Dana White thinks Kevin Holland had ‘mental breakdown’ in loss to Derek Brunson


UFC president Dana White was perplexed by Kevin Holland in the UFC on ESPN 21 main event.

Holland (21-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC) had his five-fight winning streak snapped by Derek Brunson (22-7 MMA, 13-5 UFC) in a unanimous decision loss in Saturday’s middleweight headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Although Holland came into the fight well known for his in-cage talking and boisterous acts, he took it to a new level in the bout with Brunson. He was talking from the moment the bout began, and was even stating a conversation with White and former UFC champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, who were stationed cageside.

White thinks Holland’s level of vocality as he was being taken down and losing rounds to Brunson was triggered by breaking under the pressure of the stage.

“I think that was a mental breakdown,” UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports. “The only other thing I saw like it was [in boxing] when Lennox Lewis fought that guy [Oliver McCall] who kept his hands at his side and was crying. I don’t know what he was doing. I think he might not have been able to handle the pressure and just broke mentally. I haven’t seen anything like that.”

White wasn’t the only one who had thoughts on Holland’s antics. A number of fighters chimed in on social media as the bout was going on, and while some were entertained, others were critical.

Holland said on the UFC on ESPN 21 post-fight show that he’s considering a drop down to the welterweight division following his first loss since October 2019.


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