After his loss at UFC Vegas 24, where does Kelvin Gastelum go from here?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 24, Kelvin Gastelum (16-7, 1 NC) had a golden opportunity. Entering 2021, Gastelum was not looking great in terms of being a top contender at middleweight.

The former interim title challenger had lost three fights in a row heading into 2021. Gastelum was scheduled to take on Ian Heinisch earlier this year and it was a fight that was pivotal for Gastelum moving forward.

The two fought at UFC 258 and Gastelum went back to his wrestling roots to snap his losing streak. With taking no damage in the Heinisch fight, Gastelum told the UFC that he would be ready to fill in if someone fell out of the upcoming middleweight main events.

Robert Whittaker (23-5) was set to headline UFC Vegas 24 against Paulo Costa. However, Costa ended up sick and had to pull out of the fight due to his inability to train. With that, Gastelum volunteered to step in.

Originally, Gastelum was supposed to face Whittaker at UFC 234 for the middleweight title. However, Whittaker had to pull out of that fight after having to undergo emergency surgery the day of the fight. If Gastelum was able to pull off a victory, he would’ve been right back in title contention.

However, that didn’t happen at UFC Vegas 24. Gastelum did have moments where he hit Whittaker clean, but overall he was a step behind all night. Whittaker rocked him a couple of times and ended up with a clean sweep on the judges scorecards.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 24?

With this loss at UFC Vegas 24, Gastelum is just 1-4 in his last five fights. A couple of years ago, Gastelum looked like he could be a middleweight champion, but it’s really hard to imagine that scenario now.

So where does Kelvin Gastelum go from here? Well, I personally would love to see Gastelum attempt to cut back to 170 pounds. I truly believe that if he did it the right way, Gastelum could be a force in the UFC’s welterweight division.

However, I don’t believe that’s likely. In looking at the middleweight division, I think a perfect next opponent would be Kevin Holland (21-7). Holland was 5-0 in 2020, but has come back down to earth in 2021 with headlining losses to Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson.

Still, The Trailblazer is still ranked 12th at middleweight. He’s talked about moving to welterweight as well, but if he stays at 185 pounds, I think he would be the perfect opponent for Gastelum’s next UFC fight.

After dominant win at UFC Vegas 23, what’s next for Marvin Vettori?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 23, The Italian Dream Marvin Vettori (17-4-1) was looking to pick up his fourth consecutive win. Vettori took on one of the fighters of the year in 2020 Kevin Holland (21-7).

Originally, Vettori was supposed to fight Darren Till (18-3-1) at UFC Vegas 23 in the main event. However, just a little over a week before the fight, Till broke his collarbone in training and had to pull out of the fight.

Kevin Holland had just headlined UFC Vegas 22 against Derek Brunson. That night, Holland saw his five-fight winning streak come to an end. However, he didn’t take a lot of damage. He immediately volunteered to step in for the injured Till.

The promotion quickly put the fight together. Holland came into Saturday night more focused than we’ve seen him in a long time. However, The Italian Dream was willing to do whatever it took to take one more step towards a UFC title shot.

While Holland had success on the feet, the story of UFC Vegas 23 was the wrestling of Marvin Vettori. Vettori was able to get Holland down at will and ended up setting a middleweight record for takedowns on his way to winning a lopsided decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?

After the fight was over, Vettori said that he wanted to face Israel Adesanya (20-1) in October for the UFC middleweight title. Vettori and Adesanya fought to a split decision in April of 2018.

The Italian Dream has two headlining UFC wins under his belt now and he’s definitely one of the options to face the champion next. However, is that going to be what’s next for Marvin Vettori?

Unfortunately for Vettori, there’s only one way I see him getting the next title shot. The only way I see him getting the next shot is if Kelvin Gastelum defeats Robert Whittaker (22-5) this Saturday night.

