In the UFC Vegas 22 main event, longtime middleweight contender Derek Brunson improved to four wins in a row after bagging a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Kevin Holland.
Holland came close to finishing Brunson after he rocked him in the second round, but the veteran fighter was able to survive by securing a takedown. Other than that, the 37 year old’s wrestling, control time, and top-side grappling were too much to handle for ‘Trail Blazer’ on the night.
Brunson vs Costa?
During the post-fight press conference, Brunson called out Paulo Costa, who was scheduled to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 24, but had to withdraw due to illness.
“Asking for guys like Paulo Costa. I was cool with a Robert Whittaker rematch,” Brunson said. “I want all these top guys that are really going to elevate me, you know? So this was a fight where I had to hold serve, you know? I want a guy, you know, that’s really going to elevate me so I can really get excited for it, and really feel like this is the fight for me, I really need to put it down.”
With a fourth straight victory against a prospect, Brunson thinks he now deserves a top contender. In an Instagram post after the fight, Brunson called out Costa again.
Holland’s Response To Critics
While Brunson was praised for his calculated performance, Holland was heavily criticised for focusing more on talking than fighting. ‘Big Mouth’ was seen constantly talking with his opponent during the rounds, and asking for advice from a cageside Khabib Nurmagomedov in-between the rounds.
Hours after his fight however, the 28 year old took to Instagram to respond to his critics, saying that he’s never going to stop talking.
“Oh f***, we’re a little beat up, but never going to stop talking. If you guys don’t f***ing like it, deuces,” Holland said.
In another post, Holland welcomed the criticism and promised to work on the areas of his game that need improvement.
“You guys are going crazy. Look, I never said you guys were wrong,” Holland said. “I was about to tell you guys to chill out, but at the end of the day, honestly, step that s*** up. The more criticism, the better. Get that out of your system.”
As for his next fight, Holland is thinking about moving down to welterweight, and has called out Belal Muhammad.
Would you be interested in seeing Derek Brunson face Paulo Costa, and Kevin Holland take on Belal Muhammad?