UFC Vegas 22: Kevin Holland vs Derek Brunson Picks, Odds, and Predictions

UFC Vegas 22: Kevin Holland vs Derek Brunson Picks, Odds, and Predictions Photo by Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland

Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:00 PM (UFC APEX)

The Line: Kevin Holland -170 / Derek Brunson +145 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds

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Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland fight Saturday in UFC Vegas 22 at the UFC APEX.

Derek Brunson enters this fight with a 21-7 record and has won 57 percent of his fights by knockout. Brunson has won five of his last seven fights and is coming off an August win over Edmen Shahbazyan. Brunson is averaging 3.77 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47.9 percent. Brunson is averaging 3.02 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 31.1 percent. Brunson is coming off a third round knockout at UFC Vegas 5 where he landed 107 total strikes and had four takedowns. Brunson is now riding a three-fight winning streak and seven of his last nine wins have been decided by knockouts. Brunson is an explosive fighter with obvious knockout power and has a tricky southpaw stance with a boxing background. Brunson was also a Division II wrestler and is a brown belt in BJJ, so he knows his way around the canvas and has become much more confident with his takedown attempts. Brunson wants to be the aggressor who controls the pace, and he can struggle when he’s not able to dictate the bout. This will be Brunson’s fifth career fight in Las Vegas.

Kevin Holland enters this fight with a 21-5 record and has won 52 percent of his fights by knockout. Holland has won his last five fights and is coming off a December win over Ronaldo Souza. Holland is averaging 4.74 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 57 percent. Holland is averaging 1.19 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42.8 percent. Holland is coming off a first round knockout at UFC 256 where he earned performance of the night honors. Holland tied a UFC record with five victories in a calendar year and he’s earned performance of the night honors in three of his last four fights. In the victory, Holland landed 21 total strikes and ate just two shots from his opponent. Holland has taken a combined four strikes in his last two fights. Holland is a lengthy, athletic fighter with an 81-inch reach and impressive standup ability. Holland is light on his feet, constantly moving and not giving his opponent an easy target and has polished boxing skills with quick hands, good footwork and enough power to end things with one clean shot. Holland has produced knockouts in four of his last five victories. A black belt in Kung Fu and BJJ, Holland closes the distance well to land that big shot, and he’s gotten a lot more comfortable on the canvas over the years. Because of his length, Holland can really make life difficult for his opponent once on the ground and he has six career submission victories. This will be Holland’s sixth career fight in Las Vegas.

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You can make a case for either of these fighters given their knockout ability, and there’s a path for Brunson to win this fight given his wrestling ability. However, it’s tough to bet against Holland with how he looked last year, as he not only won five fights, but he’s taken literally no damage in his last two fights combined. Holland is in a zone of all zones and his confidence has to be through the roof right now. 

Things can change quickly in the fighting game, but I’m not betting against Holland in his current form. 

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Randy’s Pick Kevin Holland -170

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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