Derek Brunson won his fourth consecutive victory, beating Kevin Holland this Saturday night in the headline of the UFC Fight Night held at the UFC Apex facility. The veteran posted a unanimous decision victory, which puts him back in contention for some major fight against the division’s best middleweights.
The clash of two completely different fighters in all aspects of the fight saw Brunson dominantly winning the battle. The judges scored 49-45, 49-46, and 49-46 in his favor. Now, a quiet and wrestling-oriented Brunson was going up against “Big Mouth” Holland, who is a puncher and definitely not a guy who likes to wrestle.
While Holland trash-talked throughout the entire fight, Brunson quietly did his thing and collected points while dominating the canvas.
“I was so busy trying to punch him in the face in between him talking that I didn’t really pick up too much,” Brunson said after the fight. “I just really wanted to hit him in the mouth while he was talking.”
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— UFC News (@UFCNews) March 21, 2021
His dominance started following Holland’s slip in the opening round once he immediately took down the opponent and dominated being on top of the same.
The second round was the turning point of this event, with Holland missing a perfect opportunity to hurt Burnson, who found himself in one very problematic position. Holland made a combo that dazzled his rival, but didn’t react well enough and allowed Brunson to get out and save his skin. He wouldn’t get another chance like this one, and we can say that “Big Mouth” has a lot to regret for.
After escaping death, Brunson was more focused, and he didn’t allow any problematic situations until the end of the fight. The 37-year old would immediately attack Holland following the start of the round and drag him down to the canvas where he had control all the time. There was one moment in the fight when Holland got on top, but that didn’t last too long because he couldn’t overpower his opponent.
Though, “Big Mouth” celebrated this situation, saying that he got some advice from Khabib between the rounds on how to wrestle.
“He gave me advice going into the fifth round, and then I got the takedown,” Holland said. “Very interesting.”
— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2021
He also said that he might try to cut the weight in the future and fight in the welterweight, because he doesn’t have a proper frame for the middleweight, which was apparent against Brunson, who was at least 15 pounds heavier tonight.
His quest for the UFC record with straight wins in one year was stopped, and Holland stayed at five victories, which tied him with Roger Huerta. His future will be interesting because of the announcement that he might drop to the welterweight.
As for Brunson, he will be in the combination for another big fight, and after tonight’s battle, the veteran called out Paulo Costa, who still wants a rematch against Adesanya. It seems that the chances for this bout to happen are extremely big, because UFC wants Costa to prove his worth in one or two fights before he gets an opportunity to challenge Izzy once again.
Brunson is on a four-match winning streak, in three of them being an underdog. He doesn’t have too much time left, which is why he needs to grab the next chance and open himself a door to the title fight. Defeating Costa would definitely earn Brunson a shot at the belt.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.