UFC: Derek Brunson grinds out win over Kevin Holland

Derek Brunson (left) landed 226 total strikes to Holland's 190.
Derek Brunson (left) landed 226 total strikes to Holland's 190.PHOTO: UFC/TWITTER

LAS VEGAS (REUTERS) - Derek Brunson had six takedowns and dominated control of their middleweight fight in a unanimous decision over Kevin Holland at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday (March 20).

Judges scored 49-45, 49-46, 49-46 in his favour and he improved to 22-7. Holland, the 10th-ranked middleweight coming in, fell to 21-6.

While Holland did the non-stop talking ahead of the fight, Brunson set out to do the winning.

"I wanted to knock him out," Brunson said after the bout. "Everyone can't be pretty. Dana White, Mick Maynard, Sean Shelby, I've been putting in mad work in this division for so long. I wasn't really too excited about this match-up.

"I wanted a top five (contender). They probably didn't like my performance too much so give me a top five and let's see what happens."

He landed 226 total strikes to Holland's 190 but was in control of the bout for nearly 17 minutes.

In other bouts, Max Griffin defeated Song Kenan in their welterweight fight via TKO by punch in the first round. Griffin landed 11 shots to the head in 2min 20sec.

Montserrat Conejo won a unanimous decision over Cheyanne Buys in their women's strawweight fight, Adrian Yanez won by TKO (punch) 27 seconds into the third round over Gustavo Lopez, and Tai Tuivasa earned a TKO by punches over Harry Hunsucker 49 seconds into their heavyweight bout.

However, the fight between lightweights Gregor Gillespie and Brad Riddell was postponed hours before the start due to Covid-19 protocols, according to the UFC.

It did not expand on why the co-main event was scrapped and did not reveal who violated protocols.

The fight will be rescheduled for a later date.

The 34-year-old Gillespie (13-1) was slated to fight for the first time since losing to Kevin Lee 16 months ago.

The 29-year-old Riddell (9-1) has won his last six bouts.

Covid-19 has also scuppered Alexander Volkanovski's featherweight title defence against Brian Ortega at UFC 260.

It has been postponed after the Australian said he tested positive for the virus.

The fight, originally scheduled to be the co-main event on March 27 in Las Vegas, will be rescheduled due to Covid-19 protocols. The UFC has yet to announce a new date for the bout.

Volkanovski, 32, said he tested negative before leaving Australia and before entering the UFC bubble but returned a positive result in the latest round of testing.

"So devastated to share that I've tested positive for Covid-19 and my fight is off and will be rescheduled," he tweeted yesterday.

"We have worked so hard getting ready for this fight and I'm absolutely gutted this has happened. We followed every policy and process to remain Covid free but it wasn't meant to be this time."

Volkanovski (22-1) has been the featherweight champion since he defeated Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019. He also beat the Hawaiian in a rematch at UFC 251 in July 2020.