Kevin Holland will make his first-ever UFC welterweight main event appearance later this year, facing veteran Stephen Thompson on December 3rd. The fight will serve as the main event for a card from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, USA, per an announcement made by the UFC this week.
News of the matchup pushes back on Holland’s recent talks of retiring from MMA. The UFC talent recently declared retirement while on the Real Eyes Recognize Podcast.
“I’m officially retired […] Unless something super-duper magical pops up, I’m pretty happy with the way things are,” he said.
Despite mentioning his intentions to walk away from MMA just earlier this week, all signs indicate that Holland isn’t going anywhere.
Holland’s last appearance saw him get submitted in the first round by undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev. That bout was part of a last-minute shuffle on the UFC 279 lineup that saw many fighters, including Holland, receive a new opponent just one day before the event occurred.
Before that appearance, Holland had been successful in his move to welterweight. The former middleweight scored two finish wins earlier in 2022, stopping Alex Oliveira with strikes and submitting Tim Means with a darce choke.
Thompson will be making his first appearance in nearly an entire year. His last fight dates back to late 2021, when Belal Muhammad beat him in a unanimous decision. Before then, he suffered a decision loss to Gilbert Burns.
Here’s how UFC’s December 3rd event looks now:
Bout 12: Kevin Holland (23-8) vs. Stephen Thompson (16-6-1) (Welterweight)
Bout 11: Tracy Cortez (10-1) vs. Amanda Ribas (11-3) (Flyweight)
Bout 10: Matheus Nicolau (18-2-1) vs. Matt Schnell (16-7) (Flyweight)
Bout 9: Derek Brunson (23-8) vs. Jack Hermansson (23-7) (Middleweight)
Bout 8: Clay Guida (37-22) vs. Scott Holtzman (14-5) (Lightweight)
Bout 7: Eryk Anders (14-7) vs. Kyle Daukaus (11-3) (Middleweight)
Bout 6: Francis Marshall (6-0) vs. Marcelo Rojo (16-8) (Featherweight)
Bout 5: Natan Levy (7-1) vs. Genaro Valdez (10-1) (Lightweight)
Bout 4: Michael Johnson (20-18) vs. Marc Diakiese (16-5) (Lightweight)
Bout 3: Angela Hill (14-12) vs. Emily Ducote (12-6) (Strawweight)
Bout 2: Darren Elkins (27-10) vs. Jonathan Pearce (13-4) (Featherweight)
Bout 1: Yazmin Jauregui (9-0) vs. Istela Nunes (6-3) (Strawweight)