Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 9 unfortunately kicked off fight week with the loss of one of its main card bouts.
Sources have confirmed that Kevin Holland has had to withdraw from his UFC on ESPN 9 bout opposite Daniel Rodriguez because of an undisclosed injury. News of Holland’s withdrawal was first reported by MMA Junkie and later confirmed by him in his Instagram stories.
“Sorry to everyone who was looking forward to the scrap,” Holland said. “I’ve done this rehab before and I hope to run through it as I did the last time. We will be back. First thing’s first, getting back healthy.”
Holland had been hoping to become one of the rare breed of UFC fighters to pick up two victories within a 14-day span. He last fought on the UFC on ESPN 8 card on Saturday, May 16. UFC on ESPN 8 was the third of the UFC’s three events over an eight-day span when it resumed operations. Holland stopped Anthony Hernandez 39 seconds into their bout in Jacksonville, Fla., making him a prime candidate for a quick return.
Rodriguez is on a seven-fight winning streak, including his UFC debut victory over Tim Means at UFC on ESPN+ 25 on Feb. 15. UFC officials are believed to be searching for a replacement, which is made more difficult than usual with travel and other related restrictions because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
[UPDATE: UFC officials moved swiftly and inked Iridium Sports Agency fighter Gabe Green to fill in for Kevin Holland. Green will be making his UFC debut at Saturday’s event riding a six-fight winning streak.]
UFC on ESPN 9 is expected to take place on Saturday, May 30, at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas. The location is pending approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which will make a decision on Wednesday. The UFC on ESPN 9 fight card is headlined by a welterweight showdown between former champion Tyron Woodley and rising contender Gilbert Burns.
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