I know I say this for basically every UFC event I watch, but UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland was an event I’ll definitely never forget. There were three fights in particular that stood out to me – between a first round KO and “ring talk” – so let’s take a look back and relive these spectacular moments.
UFC Heavyweight Bout: Tai Tuivasa vs. Harry Hunsucker – Main Card
Boy oh boy, do we love a Heavyweight fight! Tai Tuivasa (12-3-0) is a show stopper — literally! This past Saturday, Tuivasa entered the octagon as a heavy favorite with UFC Odds at -400, and fought against Harry Hunsucker (7-4-0) who entered as a +300 underdog.
The Australian really lives by his nickname “Bam Bam” because 40 seconds into round one, all you could see and hear was “bam bam bam”. Tuivasa was able to daze Hunsucker with his brutal leg kicks, and then landed a massive right cross to daze Hunsucker even more. Tuivasa followed through quickly with another powerful cross and dropped Hunsucker; he followed through with a ground-and-pound making Referee Herb Dean call the fight at 49 seconds in the first round.
Tai Tuivasa added another T/KO win to his record taking him to a total of 10 T/KO wins — that’s 91% of his victories! Harry Hunsucker was a short-notice replacement for Don’Tale Mayes. Hunsucker might have not been prepared enough to fight Tuivasa this past weekend, but either way, we have to show major respect towards the Australian and cannot underestimate the power that lies behind his fists — which is why they call him “Bam Bam”. We aren’t completely certain who Tuivasa will fight next, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he fought a ranked UFC Heavyweight fighter.
UFC Women’s Strawweight: Cheyanne Buys vs. Montserrat Ruiz – Main Card
This bout between Cheyanne Buys (5-2-0) and Montserrat Ruiz (10-1-0) was incredibly remarkable for a couple of reasons. The first reason being Montserrat Ruiz winning as an underdog, and the second being Ruiz spitting in Buys’ face — apparently.
Interestingly, this was both Ruiz and Buys’ UFC debut so the pressure was on for both of them. Buys was the juiced favorite with UFC Odds at -350, while Ruiz was priced at +265. Conejo knew her path to victory against Buys would be on the ground. She utilized her strong grappling skills and impressed not only the judges, but everyone watching.
From the jump, Buys and Ruiz were throwing heavy hitters at each other — to me it seemed as if Buys wanted the early finish, or maybe she had her debut jitters and was going all out. Yet Ruiz was the smarter fighter. She had a game plan to take Buys to the ground and made sure it stayed on the ground. Buys did have her moments of clipping and dazing Ruiz, but Ruiz was definitely tough enough to hang with the punches. At the beginning of each round, Buys would try to end Ruiz, but that would result in leaving an opening for Ruiz to get the takedown.
This is when things got very interesting and entertaining; apparently as the bell sounded to end the fight, Ruiz spat at Buys creating a heated exchange between the two women. Officials had to intervene the women to prevent any further altercations. However, when we look back at the tapes, you can’t see spit leaving Ruiz’s mouth. But we can tell something happened between the two ladies to make Buys scream, “I’ll follow you home, b****!” At the end of the day, Buys is saying Ruiz spat on her, while Ruiz is saying spit never left her mouth and it was most likely the “momentum”. Either way, Montserrat Ruiz proved her superior skills throughout the entire fight while creating a memorable UFC debut for herself.
UFC Middleweight: Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland – Main Event
The main event was a tad frustrating in the sense of Kevin Holland (21-6-0) talking non-stop, yet that was also the part that kept things entertaining. It’s good to say all the trash-talk did not affect Derek Brunson (22-7-0) as he kept his cool and focus throughout the entire 25 minutes.
Coming into this fight Saturday night, I think we all could agree Holland’s ego was through the roof as he knew the majority of the public was in his favor; he thought this was supposed to be an easy win for him. Except, Brunson came out and proved Holland and the public absolutely wrong.
There were moments where one fighter would drop the other, and vice versa. But this is where Brunson’s patience and knowledge kicked in. Holland is most comfortable on his feet and striking; Brunson knew this so he decided to take the game to the canvas. Yet instead of figuring out a new game plan as to ‘how to beat Brunson’, Holland continued to trash-talk. Brunson even said in his post-fight interview, “I just really wanted to punch him in the mouth while he was talking.”
Derek Brunson is now running a 4-fight win streak in the UFC, and his future is incredibly bright — especially after this win against a mixed martial artist like Holland. Brunson did call out Paulo Costa for his next fight, but he also said he is willing to fight a top-5 fighter. We shall see what the UFC holds for Derek Brunson’s future. Entering the octagon on Saturday night, Kevin Holland was the favorite with UFC odds at -175, and Derek Brunson at +145.
Closing Remarks and What’s Next?
Inside this remarkable event, we had several finishes by Bruno Silva, Montel Jackson, Grant Dawson, Tai Tuivasa, Adrian Yanez, and Max Griffin. It’s always a fun night when we have an event filled with early finishes!
Coming up next, we have UFC 260: Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou! Now, it has been a while since I have seen a card so beautifully stacked. Sean O’Malley will be making his way to the octagon again — finally — against Thomas Almeida. In the co-main event, we have Tyron Woodley vs. the Silent Assassin himself, Vicente Luque. And of course, the main event in Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou; the hair on the back of our necks and goosebumps on our arms will rise for the clash of the Titans. To make sure you make your best bets for this upcoming fight night, be sure to check out my ‘Picks and Predictions’ show with David Manyun and Matt Ryan where they share all their top breakdowns and picks for every upcoming event!