Robert Whittaker is the former middleweight champion and the only man to defeat him at middleweight is Adesanya. If Whittaker wins this Saturday, he would have three huge wins since he lost the title at UFC 243.

However, if Gastelum wins, there is a shot that Vettori will be next. If Vettori doesn’t get a UFC title shot next, one opponent I like for him is Derek Brunson (22-7). Brunson has won four in a row and he’s ranked fourth at middleweight. That could be an option or perhaps they try to make the Till fight again.

What’s next for Kevin Holland after his loss at UFC Vegas 23?

Kevin Holland

Entering 2021, there might not have been a hotter fighter in the UFC than Kevin Holland (21-7). After getting off to an okay start to his career inside the octagon, Holland exploded in 2020.

Holland was on the shortlist for fighter of the year in 2020 after going 5-0 inside the octagon. The UFC gave Holland his first main event last month when he took on Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

With how popular Kevin Holland had become, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibilities that he would have earned a title shot had he impressively defeated Holland. However, that didn’t happen.

Instead, Holland was relatively exposed by Derek Brunson. Brunson used his wrestling to take Holland down pretty much at will. While Holland had successful moments on the feet, Brunson walked to a decision win.

After the fight was over, Holland talked about moving to the UFC‘s welterweight division. However, when Darren Till fell out of the UFC Vegas 23 main event, Kevin Holland volunteered to face Marvin Vettori (16-4-1).

A win over Vettori would have put Holland back in the mix at 185 pounds. However, it was a very tall order in front of him as Vettori has been surging as of late. Kevin Holland went into Saturday with a different focus and he took this fight way more serious.

That said, it still didn’t matter. Holland had no answer for the wrestling of Marvin Vettori. Vettori ended up setting a UFC middleweight record for takedowns on his way to winning a lopsided 50-44 decision.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 23?

All of the momentum that Kevin Holland had in 2020 hit a brick wall to start 2021. The reality is that Kevin Holland has been completely exposed in his last two UFC matchups. With that said, what’s next?

The first thing is that Holland needs to take some time off. Holland has fought seven times in the last eleven months. He needs to slow things down and really focus on improving his wrestling before taking his next fight.

On top of that, I believe he should pursue the UFC’s welterweight division. Unless Holland plans on bulking up, I feel like welterweight could be the spot for him. He consistently weighs in under the limit at middleweight.

Holland could be a force at 170 and there are plenty of great matchups there. I think he needs to take some time to improve his wrestling and then take a fun matchup for his UFC welterweight debut. I don’t think this is the end for Kevin Holland, I just see it as a speed bump.

Marvin Vettori dominates Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 23

In the main event of UFC Vegas 23, we saw a fun matchup in the welterweight division. The Italian Dream Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) was looking to continue his winning streak against the entertaining, Kevin Holland (21-6).

Kevin Holland had about as good of a 2020 as you could have. Holland was a perfect 5-0 and he capped the year by knocking out Jacare Souza at UFC 256 in December. Winning that vaulted him into his first UFC main event.

Standing on the opposite side of him was Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22. Brunson used his wrestling and pretty much dominated Holland. Holland thought about dropping to welterweight, but a main event slot opened up against Marvin Vettori, he jumped back in.

Marvin Vettori was originally supposed to fight Darren Till at UFC Vegas 23. However, Till broke his collarbone and had to pull out of the fight. Vettori didn’t care who the opponent was, he just wanted to compete.

The last time we saw Marvin Vettori was in December in a headliner against Jack Hermansson. Vettori dominated the fight and earned the biggest win of his UFC career. A win today would put him right in the conversation for a title eliminator.

UFC Vegas 23 Recap

Round 1

There was no touch of the gloves to start the UFC Vegas 23 main event. Holland gets the striking started with a couple of leg kicks. Holland is very active with the kicks to start and one lands low. A very colorful response from Marvin Vettori after the low kick.

