Kevin Holland is officially making his move down to welterweight after booking a fight against Alex Oliveira at the upcoming UFC 273 card on March 5.
Multiple sources confirmed the matchup to MMA Fighting on Monday after Holland first announced the news via his Only Fans page.
Holland has been planning the move down to 170 pounds for the past couple of months after previously competing in the middleweight division in the UFC. While he has fought at welterweight in the past, Holland will be competing in the division for the first time since 2017 when he was part of the roster at LFA.
Holland told MMA Fighting this past December that he didn’t take his previous cuts down to welterweight seriously enough but he’s taking a much different approach this time around. He’s also expecting to finally negate the size advantage held against him so often at middleweight where he suffered losses in two of his last three fights in the division.
“Make no mistake about it, I’m getting humped by these huge ass guys at 185,” Holland said. “They’re not doing no damage, they’re just laying on top of me. I go down 170 pounds, if I can get up from these guys who are pretty good wrestlers at 85, I know for sure what I can do at 170.”
As for Oliveira, he will look to bounce back after dropping his past three fights in a row.
The Brazilian “Cowboy” has always been considered a tough out for anybody in the welterweight division while holding notable wins over Carlos Condit, Tim Means and Max Griffin.
Holland vs. Oliveira will join the UFC 272 lineup, which is expected to feature a pair of title fights at the top of the card including Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan in a bantamweight championship unification bout.
Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.