Photos via LFA and CES

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Holland, Will Santiago to Square Off on Contender Series

The third matchup for Contender Series's sophomore season has surfaced-- and it's quite the middleweight scrap!

Late last week, top middleweight prospect Kevin Holland (12-3) made the announcement that he will be competing on the upcoming season of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series“.  This afternoon, MMA Today has learned of his opponent, and the date in which the bout is scheduled.

Last month, Holland competed last month on Bellator 195‘s undercard, defeating fellow prospect Teagan Dooley by first round submission.  The win over Dooley brings the “Trail Blazer’s” win streak to three entering his UFC Fight Pass debut this summer.  Since 2015, Holland has only lost once– to UFC welterweight standout Curtis Millender.  The success the 25-year-old has garnered is impressive– earning him the ranking of best middleweight in the US West, by Tapology.

On the June 12th edition of Contender Series, Holland will take on former CES MMA welterweight title challenger Will Santiago (9-4).  Currently an instructor at JacksonWink MMA, Santiago has come a long way– both inside the cage, and outside.  Well-documented is the Lawrence, Massachusetts native’s past.  Spending his youth involved in gang life, he was sentenced to prison at just 17 years old.  Now 35 year old, “The Brown Bomber” has used mixed martial arts to turn his life around.

To learn more about what to expect out of this season of Contender Series, check out our guide!

Stay tuned to MMA Today for all of the latest news, updates and announcements concerning the return of Contender Series!


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Nolan King is a MMA Today senior columnist, writer and renowned MMA insider. Nolan's other freelance work can also be found on FloCombat, Tapology, and MMA Brasil.