There was animosity created between Kevin Holland and Khamzat Chimaev in the week leading up to the UFC 279 event. A press conference was canceled due to their feud (Nate Diaz also participated), and after Khamzat's fall at the weigh-in, the UFC matched them against each other.
From the very beginning, Chimaev made it clear that he did not plan to engage in unnecessary exchanges on the stand. He immediately took down Holland and went looking for a grounder finish. It should be noted that Holland raised his hand at the beginning of the match and expected a sporting salute from Chimaev, but they did the salute before the match and Khamzat immediately went for the demolition.
Khamzat Chimaev def. Kevin Holland via submission
Holland scrambled well and did not allow Chimaev to easily establish control. However, after about a minute of fighting and several "scrambles", Chimaev got into a position for a "d'arc choke" and was trying to finish Holland.
Kevin did not give up, he was looking for a way out, but Chimaev presented excellent control, as well as great ground skills. Holland soon had to tap on the "d'arce choke", and Chimaev reminded the fans why there was so much "hype" around him.
He needed two minutes and 13 seconds to finish Kevin Holland, who Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson failed to finish in a five-round match. Holland went without landing a shot in this fight. Kevin Holland is a black belt in BJJ and a very good fighter, but Khamzat Chimaev is simply on another level against Holland.
Kevin was angry after the defeat, but Chimaev greeted him and Holland quickly came to terms with the fact that he lost to a better fighter. This is Chimaev's sixth victory in his sixth UFC appearance, and after the victory, he told the audience: “Hey what now, say something,” said Chimaev, adding that he could lose weight for the welterweight category, but the doctors prevented him.
Chimaev was very emotional and tense after this victory, but that is not surprising given all the criticism and hatred he has encountered in the past few days.