Not long after Kevin Holland stopped an alleged car thief last October, the UFC veteran apparently had an unexpected run-in with the law of his own.
Holland revealed the story unprompted on a recent episode of The MMA Hour, explaining he was briefly arrested for unpaid traffic tickets shortly after his no-contest with Kyle Daukaus at UFC Vegas 38 — tickets that, unbeknownst to the 29-year-old California native, had been sitting around collecting dust since his teenage years.
“I had a Texas ID when I was 18, right?” Holland explained on The MMA Hour. “But then when I got like 20, 21, I moved back to California and I got me an actual driver license, because I used to drive without a driver license for the longest [time], right? Just thugging it. And when I went and got my driver license, I tried to pay all my tickets, right? So especially when I started making money, I paid all of my tickets.
“I guess we couldn’t find the tickets that were underneath my Texas ID, so I was driving to the airport [in late 2021] to go pick up my friend, and I got pulled over, and he was like, ‘Do you have another ID?’ I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, you do.’ I was like, ‘No, I don’t.’ He was like, ‘Well, I’m taking you to jail because you have such and such tickets.’ I was like, ‘Bro, I don’t have any tickets.’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’”
Baffled by the situation, Holland said he was then handcuffed and taken to a nearby jail, where he was immediately recognized for his UFC exploits by the booking officer.
“He was like, ‘Oh, why did you arrest this guy?’ And I was like, ‘He says I have tickets, bro. I don’t have no tickets,’” Holland recalled. “He was like, ‘Nah, bro. You’ve got tickets.’ I was like, ‘I don’t have no tickets.’ So he shows me and I’ve got like $5,000 worth of tickets.
“I had some cash in my wallet, so he was like, ‘We can use this cash to pay some of your tickets right now, and we can let you go.’ And I was like, ‘Bet. Do it. I don’t want to be here.’ So I just sat there and talked to him for a minute, we chopped it up, talked about how I’d make a good detective and whatnot, and then I went home.”
All in all, Holland said it was a brief trip. Considering how innocuous Holland’s offenses even were, the officer who initially arrested him also seemingly heard it from his peers.
“Once I got there, he got in trouble. They were like, ‘Bro, you could’ve let him make it.’ So he had to apologize to me,” Holland said, laughing. “So it was pretty cool, it was pretty cool.
“The only thing that sucked is my friend didn’t get picked up from the airport. They let me get my phone, I was like, ‘Hey, you’re going to have to Uber. I can’t pick you up.’”
It’s a story that fortunately had a happy enough ending for Holland, who is scheduled to drop down to the welterweight division for the first time since 2017 when he meets Alex Oliveira on March 5 at UFC 272.
Even if Holland is the first to admit things may have gone differently in his younger years.
“They tried to repo my car — I didn’t have to pay to get it out though,” Holland said. “I went straight to the repo spot and they gave me my car, so it was pretty cool. It was straight.
“When I was younger, that would’ve been bad. [But] it wasn’t that bad, so it was whatever.”