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UFC on ESPN 21: Derek Brunson grounds Kevin Holland, calls out Paulo Costa

Brunson goes back to the basics

Middleweight Derek Brunson secured a convincing unanimous decision over contender Kevin Holland in the main event of UFC on ESPN 21 Saturday night.

Holland (21-6-0) started out fast, pressuring Brunson (22-7-0) and staggering him in the second round, but instead of panicking like in previous fights, Brunson used his wrestling and dragged Holland to the ground for good stretches of the rest of the fight.

The judges scored it 49-45, 49-46, and 49-46.

In the post-fight press conference, Brunson, currently ranked No. 7 in the division, stated he would like to fight a top-5 opponent like former title hopeful Paulo Costa next.

Holland’s spectacular 2020 and five-fight win streak disappeared with the loss. He’s currently ranked No. 10 and will likely drop in the rankings when they are updated.

Max Griffin, Adrian Yanez, Grant Dawson, and Bruno Gustavo da Silva all earned performances of the night and a $50,000 UDF bonus apiece. No Fight of the Night was awarded.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

BRUNO GUSTAVO DA SILVA DEF. JP BUYS VIA TKO (PUNCH) R2 2:56

MONTEL JACKSON DEF. JESSE STRADER VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R1 1:58

TREVIN GILES DEF. ROMAN DOLIDZE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

GRANT DAWSON DEF. LEONARDO SANTOS VIA KO (PUNCHES) R3 4:59

MACY CHIASSON DEF. MARION RENAU VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

MAIN CARD

TAI TUIVASA VS. HARRY HUNSUCKER 

WINNER: TAI TUIVASA VIA TKO

ANDREWS PREDICTION TAI TUIVASA VIA TKO

Andrews: Tai got an easy one this time.

GUSTAVO LOPEZ VS. ADRIAN YANEZ 

WINNER: ADRAIN YANEZ VIA TKO 

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ADRIAN YANEZ VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Wow! Another prospect is on the rise.

CHEYANNE BUYS VS. MONTSERRAT RUIZ

WINNER: MONTSERRAT RUIZ VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CHEYANNE BUYS VIA UD

Andrews: Ruiz took the fight to the ground, which was smart.

MAX GRIFFIN VS. SONG KENAN

WINNER: MAX GRIFFIN VIA TKO R1 2:20

ANDREWS PREDICTION: SONG KENAN VIA UD

Andrews: Song got caught singing.

MAIN EVENT

#7 DEREK BRUNSON VS. #10 KEVIN HOLLAND 

WINNER: DEREK BRUNSON VIA UD (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KEVIN HOLLAND VIA TKO

Andrews: Full marks to Brunson, who fought a smart fight. Holland had his chances.

@kenaiandrews

KenaiAndrewshttps://www.mmacrossfire.com
Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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