UFC's Kevin Holland Wants to Fight Champion Israel Adesanya, More in 2021

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2020

Kevin Holland, right, in action against Gerald Meerschaert during their mixed martial arts bout at UFC Fight Night, Saturday, March 30, 2019, in Philadelphia. Holland won via decision. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

After going 5-0 in 2020, UFC fighter Kevin Holland is looking to compete six times in 2021 and work his way through the top of the middleweight division.

Holland, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the division, discussed his plans with TMZ Sports to work his way to taking the title from Israel Adesanya by the end of the year.

The run could start with No. 7 Derek Brunson, who Holland had previously said messaged him that he would dump Holland in a potential bout.

"I know a lot of people don't know the name, but Derek Brunson. That's who I want to smack," Holland told TMZ.

However, this is just the start of the plan for the 28-year-old on the way to a title.

"If I beat Derek Brunson, I'd be No. 6. Then I gotta go through 5, 4, 3, 2, champ," he said. "Then that's six fights in a year. That's a good year. Then no one can say [I] didn't fight tough competition."

Though he noted current champion Adesanya is likely going to move up to the light heavyweight division, a title fight in the middleweight division is still possible.

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"If he's going to come back down to 185, it has to be worth it," Holland said of Adesanya. "Somebody has to be worth it. So somebody has to put in the work, right? I'm willing to work."

Holland is 21-5 in his career, but few fighters in UFC have been better as of late with his streak of five straight wins, earning Performance of the Night three times. This includes Saturday's knockout win over Jacare Souza:

Based on his recent success, it will be difficult to count Holland out as he seeks a quick climb up the rankings.