Former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub believes Kevin Holland was giving Stephen Thompson the leg up by forcing the stand up exchanges.
Kevin Holland returned to the octagon last weekend after suffering a devastating loss against Khamzat Chimaev.
He faced former UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson to headline UFC on ESPN 42. Both athletes suffered a loss in their previous bouts with Thompson suffering two consecutive losses against Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns.
Many fans believe that Stephen Thompson has lost his touch in mixed martial arts due to age. However, the 39-year-old displayed he is an elite striker once again. The pair brawled in stand up until Thompson, the underdog, knocked out Holland in the fourth round.
While many fans were excited with the action they displayed, some felt pity for Holland for suffering another devastating loss.
Meanwhile, Brendan Schaub thinks there is another factor that caused his loss. In his podcast, Schaub said that Holland was being a “good guy” by keeping the action on the feet, giving Thompson an easy battle.
“If you’re a black belt, you can drag [Thompson] into deep waters. It can get pretty dicey for a guy at a blue belt level. So, Kevin Holland had a huge advantage there. Then, you do a gentleman’s agreement coming off a loss, as much as I respect it, if I’m his coach and his team I’m saying ‘Dude, let’s forget this gentleman’s agreement’.” Schaub said on The Schaub Show.
Stephen Thompson is known to be a dominant striker. Schaub found it odd that Holland didn’t try to drag the action to the ground, where he would have a better chance to win.
“If the submissions there, go for it, man. We need wins, you need wins, especially in the welterweight division you need wins. Because, that gentleman’s agreement doesn’t pay your mortgage. The gentleman’s agreement doesn’t extend your contract with the UFC. The Dana Whites and Mick Maynards of the world don’t care about a gentleman’s agreement.” Schaub added.
Holland had let Thompson up twice – and reportedly didn’t want to grapple. Afterwards he received a lot of criticism for bad FightIQ because he likely had the edge against Thompson on the ground.
Both Thompson and Holland suffered from broken hands during the contest with Holland requiring surgery.