the door for Kevin Holland. Assuming Holland can pull off this upset, and Khamzat beats Leon Edwards, that could set up a very enticing matchup between The Wolf and The Trailblazer.
The middleweight division is one that is as murky as any. With Adesanya and Blachowicz being more and more likely as the days go on, the middleweight belt could be up for the taking in the foreseeable future. While Whittaker is the favorite, and Costa still wants blood, December is an exciting month for potential challengers to make themselves heard. Kevin Holland has had little hesitation in taking fights on short notice or stepping in when needed, but he’s never had a test like Hermansson. Even someone as tough as Darren Till would likely have been the underdog had they fought, and that should speak bounds about Jack Hermansson’s abilities.
Kevin Holland is one of the rising stars in the UFC right now, and if you didn’t know, now you do. If Holland is to win this upcoming fight, there’s no telling what his future holds. To me, in that exciting land of hypotheticals, assuming Khamzat wins, there shouldn’t be any hesitation in setting up that fight. Think about it, Khamzat v Holland in February… ah, the possibilities.