Kevin Holland will now face Ronaldo Souza at UFC 256.
Kevin Holland will look to win his fifth match this year.
Kevin Holland (20-5-0) was set to fight Jack Hermansson in the main card on Dec. 5, but those plans changed when Holland tested positive for COVID a week prior to the fight. It did not take long for his camp to set him up with a new main event card and he will now face Ronaldo Souza (26-8-0) at UFC 256 on Saturday, Dec. 12.
While it is fortunate for Holland to get another main card event so quickly, the swap must be a bit of a let down. Holland, who is unranked, could have skyrocketed his standing among his fellow middleweights with a win over the #4 ranked Hermansson. He will have to settle for a fight with the veteran Souza, who’s own fight with Uriah Hall earlier in the year was postponed due to a positive COVID test.
On paper, this seems like Holland’s matched to lose, as Souza has been on the decline as of late. Souza has lost five out of his last nine fights, including his last fight against Jan Blachowicz that saw the aging Souza make his light heavyweight debut. Still, Souza brings a lot of experience to the table and can’t be counted out. At age 40, Souza still looks as hungry as ever for his first UFC title and is still capable of going the distance against some tough competition including the aforementioned Blachowicz and before that Jack Hermansson.
In an interview with Sherdog, Souza explained his mindset about getting a new opponent at the last minute.
“I did all my camp based on a southpaw about my height, [but] now I’ll face a much taller, orthodox fighter,” Souza said. “But it is what it is. I just want to fight and get back in the win column.”
On the opposite side of the ring, Holland has been on a hot streak. He has won four fights back to back in a short amount of time. While Souza may not be ranked, he is still highly respected as a fighter and could continue to prove why Holland could eventually earn a possible title shot of his own.