In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 38, Kevin Holland took on Kyle Daukaus in a crucial middleweight matchup. Holland was coming off a two-fight losing streak.
After a spectacular 2020 run, where Holland picked up 5 wins fans thought he would rise to the top of the division in the next few fights. However, the losses against Derek Brunson and Marvin Vettori put a halt to the hype train behind Trailblazer.
The odds were against Kevin Holland in this fight, who was expected to show up with an improved wrestling skillset against Kyle Daukaus, who can finish the fights on the ground.
And things just got worse for Kevin Holland as the fight ended in a No Contest after a headbutt and a rear-naked choke submission.
Kevin Holland did look great until the fight lasted and showed impressive takedown defense. But, in the first round, when Holland threw a check left hook, his head collided with Daukaus’. It resulted in Holland getting knocked out for a brief period of time as he felt forward.
Referee Dan Miragliotta almost stopped the fight after Holland fell on the ground. However, somehow Holland kept on fighting as the fight went to the ground.
Daukaus got Holland in a guillotine and then transitioned into a standing rear-naked choke to finish the fight. Though Holland tried his best to get out of the position he was clearly hurt from the headbutt and ended up tapping out to the submission.
Following the fight, referee Dan Miragliotta discussed the situation with Herb Dean and Nevada State Athletic Commission officials and decided to call the fight a No Contest.
Did Dan Miragliotta make the right call with Kevin Holland vs Kyle Daukaus?
The head butt was not intentional but the decision from the referee was certainly fitting. It’s not the first time, we have seen a headbutt seriously affecting the outcome of a fight.
In the light heavyweight fight between Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson, a headbutt played a crucial factor in the outcome of the fight as Rumble knocked out Gustafsson.
A No Contest does help the star power of Kevin Holland but it’s not the ideal situation for him. Kyle Daukaus was a favorable matchup for Trailblazer and the fans were expecting a dominant performance from him.
Nevertheless, most of the fans would seem to agree with Miragliotta’s decision even if it’s controversial.