The two resume and Holland goes right back to work with his kicks. Vettori is moving forward, but the speed of Holland was impressive early. A clean right counter lands for Kevin Holland which forces Vettori to clinch.

Vettori continues to press forward after they separate. Again, Vettori goes back to the clinch and a body lock. Vettori tries hard for a takedown, but Holland was defending well. Vettori then switches levels, but he couldn’t get the takedown.

Holland started talking to Vettori and the separate. A few combinations from both men and Vettori once again goes back to the clinch. Vettori gets a body lock and uses a trip to finally land the takedown.

One minute left in the round and Vettori starts working his ground strikes. Holland uses a beautiful reversal to get top position and get back to his feet. Vettori goes right back to the pressure and the round closes. Close round, but I think it’s 1-0 Vettori at UFC Vegas 23.

Round 2

The second round at UFC Vegas 23 started with more pressure from The Italian Dream. A nice straight left lands for Vettori to start the striking. However, a nice combination and a big straight right hand lands for Kevin Holland.

Immediately, Vettori went right back to the wrestling. Vettori got deep on a double and landed the takedown. Holland kept looking for opportunities to escape, but Vettori was heavy on the pressure. Vettori lands a couple of clean ground strikes.

Holland throws his legs up against the fence looking for a submission, but Vettori stacked him and landed some good shots. Vettori settled back into Kevin Holland’s guard and went back to his ground and pound.

Holland again tried to use the fence, but he couldn’t do anything with it. Vettori lands some big shots on the ground, but Holland is able to get up after a brief scramble. However, Vettori immediately dragged him right back down. The round closes and it was a dominant one. 2-0 Vettori at UFC Vegas 23.

Round 3

Entering the third round at UFC Vegas 23 and Kevin Holland needs to keep this fight standing. Holland’s eye was closing as the round starts and Vettori right after the takedown as soon as the round started.

Vettori landed the takedown and immediately started to work his ground shots. Holland looked tired and Vettori immediately advances to the mount. Vettori gets an arm triangle and he’s going for the finish.

However, Holland remained composed and Vettori let it go. Holland then uses a scramble to get back up. A big straight hand lands for Marvin Vettori and he immediately chains it into a takedown.

Holland defended well and the fight stayed standing along the fence. The two separate with a minute left. Both men look very tired and Vettori goes right back to the body lock. Holland separates and lands some good shots before the bell. Still, a dominant round for Vettori. 3-0 Vettori after three at UFC Vegas 23.

Round 4

Entering the fourth round at UFC Vegas 23 and Marvin Vettori is looking a little tired. However, it doesn’t stop him from coming forward with a big 1-2. Holland throws some big shots back and lands on Vettori.

A wild exchange forces Vettori to shoot for a takedown and he gets it. Holland tries to force a scramble, but Vettori just stacked him and went right back into the guard.

Vettori takes Holland’s back as Holland tried to scramble. However, Holland was able to get back up. Vettori went right back in for a takedown and lands one. Vettori immediately landed in the mount and looked for the arm triangle choke again.

However, Holland defended well and got Vettori back to half guard. Holland was staying active on his back, but he couldn’t get Marvin Vettori off of him. The round comes to a close and it’s another dominant round for Marvin Vettori. 4-0 Vettori entering the final round at UFC Vegas 23.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 23 and Kevin Holland needs a miracle to win this one. Vettori definitely looks more fatigued entering the final round. Holland lands a couple of clean shots to open the striking and Vettori is hurt.

However, Vettori shoots for a desperation takedown and he lands it. Holland uses the fence to briefly stand back up, but Vettori immediately drags him right back down.

Kevin Holland just has no answer for the takedowns of Marvin Vettori. This was the same thing we saw a couple of weeks ago against Derek Brunson. Vettori starts passing the guard of Holland with two minutes left in the round.

Vettori gets the mount on Kevin Holland. However, Holland uses an explosion to get back up. Marvin Vettori goes right back in for a takedown and he gets it. With that, he just set a UFC middleweight record with his eleventh takedown.

