Kevin Holland does a 180 on retirement decision, set to fight Stephen Thompson

Just hours after announcing his retirement from MMA, Kevin Holland has been revealed as Stephen Thompson's opponent for a UFC Fight Night in December.

Holland, who's only 29 years young, shocked the MMA world when he told fans he was quitting the sport in the wake of his loss to Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 279. In fact, the world didn't believe him, as he continued to play coy on social media. And they were right not to...

During the launch of his new podcast this week- Real Eyes Recognize - Holland claimed he was done...

"So I'm retired... I'm officially retired," lied the Californian.

"I'm retired from fighting. I had a good fight, good payday, I had a good run. I see some of the people online [saying] 'obviously he realizes he'll never get the belt' and my little psychedelic trip, that means I was wrong. I can't be wrong on a psychedelic trip. I've lost coming out to Young Boy. That was my last hope, never losing coming out to Young Boy. Times are rough for your boy.

"But I'm really, really happy on the green side. Unless something super-duper magical pops up, yeah, I'm pretty happy with the way things are."

The "green side" Holland refers to is likely the hefty paycheck he received after the UFC bosses were forced to reshuffle the 279 card due to Chimaev missing weight.

Holland was originally scheduled to face Daniel Rodriguez at a 180-pound catchweight over three rounds, but was then promoted to the co-main event against the undefeated Chimaev. The UFC financially compensated Holland, as well as the other affected fighters.

Unfortunately for 'Trailblazer', the dangerous Chimaev completely ran through him, submitting him via a D'Arce choke in the first round and while it left Holland with burst blood vessels in his eyes and a bruised ego, he was laughing all the way to the bank.

"He put me in a very good spot in my life," Holland said of Chimaev.

"We love that guy. I'm actually thinking about getting a poster of that guy hung up in my bathroom."

But it all seems to be a ruse, as the UFC announced on Wednesday that Holland will face Stephen 'Woderboy' Thompson on a UFC Fight Night on 3 December.

Latest news