Following the electric main event between Stephen Thompson (17-6-1 MMA) and Kevin Holland (23-9 MMA), ‘Wonderboy’ has disclosed that the pair had a deal heading into their contest.
Facing off against the always talkative Kevin Holland, Thompson didn’t have much time to throw a strike before Holland lived up to his nickname ‘Big mouth’ as he proposed a deal for the former UFC title challenger.
During a post-fight interview, Stephen Thompson revealed that he and Holland agreed to keep the fight a stand-up affair and let the best man win.
“It was kind of one of those unwritten rules we had going into this fight. I know later on he was shooting, he had a busted hand, but I think I fell down in the first round, and he let me back up,” Thompson stated.
“He told me in the first round, ‘I’m not taking you down.’ Alright, sounds good to me. It was kind of one of those handshakes we had in the first round, nobody was going to go down.”
Stephen Thompson expresses his respect for Kevin Holland
At first, both fighters lived up to their promise exchanging heavy blows as both fighters looked for the knockout blow.
However, while the fight progressed Stephen Thompson started to loosen up and began to really tee off on ‘Trailblazer’ as he displayed his superior striking in the Octagon.
Despite the toughness and durability shown by Kevin Holland, he eventually shot for takedowns later in the fight due to an injury to his right hand.
Nevertheless, Thompson expressed that the fight was an amiable affair throughout the duration of their encounter.
“He was telling me to slow down, and I was telling him I’m sorry the entire time. “He was like, ‘You got me good,’ I was like ‘I’m sorry, man!’ It was fun. He’s hilarious.”
“Whenever we head-butted each other, he was like, ‘Oh man, I’m sorry,’ and I was like, ‘No, man, it’s OK, keep fighting, keep fighting,’ We had some fun conversations in there.”
Stephen Thompson further illustrated his respect for his dance partner, Kevin Holland detailing that without him the fight wouldn’t have been what it was, after earning ‘Fight of the Night’.
“We wouldn’t have put on a good show if it wasn’t for him as well. I appreciate Kevin,” said Thompson, who won via fourth-round TKO due to corner stoppage.” (Transcribed by MMAFighting.com)
The 39-year-old is happy to get back to winning ways following a two-fight losing streak and although he turns 40 in February, he exclaimed he is in this game for the long hall so MMA fans are just itching to see who is next for the self-proclaimed ‘Nicest Mother F**ker’.