Holland tries one more time to get to his feet, but he couldn’t get any separation. The final bell sounds and it’s going to be a lopsided decision for The Italian Dream in this one.

Marvin Vettori def. Kevin Holland by Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-44)

UFC Vegas 23 Preview: Marvin Vettori – Kevin Holland

We have a fun one tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 23. The Italian Dream, Marvin Vettori (16-4-1), looks to continue his rise to the top of the middleweight division as he meets the entertaining Kevin Holland (21-6).

Originally, Vettori was set to take on Darren Till in the main event tomorrow night. However, just over a week ago, Till broke his collarbone and had to pull out of the fight. That’s when the UFC turned to Kevin Holland.

Holland was one of the fighters of the year in 2020. The Trailblazer went a perfect 5-0 which landed him a main event slot at UFC Vegas 22 against Derek Brunson. However, that is where the winning stopped and Brunson won a lopsided decision.

After the fight was over, Holland said he was leaning towards moving to welterweight. However, when the UFC Vegas 23 main event fell through, The Trailblazer stepped up and offered his services. 

While he earned some major points with the promotion, he’s got an extremely tough task in front of him. Marvin Vettori continues to look better and better and he’s souring towards a UFC title shot. He got his first main event slot in December where he dominated Jack Hermansson.

UFC Vegas 23 Prediction

When it comes to the main event at UFC Vegas 23 main event, it’s a really tough challenge for Kevin Holland. Holland is very good on his feet and we’ve seen him show off his power and slick strikes.

However, we’ve also seen him throw a little wild which throws him off balance. When he’s off balance, he’s even more susceptible to takedowns which he doesn’t do a good job of defending anyway.

Holland is a black belt in jiu jitsu, but we haven’t really seen him show off his submission game. Then you look at his opponent at UFC Vegas 23. Marvin Vettori is looking more and more like the complete package.

Yes, he has good striking and showed very good power in his last fight. However, we’ve also seen him show off his wrestling. In his fight with Israel Adesanya, he was able to land takedowns which brought the fight to a split decision.

If Vettori can take Adesanya down, he’s going to be able to take Kevin Holland down. Vettori has never been knocked out and I don’t see Holland doing it. I think this is going to be a pretty lopsided decision at UFC Vegas 23 and another win for The Italian Dream.

Prediction: Marvin Vettori by Unanimous Decision

Kevin Holland steps in to take on Marvin Vettori at UFC Vegas 23

Kevin Holland

UFC Vegas 23 has a new headliner. Kevin Holland (21-6) broke the news on his Twitter page today that he is stepping in for Darren Till to take on Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) in the main event.

Just a couple of days ago, we learned that Darren Till broke his collarbone and had to pull out of the main event. The UFC immediately started looking for replacements and Holland offered his services.

Holland just fought back at UFC Vegas 22 a couple of weeks ago. The Trailblazer took on Derek Brunson in the main event. Holland entered the contest having gone 5-0 in the UFC during 2020.

Had Holland won a couple of weeks ago, he’d be right in the title picture. However, that didn’t happen. Derek Brunson used his wrestling to put a stop to the Kevin Holland hype train.

After the fight was over, Holland said he was contemplating a move to the UFC‘s welterweight division. However, when Till pulled out of next weekend’s main event, he saw it as a perfect bounce back opportunity.

UFC Vegas 23’s New Headliner

Marvin Vettori is no stranger to last minute opponent changes. If you recall, Vettori was actually supposed to take on Jacare Souza back at UFC 256 and Kevin Holland was supposed to take on Jack Hermansson.

However, Holland tested positive for COVID and needed to be pushed back. The UFC put Vettori in to face Hermansson and they gave Jacare Souza to Kevin Holland. Both Vettori and Holland won impressively.

The Italian Dream has won four in a row since his split decision loss to UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Every time Vettori enters the octagon, he’s showed a ton of improvement.

