The newly-promoted Eagles had been confident of securing a deal for the Aston Villa striker, but established Premier League outfit Fulham have swooped in to sign the 29-year-old
The Premier League new-boys had hoped to make the striker their 10th signing of the close-season but Holloway admitted that a deal now looks unlikely.
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Palace wanted to sign the 29-year-old on a season-long loan, whereas Fulham look set to complete a permanent deal for the England international.
Speaking on BBC London 94.9 Holloway said: "Fulham could wait a lot longer than we could so we've tried to force it, they've stepped in, took our deal.
"I was told last night [Wednesday] he was coming to us. I was told this morning he was coming to us. It's life.
"They [Fulham] are bigger sharks than us. My chairman's going to have to get used to that."
Fulham would be Bent's third London club, having already played for Charlton Athletic and Tottenham.