Derek Brunson proved that there are levels to being a top contender by derailing another hype train. For some, Brunson is called the “gate-keeper” because he is a great opponent to face in order to gauge a rising prospect. His wrestling and unorthodox striking gives his opponents trouble.

In the fight, Brunson took Holland down in all five rounds and once he got him down, he was basically winning the round. Although he did not give Holland damage, the judges scored it to his side to his control.

In the standup Holland had the advantage but Brunson also landed a couple of shots. It was just that Holland did not have any answer on Brunson’s high level wrestling. It just proves once again that Wrestling may be the best base for MMA.

What made the fight entertaining was the classic “big mouth”. Kevin Holland just does not stop talking, he talks to Brunson mid fight, and even talks to Khabib during round breaks which is CRAZY. The amount of swag and confidence this guy has, though a loss still hurts him deep inside.

Prior to this fight, He faced another rising prospect which was Edmen Shahbazyan and he dominated him as well and even went on stop him. Some fans were thinking that Edmen might have a chance to become the youngest UFC champion, given he was undefeated and knocked out a durable Brad Tavares in just one round.

With the win over Holland he is riding on a four fight win streak and pretty much deserves a top 5 contender. He called out Paulo Costa which is a great fight for both parties, Costa is high ranked enough that Brunson could benefit and Costa needs a win and prove that he is still a top 5 contender. Both fighter’s last loss was against Israel Adesanya as well.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Paulo Costa just pulled out of his fight Robert Whittaker so a potential fight with Brunson could be in the right timeline once both fighters recover and get back to training camp. For Holland, who had a great year, it is just a minor setback and regroup. He still has a great future ahead.

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