When it came down to choosing The Scrap’s award for the Male Fighter of the Year, UFC middleweight Kevin Holland was a no-brainer. “Trailblazer” fought five times in 2020 and managed to earn just as many wins, all while picking up three Performance of the Night awards.
At UFC Fight Night Jacksonville in May, Holland destroyed Anthony Hernandez (7-2) taking him down with a knee to the body and winning the bout at 39 seconds of the first round.
Next he took on Joaquin Buckley (12-3) in August at UFC Vegas 6. The 28-year-old landed a right hand knocking Buckley to the floor. At 32 seconds of the third round, he was victorious again. This win earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
A little over a month later on September 19, Holland was on the card at UFC Vegas 11. He fought Darren “The Dentist” Stewart (12-6) winning the bout by split decision.
In a quick turn-around, we next saw the middleweight earn another Performance of the Night at UFC Vegas 12. Holland faced “The American Badboy” Charlie Ontiveros (11-7). He won the fight in the first round with Ontiveros verbally submitting after suffering a neck injury from a nasty slam.
Then, Holland was set to face Jack Hermansson at UFC on ESPN 19 on December 5 to replace an injured Darren Till. The fight was cancelled on November 28; however, when it was announced that Holland tested positive for COVID-19.
In his final match of 2020, Holland ended up fighting Ronaldo Souza (26-9) at UFC 256 on December 12. He won the fight by knockout in the first round earning him yet another Performance of the Night bonus.
Looking at Holland’s success in 2020, he is definitely the prime candidate for Male Fighter of the Year. I mean come on, to add to his list of fights in 2020, he even battled COVID. He fought a total of five times during a pandemic and also completely dominated in his fights. Holland, Holland, Holland, we can’t say Holland enough at The Scrap!
Honorable Mentions: Deiveson Figueiredo, Israel Adesanya and Teofimo Lopez.