He’s proved himself and shown that he’s going to be a dangerous contender at 185 pounds. This is a huge fight for both men. If Holland wins, he gains back all the ground that he lost at UFC Vegas 22.

On the flip side, if Vettori wins, it would be his fifth win in a row. The UFC would likely put Vettori in a title eliminator which means he would be only one win away from a shot at the middleweight title. Should be a fun buildup to next weekend’s new main event.

After his big win at UFC Vegas 22, what’s next for Derek Brunson?

Derek Brunson

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 22, Derek Brunson (22-7) was once again tasked with taking on a promotional hype train. This time, the hype train was that of Kevin Holland (21-6). Holland was on the shortlist for male fighter of the year in 2020 after going 5-0.

Derek Brunson has been with the UFC for a very long time. He’s also been one of the more consistent fighters at middleweight over the last several years. Brunson has only lost to the very best that middleweight has to offer.

When a contender defeats Derek Brunson, they are well on their way to either being a UFC champion or challenging for a title. Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, and Yoel Romero are the best examples.

However, since Brunson seems to lose to the elite of the elite at middleweight, the UFC has unofficially given him this gate keeper status. Last August, Brunson took on Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was supposed to be the next big thing, but Brunson finished him.

As a reward, the UFC gave Brunson the next hype train in Kevin Holland. Holland’s precision striking looked like it was going to be an issue for Brunson. At times on Saturday night, it was. However, at the end of the day, Brunson went out and grinded out a dominant decision and once again derailed a hype train.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 22?

Now that Brunson has derailed two consecutive hype trains, what will the UFC give him next? In his post-fight interview, Brunson made a callout and it’s actually one that makes a lot of sense in my opinion.

Brunson used his moment in the spotlight to challenge Paulo Costa (13-1). Costa recently had to pull out of his upcoming main event against Robert Whittaker due to an illness. At the moment, there’s not a timetable for his return.

However, if he’s able to return in the summer, the UFC should set this fight up. Costa is coming off of a title fight loss and Brunson is on a winning streak. Costa wants to get back on track and Brunson wants to prove he can challenge for the title. To me, it’s the perfect matchup to setup.

Kevin Holland interested in moving to welterweight after UFC Vegas 22 loss

Kevin Holland

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 22, we saw a matchup of top ten middleweights in the main event. Kevin Holland (21-6) was looking to build off of his incredible 2020 and get a win over the tough veteran, Derek Brunson (22-7).

Brunson has proved to be somewhat of a gatekeeper in the UFC‘s middleweight division. He usually takes on some of the best contenders that are on the rise. He’s only lost to the very best in the middleweight division.

Kevin Holland has all the makings of a superstar. He’s incredibly entertaining and he has such a fun personality. However, he’s got the skills inside the octagon to back it up. However, this was going to be a massive test to see where Holland was at.

Unfortunately for Kevin Holland, Saturday night showed that he still has a ways to go. Holland had some bright spots at UFC Vegas 22 including hurting Brunson on the feet a few times. However, when he did hurt Brunson, his wild style ultimately prevented him from getting the finish.

In the end, Holland had no answer for the wrestling attack of Derek Brunson. For the most part, Brunson was able to get Holland down throughout the fight and walked away with a decision victory at UFC Vegas 22.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 22?

After the event, Holland was still positive. However, he did mention that he’s interested in dropping down to the UFC’s welterweight division. Holland weighed in at 183 pounds for the main event on Saturday night.

In his post-fight remarks, Holland had mentioned getting a nutritionist and dropping down a weight class. I believe this might be the best thing for Holland’s career if he can make the weight with relative ease.

So let’s say he drops down to the UFC’s welterweight division, what’s next? Holland had mentioned that he would love a fight with Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC). The two men have had some back and forth, and Holland would love that matchup.

