Michael Bisping thinks Kevin Holland could have beat Stephen Thompson at UFC Orlando had he fought a little smarter and taken advantage of the times he took ‘Wonderboy’ to the ground.
‘The Count’ feels ‘Trailblazer’ demonstrated low fight IQ by letting Thompson back to his feet instead of following through with his takedowns and potentially finishing ‘Wonderboy’ on the ground.
Bisping was blown away by how exciting the fight was but felt Holland let his ego get the better of him by choosing to keep the fight standing and not capitalizing on his takedowns.
“We see all the time, people say, ‘The first one to shoot is a coward,’” Bisping, who called the action ringside, said at the UFC Orlando post-fight show on ESPN+ (h/t MMA Fighting). “But then guess what, people shoot, because you know what, it’s allowed in the rules. It’s a mixed martial arts contest. This was one of the first times, and maybe the only time, I’ve actually seen somebody truly live up to that.
“Kevin Holland had top position. Clearly. A couple of times, he was like, ‘No, no, no. We’re going to strike. That’s what we came here to do.’ I believe he will regret that decision going forward, because that was his ego getting the better of him.”
He continued: “This is not a popularity contest in terms of, ‘Oh, everyone thinks I’m a real badass guy.’ No, you come here to win a fight. This is high stakes. Do you want to be a champion? Do you want to earn a lot of money? Do you want to be known as one of the best fighters in the world, or a guy who puts on a show and possibly gives away a victory. That was not high fight IQ.”
Holland’s decision to keep the fight standing ultimately cost him the win as he lost to Thompson via fourth-round TKO after his corner decided to stop the fight at the end of the round. His last win came this past June when he defeated Tim Means via submission at UFC on ESPN 37.
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