Best bets for Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland

LAS VEGAS — We’ve been down this course prior to. The last time Derek Brunson combated, he dealt with an extremely promoted middleweight competitor and was a substantial underdog.

Brunson dealt with the Ronda Rousey-managed Edmen Shahbazyan at Pinnacle on Aug. 1. Brunson was without a doubt the hardest challenger that Shahbazyan had actually dealt with, however Shahbazyan still went off as a 3-1 favorite.

Brunson go back to action at Pinnacle on Saturday in the primary occasion of UFC Vegas 22 when he handles Kevin Holland, like Shahbazyan an extremely promoted young competitor.

Holland, 28, was 5-0 in 2020 and made lots of Fighter of the Year factor to consider. He’s up to 10th in the UFC rankings and is a -175 preferred over Brunson, 37, at BetMGM. The seventh-ranked Brunson is +145.

A win over Brunson would be the greatest of Holland’s profession. He beat Anthony Hernandez, Joaquin Buckley, Darren Stewart, Charlie Ontiveros and Jacare Souza in 2015. Souza, however, had actually gotten in the bout on a two-fight losing streak, while Brunson is on a three-fight winning streak.

Brunson’s fumbling was the essential to his win over Shahbazyan, who appeared overmatched once the momentum turned versus him in the battle.

However Holland is a various fighter, both stylistically and psychologically, than Shahbazyan, and he’s much more skilled.

Holland likewise has the well-known “MMA math” on his side, because he knocked out Souza in one round and Souza knocked out Brunson in one.

History has actually revealed us that those sort of outcomes seldom hold up.

Still, there are a variety of factors to prefer Holland here. Holland’s A video game is his stand-up, however he’s comfy on the ground. He’s likewise got a two-inch edge in height and a four-inch edge in reach over Brunson.

It’s not likely Brunson will outstrike Holland, so he’ll need to take him down to win. Brunson averages more than 3 takedowns every 15 minutes, while Holland’s takedown defense is at 52 percent.

However to get a takedown, he’ll need to deal with severe fire originating from Holland, who links on 57 percent of his strikes, according to

Holland, by contrast, has a 54 percent striking defense and takes in 3 strikes a minute usually in a battle. Versus Holland, who has a varied and explosive striking attack, that’s an issue.

I like Holland to win the battle and I’ll lay the -175.

Other plays for UFC Vegas 22

  • I’ll take Gregor Gillespie and lay the -225 to win over Brad Riddell.

  • I like the battle in between Bruno Silva and J.P. Purchases to go the range.

  • I like the Julia Avila battle with Julija Stoliarenko battle to end inside the range.

  • I will lay the -350 and take Avila to beat Stoliarenko.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.