Derek Brunson pulls off another upset, as he derails Kevin Holland off his hype train at the main event of UFC Vegas 22. Brunson continues getting matched with up-and-comers and prospects; men favored to take him out and climb towards the title. But Brunson keeps dominating them and has won his last three bouts, finally making the most of both his athleticism and experience.
The two opened up the main event with leg kicks But after an early slip from Holland, Brunson immediately capitalizes and takes the top position!
Brunson then drops some heavy ground and pounds with elbows from his guard and controls the rest of the round. The second round was vital for Holland, as he lands a big counter hook. Good kicks too — in between a cage-side conversation with Khabib. Brunson’s takedown is stuffed, but he lands a hard left on the break. Holland starts connecting with his right hand, and Brunson is hurt! Holland tries to force the finish, but Brunson manages to survive and convert the chaos into a takedown, Brunson then spends the entire round on the top.
In the third and the fourth round, as has become a pattern, Holland starts the round quickly with good right hands. This time, he’s able to deny a few takedown attempts. But Brunson tries to force the clinch and takes Holland down. After a feeling-out process, in the final round the two trade big power shots. Good jab from Holland. Brunson ties him up and forces the clinch. The two trade knees and Holland scores an inside trip takedown of his own — the first man to take down Derek Brunson!
Kevin Holland lands a right hand that drops Derek Brunson
Kevin Holland connected a brutal right hand after a flurry of shots that almost took Brunson down. However, the Big Mouth was not able to secure a finish, with Brunson recovering quickly and going straight for the takedown.
The Trailblazer had moments in the fight, however, that wasn’t enough to finish Brunson, as he ultimately spent 15:28 minutes i.e more than three rounds of the fight – in the top position and managed to secure the unanimous decision victory (49-46; 49-46; 49-45). This now puts Brunson in a prime position to challenge a top 5 opponent, as he made his plans clear in the post-fight interview.
“Me and [Paulo] Costa is a fight that I’d like to have,” Brunson said after pointing out that Costa should be free for a fight in the near future after being forced out of a planned fight with Robert Whittaker due to lingering effects of COVID-19.
Also Read: Kevin Holland Aiming Paulo Costa Next
It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for Derek Brunson, who is largely being offered, up-and-coming contenders. Needless to say, Brunson vs Costa is an exciting fight and one that could bring Brunson back in the title contention.