Riverside native Kevin Holland gets first shot at UFC glory

Kevin Holland‘s enthusiasm and confidence can not be contained.

And why should they?

Holland, a native of Riverside, will fight Thiago Santos (17-6) in a middleweight matchup during UFC 227 at Staples Center.

It will be Holland’s first time on an official UFC card, after achieving an 13-3 mark in various MMA competitions. Holland’s last fight, which came on June 12, was a victory on the opening show of the second season of ‘Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.’

Holland, nicknamed ‘Trail Blazer’, has won his last four bouts.

Again … enthusiasm and confidence.

“It’s time to go to work, time to make some money,” said Holland, 25. “I didn’t know who the guy was. We’re all confident, we are all fighters. I asked who he was and my manager said, ‘that’s the next guy you are doing to knock out’ so I said, ‘ok, let’s run with it.”

Holland (listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds) was mainly raised in Rancho Cucamonga, but currently fights out of Fort Worth, Texas. Holland says, despite his short notice for Saturday’s fight, he hopes to have some family in attendance at Staples Center … and even more watching the matchup ‘all over the IE (Inland Empire).”

“I’m hoping to get a good turnout at the weigh-ins (on Friday),” Holland said.

Watch more from Holland from UFC 227 Media Day on Thursday on top of this post.