UFC Vegas 22 went down last night (Sat., March 20, 2021) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, which saw Derek Brunson defeat Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (see it here). In the co-main event, Max Griffin knocked out Song Kenan in the first round (see it here).
Biggest Winner: Derek Brunson
Brunson picked up a huge win, ending “Trail Blazer’s” win streak at five and derailing his hype train for the time being. Sure, not everyone was thrilled with his performance, but at the end of the day Brunson did what he had to do to get the job done against a dangerous striker who can sleep the best of them once he gets going. But, Brunson didn’t allow him to, which earned him the nod. It was a huge win for Brunson because not only did he take out a top contender, he proved he can with the big fights after coming up short to the likes of Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya and Anderson Silva before tonight. Granted, Holland isn’t at their level just yet, but he was rising star and just like he did to Edmen Shahbazyan, Brunson took the air out of their balloon. Expect a bigger fight for him moving forward.
Runner Up: Max Griffin
Griffin picked up a huge win after ending Kenan’s night in the first round in devastating fashion. Indeed, “Pain” inflicted just that on his foe with a vicious one-two punch combo that laid him clean out. The win not only earned him his first back-to-back wins in five years (also his first for UFC), he also netted a cool $50,000 for his performance. While “Pain” still has a lot of work to do before he can crack the Top 15 in a highly-stacked Welterweight division, he took the opportunity to shine in his unexpected co-headlining duties, which will undoubtedly help his stock.
Biggest Loser: Kevin Holland
Though Holland became the first man to ever take down Brunson inside the Octagon, it was simply too little too late for “Trail Blazer,” who lost a clear unanimous decision to the long-time Middleweight contender. With the loss, Holland loses his win streak — which stood at five — it also gives him his third defeat under the UFC banner. What’s worse, it completely took the air out of his momentum, which currently had him as a legit contender to the 185-pound throne. And though he had already began talking up a storm to build a fight between he and division champion, Israel Adesanya, that potential match up now loses a lot of intrigue. On the bright side, Holland is just 28 years old and like he showed in 2020, he has the ability to rack up wins in a hurry to get him back into contention. Still, knowing he was every so close only to come up short in a big fight has to be a bit demoralizing.
For complete UFC Vegas 22 results and coverage click here.