Kevin Holland’s late-night sushi trip came with an unexpected and frighting situation.
The UFC welterweight went with his uncle to a sushi restaurant in Houston on late Monday night and ended up getting caught in a situation with an active shooter. Holland and his uncle, along with another bystander, helped neutralize the situation and subdue the gunman until the Houston police arrived.
Holland was quick to react to the situation, even though it took him a second to realize what was happening.
“We were out here just having a good time, we were out here at the sushi bar,” Holland recalled speaking with ESPN. “We were chilling, just having a good time… then I was facing one way and we heard a big bang.
“I thought it was a champagne bottle popping – because there was people behind up having a birthday party. Then I look around and I see people running with like a look of death or something, super worried. So I’m like, ‘I know what this is,’ so I get a little low.”
Once Holland realized what was happening, he immediately took action to help the bystander, who was grappling with the gunman.
“I check the corner, I see the guy grab the guy, but the gun is facing towards we are, so I’m like, ‘Ah, I’m going to make a move this way and get around this, so I don’t have to worry about it,’” Holland said.
“So I go around the other side, I grab a chair. I was going to smack him with a chair. When you get to the other side, you can’t see who the shooter is – the guy on top or the guy on bottom. The guy on top was mainly holding the guy’s hand so he would stop squeezing the trigger. So we get the gun out of that guy’s hand.”
That’s when Holland’s MMA skills kicked in.
“I go ahead and pull the guy into my lap, put the hooks in, put the rear-naked choke. My baby uncle is sitting there and he was looking at me. He’s Herb Dean with the dreads hanging out the back – skinny Herb, that’s what I call him. He’s saying, ‘He’s not asleep, he’s not asleep. Alright, he’s sleep.’ So I let go of the choke, slid on top, got full mount, stretch the arms out so he couldn’t reach for anything.
“I grabbed his backpack and threw it off to the side, made sure the gun was out of the play. … a few minutes later, I’ve never seen police pulled up that fast, so good job to Houston PD. They got there pretty quick. They handcuffed the guy and it was a wrap.”
Holland is glad things didn’t escalate from there, as no one got shot.
“Everyone was blessed,” Holland said. “Nobody got hurt, not even the shooter. Good night.”
This incident marks the second time in six months that Holland, 29, has stopped criminal. Back in October, Holland chased down a suspected car thief and subdued him until police arrived.
Holland fought earlier this month at UFC 272 where he defeated Alex Oliveira by second-round TKO in his return to welterweight.