However, I don’t see the UFC giving him that fight right away at 170 pounds. I think a better option would be the winner of the Daniel Rodriguez – Mike Perry fight. These two fight on April 10th and whoever wins would be the perfect matchup for Holland’s debut at welterweight.

Derek Brunson grinds out decision over Kevin Holland at UFC Vegas 22

Derek Brunson

In the main event of UFC Vegas 22, we saw a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. One of the fighters of the year in 2020, Kevin Holland (21-5), was getting his toughest test yet in the form of Derek Brunson (21-7). The winner of this matchup would put themselves in excellent position in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

As mentioned, Holland had a sensational year in 2020. After getting submitted by Brendan Allen in late 2019, Holland made his return in May. From May through December, Holland went 5-0 inside the octagon. His most impressive victory coming at UFC 256 against Jacare Souza.

Early on in the fight, Souza was able to land a takedown. However, Holland showed great skills and composure on the ground. Out of no where, Holland whipped a right hand from his back that hit Jacare flush. Holland got up and cracked him again and got the finish.

With that knockout, the UFC hype train was off and running with Kevin Holland. Taking on hype trains is nothing new to Derek Brunson. Brunson has been tasked with taking on the hype trains of Israel Adesanya, Ian Heinisch, Yoel Romero, and Robert Whittaker.

The last UFC hype train Brunson faced was Edmen Shahbazyan. The two men went head-to-head back in August and there was a lot of money backing Shahbazyan. The Golden Boy was looked at as the next big thing, but Brunson completely shut him down and finished him. Derek Brunson was looking to do the same thing at UFC Vegas 22.

UFC Vegas 22 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 22 main event kicked off no touch of the gloves. Holland immediately pressed forward with a little pressure on Brunson. Holland slips and pops up but as he bounced up, Brunson clipped him with a shot that put him down.

However, Holland recovered quickly and Brunson settled into the guard. Brunson started trying to softened up Holland with big shots from the guard. Holland was able to keep Brunson in the guard, but Brunson was generating a lot of power with his short shots.

Brunson continued to be heavy in the guard as Holland started talking to him. One thing I was really impressed with is the posture of Derek Brunson here in the first round. The round comes to a close and it was a dominant one for Derek Brunson. 1-0 Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

Round 2

Holland spent the break chatting it up with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who was watching the fight with Dana White. The second round started with some big shots from Holland, but nothing was landing.

The two come together in the clinch, but Brunson couldn’t get the takedown. Brunson throws a big shot off the break, but Holland just shrugged it off. Holland then lands a few massive shots that hurts Brunson badly.

However, Brunson is able to grab a leg and regain his composure. The two end up in a clinch and Brunson lands the takedown. Once back on the ground, Brunson immediately started working on an arm-triangle choke.

Brunson is able to lock it in and he moves to side control. The choke appears deep, Holland remained composed. Holland is able to force a scramble and got back to his feet. However, just before the end of the round, Brunson lands another takedown. 2-0 Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

Round 3

The third round began with more talking from Holland. Holland moves forward trying to land a lead left, but it wasn’t there. Another takedown attempt from Derek Brunson and Brunson gets Holland down again.

Brunson looked really tired as he laid in the guard of Holland. No offense from Derek Brunson for the first minute that he held Holland down. Holland was looking for opportunities to scramble, but couldn’t get anything going.

Holland was actually landing more strikes off of his back with how tired Derek Brunson was. With a minute left in the round, Brunson started working the elbows, but there wasn’t a lot on them. The round comes to a close and it’s 3-0 Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

Round 4

Entering the main event rounds at UFC Vegas 22, and Kevin Holland needs to get going. A low kick from Holland opens the striking here in the fourth. A very nice 1-2 lands for Kevin Holland and Holland hurts Brunson again.

Brunson is staggered, but he does a good job of surviving. Holland was swinging a little wild and Brunson was able to get a takedown. Holland was able to get back up to his feet quickly. However, Brunson takes him write back down.

