There was a ton of mutual respect between Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and Kevin Holland ahead of their UFC Orlando headliner on Saturday. So much respect that the two apparently had an agreement entering the contest.
As Thomspon told reporters during the post-fight scrum, he and Holland agreed to keep the fight standing.
“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,” he said (quotes by MMA Fighting).
“He told me in the first round, ‘I’m not taking you down.’ All right, sounds good to me. It was kind of one of those handshakes we had in the first round, nobody was going to go down.”
Holland eventually shot for takedowns towards the end of the fight because of a hurt right hand. But as Thompson continued to reveal, the fight itself was a cordial affair all throughout.
“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.
“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.
Thompson, who turns 40 in February, broke a two-fight skid with Saturday’s win, as he improves to a record of 17-6-1. Holland, meanwhile, is now on a two-fight skid, as he drops to a win-loss slate of 23-9 (with 1 NC). Both men took home $50K for Fight of the Night.