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Kevin Holland explains brief retirement, plans on knocking out Stephen Thompson in UFC return: “I think my Kung Fu beats his Karate”

UFC welterweight Kevin Holland plans on finishing Stephen Thompson in his octagon return.

‘Trail Blazer’ has been out of action since his submission loss to Khamzat Chimaev last month. The bout was a short-notice one, as ‘Borz’ was originally set to face Nate Diaz at the event. However, after Chimaev missed weight, he was bumped down to the fight with Holland.

Following that loss, the fan-favorite stated that he was retired. The announcement caught many fans off-guard, given his age and competitiveness at the top level. While many didn’t believe it at first, Holland kept hammering home that he was retired.

As it turns out, fans were right not to believe it. Not long after his retirement announcement, Kevin Holland was booked to return against Stephen Thompson in December. ‘Wonderboy’ has been absent from the cage since his loss to Belal Muhammad last December.

As the welterweight contender explained on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the announcement of retirement came as a result of being at peace with his career. However, once Holland got the offer to fight Thompson, he knew that he couldn’t retire.

Kevin Holland

“For a second there I was like, ‘Yeah, I could walk away and be happy.’ No stress,” Holland said. “People were like, ‘Even with the last performance?’ I was like, ‘Even with the last performance, I’m cool with it.’ Samurai code. Ready to die at any time. F*** it. Bushido. It is what it is… Until I got hit up with what I wanted and I was like, I can’t turn that down. I said if I got something magically wonderful or delicious I would step back up, and what’s more wonderful than Wonderboy?” (h/t MMAFighting)

He continued, “…To be 100 percent honest with you, I plan on knocking Wonderboy the f*** out. I think Wonderboy is a fantastic fighter, I think his style is wonderful, it’s his name, but that being said, Pettis was able to knock him out and I think I’m going to be able to knock him out. Pettis was able to find his chin and I think I’m going to be able to find his chin, and when I find his chin, I think I hit a little bit harder than Anthony Pettis.”

Holland concluded, “But let’s not get mistaken, a lot of people go out there and strike with Wonderboy, usually look crazy. Geoff Neal, dude can strike really well, couldn’t strike with Wonderboy. Vicente Luque, strikes really well — and these are two completely different styles of striking — couldn’t strike with Wonderboy. Pettis is a crafty motherf*****, and he figured it out… I like to think I’m pretty crafty too, so I think I can figure it out, and I think my Kung Fu beats his Karate.”

As ‘Trail Blazer’ noted, Stephen Thompson has only been finished by Anthony Pettis, with that loss coming in 2019. Holland will look to add one more knockout loss to that record on December 3rd.

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