Kevin Holland admits Colby Covington would probably take him down but says his wrestling is good enough for Michael Chiesa

By Cole Shelton - July 26, 2023

Kevin Holland knows his takedown defense isn’t top level just yet but says it’s plenty good enough to beat Michael Chiesa at UFC 291.

Kevin Holland

When Holland was fighting at middleweight, he was easily taken down by Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori. The losses showed a hole in his game and since then, Holland has dropped to welterweight and hasn’t had to show off much of his takedown defense as he has been fighting strikers.

Yet, at UFC 291, Kevin Holland is set to face Michael Chiesa who is coming off a near two-year layoff and will likely look to wrestle Holland. Although his takedown defense will be tested, Holland has confidence he will be able to get back to his feet and KO Chiesa.

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“We are gonna grapple, am I going to KO him, absolutely? To think he’s not going to grab me before I KO him, I would be f*****g ridiculous. Unless I have one of those f*****g Derrick Lewis, Curtis Blaydes moments, pow. He’s okay, it would be pretty cool,” Holland said at UFC 291 media day.

Holland looking to ‘get paid’

With Kevin Holland expecting to keep the fight standing, many wondered if that means if he’s ready to fight the elite wrestlers at welterweight. However, Holland says that is not the case, and instead believes his takedown defense is just good enough to beat Michael Chiesa, likely not good enough to stuff Colby Covington’s takedowns.

“No, I go and find the worst guy that won a Contender fight and I fight him. The job is to get paid; the job is not to climb the rankings as fast as you can. I said I want to work on my wrestling in the cage against Michael Chiesa,” Holland said. “I didn’t say that my wrestling was good enough to beat Colby Covington. You know what I mean? Me and Colby Covington get in there, I still believe I knock him the f**k out, but he starts sniffing my dick and it might be like that for 25 minutes, that’s just the way it goes.”

Kevin Holland enters his UFC 291 fight coming off a KO win over Santiago Ponzinibbio back in April.


Kevin Holland Michael Chiesa UFC