It wasn’t pretty, but Derek Brunson ignored Kevin Holland’s constant smack talk, and won himself another UFC main event fight against a top ranked opponent at UFC Vegas 22. Holland had his moments on the feet landing his right straight over and over, but as Michael Bisping and other commentators critiqued, he didn’t seem to have enough sense of urgency.
Brunson controlled top position for majority of the contest, and Holland seemed content to just stay at the bottom and lose rounds.
Holland was talking to everyone, even with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was watching cage-side. His antics continued the entire time, but the veteran in Brunson just quietly notched his fourth win in a row.
Watch highlights from the contest below, along with a snippet from our play-by-play:
Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland, Round 5
Holland looks for a front kick that doesn’t connect. Couple of leg kicks from Brunson. Straight left from Brunson. Holland with a jab. Body kick from Brunson. Brunson clinches. Brunson is cut. He lands some knees inside. Hollland gets a takedown! That was out of nowhere. Three minutes to go. Brunson closes his guard and tries to lock him down. Holland with some body punches. Holland tries to posture up, and picks him up and slams him down again. The ref warns them for inactivity. Body shots from Holland. Now some big rights but Brunson pushes him off and gets up. Brunson immediately shoots and gets his own takedown. Holland’s head is against the cage. 30 seconds to go. Holland is still talking and laughing. Brunson backs out and lets him stand for the last 10 seconds. Holland just walks away from him. Brunson throws a head kick. 10-9 Holland but 49-46 Brunson.
Derek Brunson defeated Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)
CONFIDENCE— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2021
@Trailblaze2top is ready to put it all on the line!
[ #UFCVegas22 on @ESPN & #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/5H2evwv7RT
Kevin Holland slipped and @DerekBrunson took advantage #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/VDjodHUGCV— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 21, 2021
Huge flurry from @Trailblaze2top, but @DerekBrunson survived and turned the tables #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/GT7QHTLoFI— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 21, 2021
* SOUND ON *— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2021
@Trailblaze2top is chatting with Khabib between rounds! #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/DbwTtP8GhX
"No matter what, that's a freaking win."— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 21, 2021
Likely down in the fight, @Trailblaze2top secured a takedown and celebrated the small victory #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/vx6Q8dYhYE
Halted the hype!— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2021
Tonight belongs to @DerekBrunson #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/CenSKWRlZl
Make the win streak 4️⃣!— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2021
The best may still be to come for @DerekBrunson. #UFCVegas22 pic.twitter.com/3jJkChKz27