On the ground, Brunson would land a nice shot here and there, but a lot of inactivity. The referee was warning Brunson to remain active and he started throwing more. Holland didn’t have any answer on the ground for Derek Brunson.

A big elbow lands for Derek Brunson. Holland uses the fence to explode up, but as soon as he gets up, Brunson immediately was on him. Brunson spent the rest of the round clinching Holland against the fence. In my opinion, it’s 4-0 Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

Round 5

Entering the final round at UFC Vegas 22 and Kevin Holland needs a knockout. Holland goes for a front kick that comes close to landing to start the striking. Derek Brunson seems a lot more fresh in the fifth and he throws a couple of big power shots that land.

Another wild shot from Holland results in Brunson clinching him. Brunson grabs the body lock, but then Kevin Holland is able to land his own takedown out of no where. He starts celebrating as if he won the fight, but he wasn’t really doing much in terms of creating damage.

Holland starts landing some good shots to the body, and then he lands two clean shots to the head. Brunson then explodes up and as the two come together, Brunson lands his own takedown. Holland settles into the guard and it doesn’t look like he has anything left.

Derek Brunson rode out the final minute of the fight inside Holland’s guard. This is going to be an easy win for Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 22.

Derek Brunson def. Kevin Holland by Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)

UFC Vegas 22 Preview: Derek Brunson – Kevin Holland

Derek Brunson

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 22, we have a huge matchup in the main event of the evening. Top ten middleweights Kevin Holland (21-5) and Derek Brunson (21-7) will go head-to-head as both look to continue their march towards a UFC title shot.

You couldn’t have had a better 2020 than Kevin Holland. After getting submitted by Brendan Allen in late 2019, Holland took some time and returned to the octagon in May. That night, Holland knocked out Anthony Hernandez in just 39 seconds.

However, that was just where the party began for Kevin Holland. Overall, Holland went 5-0 inside the octagon between May and December. He finished things off at UFC 256 with a highlight reel knockout over Jacare Souza.

Holland has everything you look for in a star. He’s got an exciting style and an entertaining personality to match. However, he’s going to have his hands full tomorrow night with the veteran, Derek Brunson.

While overlooked by many, nobody should sleep on Derek Brunson. Since 2014, Brunson has gone 10-5 in the UFC. However, his losses are to Israel Adesanya, Jacare Souza, Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, and Yoel Romero.

Only the best of the best have gotten the better of Brunson inside the octagon. Last August, Brunson was tasked with taking on another UFC hype train in Edmen Shahbazyan. Brunson dominated the fight and he’s looking to derail another hype train tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 22 Prediction

This is such a fun matchup and to me it will tell me a lot about Kevin Holland. When it comes to Derek Brunson, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. He’s been in there with the best the UFC has to offer.

Holland has incredible striking, speed, and he’s very underrated on the ground. However, we have seen him gas out in fights when he can’t get a finish. The Darren Stewart fight was the perfect example and Holland almost lost that fight.

For Derek Brunson, he needs to wrestle to get the win tomorrow night. He’s not going to get his hand raised at UFC Vegas 22 if he tries to strike with Holland. He’s at a disadvantage in power, technique, and speed.

However, Brunson has the wrestling advantage and the cardio advantage. For Brunson, it’s going to be about surviving the early onslaught. We’ve seen Brunson dropped and finished by elite strikers early. However, we’ve also seen him break guys as the fight goes on.

The first two minutes is going to tell me all I need to know. Either Kevin Holland is going to immediately start lighting Brunson up, or Brunson’s going to take him down. I’m extremely torn on this one.

The safe pick to me is Derek Brunson. You know what you’re going to get and he’s been in there with the UFC’s best. Holland is unproven against the elites of the division. However, call me a sucker for the hype, but I’m buying into it. I think Kevin Holland is going to find the shot he’s looking for in the second round.

Prediction: Kevin Holland by TKO – Round 2