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Middleweight Kevin Holland’s main event opportunity has been scrapped after he tested positive for COVID-19 one week out from his headline bout at UFC on ESPN 19.
Holland was due to take on Jack Hermansson after agreeing to step in to replace Darren Till in the Dec. 5 headliner at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. But news of his positive test has nixed his main event shot.
Holland subsequently confirmed the news via his social media accounts, tweeting, “I have been pulled from my main event bout next weekend due to a positive pre fight covid test. Hoping to test clean and get back inside the cage ASAP.”
Holland was set to make his fifth appearance of 2020 after claiming four consecutive victories earlier in the calendar year.
He kicked off his current winning streak with a first-round TKO of Anthony Hernandez at UFC on ESPN 8 in Jacksonville in May, then knocked out Joaquin Buckley in the third round at UFC Fight Night 174 in August.
He edged a split-decision verdict over Darren Stewart in September, then, in his most recent outing, finished Charlie Ontiveros in the first round at UFC Fight Night 181 in October.
His form, coupled with his willingness to step up on short notice, meant the 28-year-old Texas native was set to compete in his first UFC main event on Dec. 5. But that opportunity will have to wait for another day after his positive COVID test.
At the time of writing, no announcement regarding Hermansson’s involvement, or a potential short-notice replacement, has been made. The news follows hot on the heels of Curtis Blaydes’ positive COVID test ahead of Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 18 headliner.
Blaydes’ positive test forced UFC officials to cancel the planned main event between Blaydes and Derrick Lewis and promote the light heavyweight fight between Devin Clark and Anthony Smith to the headline slot.