Kevin Holland ‘heard the pop’ during nasty arm break on Michal Oleksiejczuk at UFC 302

Kevin Holland wasn’t trying to hurt Michal Oleksiejczuk.

On Saturday evening, Holland secured another big win in his UFC career, earning a technical submission stoppage over Oleksiejczuk by gruesomely snapping his arm with an armbar in just 94 seconds. And speaking with reporters afterward at his post-fight scrum, Holland blamed referee Herb Dean for forcing his hand.

“Herb Dean’s fault,” Holland joked. “I asked him to stop it a little earlier, but Herb Dean as like, ‘You’ve got to go a little bit longer.’ Alright, cool, cool.

“When I first put him in the armbar, I heard the pop. After that, it wasn’t popping again and I was like, I’m going to have to do a full-blown break. So I kept trying to do a little chihuahua scoot, get myself underneath there and then hit a good pull after that. But the guy is tough as nails. He hit me with a good shot. Tough guy. I had a feeling he’d be like — I fought John Phillips for my first UFC win, and I had a feeling he would be like John Phillips but better.

“I told my coaches, if he hits me with a good shot, this fight’s going to the ground. He hit me with a good shot and the fight got to the ground. Good job.”

Oleksiejczuk did land a good shot on Holland, flooring him early in the round. But as he followed Holland to the mat, that’s where “Trailblazer” was able to lock up the armbar from his back. But Holland clarified that he wasn’t hurt from the punch; he just fell over, which was a good thing in the long run.

“I wasn’t hurt at all,” Holland said. “He simply hit me with a good shot and I was moving at the same time, so it was like — I’m 6-foot-2 but my arms are long like I’m seven-feet tall, so I’m a bit clumsy sometimes. … So I fall over, they come on top, they get subbed. It’s good for me.”

After the stoppage, Oleksiejczuk immediately protested to Herb Dean as he never tapped and “Hussar” claimed his arm was fine. And for his part, Holland hopes that’s true, because he has no ill will towards Oleksiejczuk and doesn’t want him to be facing a serious injury.

“That guy didn’t do anything wrong to me, so I don’t want anything wrong to happen to him,” Holland said. “I definitely want to win the fight because I like both of my checks, but no harm I wish done to him. So I hope he’s OK and I hope it’s truly not broken because he seemed to be a cool guy.”

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