Kevin Holland bids to make it six wins in a row when he fights Derek Brunson on March 20. He’s the odds-on favourite to win but it’s one of the toughest fights of his UFC career.
With the ongoing pandemic affecting sport in 2020, you’d think that it might have been a quiet time for Holland. It proved to be the exact opposite as the American had five fights last year.
Not just five fights, he won all of them and equalled the UFC record for most wins in a calendar year. His final fight of the year was at UFC 256 when beating Ronaldo “Jacaré “Souza in just 105 seconds, his fifth win inside the distance in his last six fights.
Known as the Trailblazer, Holland 28, made his UFC debut at Dana White’s Contender Series 9 in June 2018 beating Will Santiago Jr. Two months later he lost to Thiago Santos at UFC 227. Three wins followed that loss before being beaten by Brendan Allen in October 2019.
He hasn’t looked back since that defeat though. They say it’s a long time between May and December but in that time last year, he won five fights. Three of them won him the performance of the night, including that quick KO of Souza.
His wins have taken him into the top ten of the UFC middleweight rankings. He’s got some work to do to get a shot at champion Israel Adesanya. A win over seventh-ranked Derek Brunson will improve his chances though.
There are plenty of odds available for this fight. If you are betting in Colorado on mobile devices, getting an app is great for betting on sport but find out which are the best first.
Derek Brunson is nine years older than his opponent. He became a pro MMA fighter in 2010, five years before Holland. Brunson spent time in Strikeforce and won nine fights before losing to Kendall Grove nine years ago. That was a failed attempt to win the Shofight Middleweight title.
Brunson first fought in the UFC in 2012, making his debut at UFC 155. 2014 saw him lose to Yoel Romero on a Fight Night bill but did win the fight of the night award. Five wins followed that defeat before losing to Robert Whittaker in November 2016, another fight of the night.
UFC 208 saw him take on the legendary Anderson Silva. He lost that one too but coms into this fight on a three-fight winning streak. He didn’t have such a busy 2020 as his opponent in this bout. His one fight was in August and he’d been inactive for nearly a year.
Brunson didn’t hang around long in his fight against Edmen Shahbrazyan, winning it in just 26 seconds. Will the lack of fight time since August 2019 count against him when taking on Holland, it has to be a strong possibility. Holland is the rising star and another loss for Brunson would rule out any chance of a title fight in the future.