UFC President Dana White was critical of middleweight contender Kevin Holland after his performance against Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Vegas 22.
White told Yahoo! Sports after the fight which saw Brunson outwrestle and control Holland for five rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory, that he thought Holland's theatrics during the contest were a result of a mental breakdown.
“I think that was a mental breakdown,” White said. “The only other thing I saw like it was [in boxing] when Lennox Lewis fought that guy [Oliver McCall] who kept his hands at his side and was crying. I don’t know what he was doing. I think he might not have been able to handle the pressure and just broke mentally. I haven’t seen anything like that.”
Holland who was riding a five-fight winning streak, talked throughout the fight to Brunson something he's been known for throughout his career, but he even started conversating with retired former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who was sitting cage side next to White, asking him for tips to defend Brunson's takedowns, antics White clearly wasn't fond of. However, Brunson doesn't see it that way and believes it simply was Holland's lack of defensive wrestling that lost him the matchup not some sort of mental lapse.
“No, he just couldn’t stop the takedowns,” Brunson said at the post-fight press conference (h/t MMAFighting). “It’s funny. He kept presenting his hips. He’s a guy who’s very explosive, likes to run in but he’s long so he kind of gets away with it at times. So he kept presenting his hips, and he was there for the taking down. That’s what Kevin Holland do, he talked the whole time. Anybody can change the narrative.”