Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC on ESPN 21: Brunson vs. Holland, emanating from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The UFC keeps on rolling in the month of March with the Octagon remaining in Las Vegas, with a middleweight bout between two trash-talking contenders headlining this week's card.
Derek Brunson looks to score his fourth consecutive win and stop the momentum of fast-rising contender Kevin Holland, winner of five straight, in the five-round main event. Holland was calling for this fight after his crazy knockout win over Jacare Souza in December, and Brunson was quick to answer the challenge, and the winner could find himself right in the middle of the middleweight title picture.
In the co-main event, welterweights Song Kenan and Max Griffin both look to remain in the win column. Also on the main card is a heavyweight battle between Tai Tuivasa, the man known for the shoey, and newcomer Harry Hunscuker and a bantamweight fight between Adrian Yanez and Gustavo Lopez.
Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time with preliminary action all the way through the main card.
ESPN2 PRELIMS | 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT
> Bruno Silva (10-5-2 1 NC, 0-2 1 NC UFC) vs. JP Buys (9-2, 0-0 UFC)
Buys making his UFC debut and immediately gets welcomed with a low blow from Silva and we have a timeout. They get back to action and Silva pokes Buys in the eye and we have another timeout. Welcome to the UFC, Buys, here's two fouls inside the first minute on you. They get back to action and trade and Silva gets Buys to the mat on a scramble. Silva working from the top and landing in the half-guard and they get up and Silva has the back and gets a brief takedown before they get up. Buys now has the body lock against the fence. They break and Buys pressuring Silva around. Silva lands an uppercut and follows with a left hook. Silva with a calf kick and they clinch against the fence. They break and Silva lands a nice right hand that drops Buys at the end. 10-9 Silva.
Buys coming out strong throwing kicks and punches and landing. He slips on a kick and Silva gets into his guard. They both land on the ground before scrambling up and Silva lands a high kick. Buys pressing forward and lands a combo. Buys with a leg kick. Silva with a right hand and they clinch against the fence. Silva lands a punch and Buys goes down and somersaults to his feet and then gets hit again by Silva and they go to the mat and Silva landing from the top but they get up and Buys teeing off back. Silva then lands a right hand that sends Buys back down and the fight is stopped. What a great finish by Silva, who looked good after the early fouls.
Official Result- Bruno Silva def. JP Buys by TKO (punches) at 2:56 of Round 2
> Montel Jackson (9-2, 3-2 UFC) vs. Jesse Strader (5-1, 0-0 UFC)
Bantamweights* (Strader missed weight by 1.5 pounds)
Strader with a low kick to start. Jackson with a high kick and they trade leg kicks. They trade leg kicks again. They clinch for a moment and Strader lands a knee and Jackson drops him with a right hook after they break. Jackson gets on top trying to finish but they get to their feet and start throwing. Jackson lands a left hand and Strader falls to the mat again and Jackson gets on top and lands a few punches until Keith Peterson stops it. Nice finish by Jackson, who was the biggest favorite on the card.
Official Result- Montel Jackson def. Jesse Strader by TKO (punches) at 1:58 of Round 1
> Trevin Giles (13-2, 4-2 UFC) vs. Roman Dolidze (8-0, 2-0 UFC)
Dolidze with a leg kick. Dolidze lands another and starts telling Giles to come on. Giles with a head kick that Dolidze blocks. Herb Dean warning Dolidze to keep his fingers up. Dolidze with a high kick. Giles with a high kick. Giles lands a jab and Dolidze lands a leg kick. Giles with a combo. Dolidze with a leg kick. He lands another heavy leg kick. Dolidze gets a takedown and they end up scrambling to their feet and they are clinched against the fence. Dolidze with some knees in the clinch before the end of the first. 10-9 Dolidze.
Giles lands a combo to start round two with a big left hand. Both are throwing but neither land. Giles lands a jab and then a right hand that pops Dolidze's head back. Both throwing combos and landing and Dolidze rocks Giles with a right hand. Giles goes for a takedown and they scramble to the mat and Dolidze goes for a heel hook but Giles lands some heavy right hands from the top. Dolidze still looking for the heel hook and Giles trying to escape as he lands punches. They get to their feet and Dolidze has the back standing and lands some knees. Giles escapes and lands some punches until Dolidze grabs the body lock again. Dolidze with some knees to the butt. 10-9 Giles, 19-19.
Dolidze lands a body kick. Giles lands a left hand as they clinch and Dolidze tries a takedown but Giles defends and they separate. Giles lands a right hand that stuns Dolidze. Dolidze tries for a takedown but Giles sprawls and has the neck. They get to their feet and Giles with an uppercut in the clinch and they break. They tie up and Dolidze grabs the leg and goes for a heel hook on the mat but Giles escapes and Dolidze ends up on top in side control. Dolidze gets the back as they stand and Giles switches to back control. They break and Giles with a head kick. Giles lands a combo and then clinches and goes for a takedown but Dolidze ends up on top and lands a hard punch from the top before they scramble up. Dolidze has back control and lands some short knees. Giles tries to roll out and look for an arm but Dolidze ends the fight on top. Weird round to score. 10-9 Dolidze, 29-28 Dolidze.
Official Result- Trevin Giles def. Roman Dolidze by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
> Leonardo Santos (18-3-1, 7-0-1 UFC) vs. Grant Dawson (16-1, 4-0 UFC)
Dawson with a body kick. Dawson shoots for a takedown and just misses an uppercut attempt from Santos. Santos with a combo. Santos was landing some leg kicks but Dawson lands a right hand that makes Santos stumble. Dawson gets a brief takedown against the fence but Santos gets right back up. Dawson has the body lock against the fence and Santos landing short punches. Dawson trying real hard for the takedown but Santos defending and Santos gets a takedown of his own into side control then moves to the guard. They get to their feet and Dawson pressing into Santos. Dawson still working for a takedown but Santos defending well. Dawson is bleeding above his ear. Santos with clinch advantage at the end. Close round. 10-9 Santos.
They trade kicks to start and Dawson lands a right hand. Dawson with the body kick. Dawson lands a right hand and then a leg kick. Dawson with a leg kick and lands a right hand. Santos with an inside knee but Dawson lands a right hand. Santos then lands a kick to the groin of Dawson and we have a timeout. They get back to action and trade kicks. Dawson with a right hand to the body. They trade kicks. Dawson with an inside leg kick. Santos lands a step-in knee as Dawson shoots for the takedown and Dawson pushes Santos to the fence. They remain tied up and Dawson with some short knees as he's trying to get Santos down. They are broken up by referee Chris Tognoni. Dawson goes for a takedown but Santos defends and takes the back and lands some punches. They get to their feet and Santos still has the back but they break and trade punches. Santos with a nice right hand. Dawson with a wheel kick at the end. 10-9 Dawson, 19-19.
Dawson with some teet kicks. Santos with a leg kick and Dawson with a right hand then a leg kick. Dawson with another right hand then a leg kick. Dawson tries a takedown but Santos defends as he sprawls. Dawson just laying into Santos against the fence. Dawson trying really hard to take Santos down but can't. Dawson finally gets a takedown. Dawson in the half-guard of Santos and landing punches. Dawson remaining on top as both are tired. Dawson with more punches from the top and some hammerfists late knock Santos out cold! What a late finish by Dawson, incredible.
Official Result- Grant Dawson def. Leonardo Santos by knockout (punches) at 4:59 of Round 3
> Marion Reneau (#9, 9-6-1, 5-5-1 UFC) vs. Macy Chiasson (#11, 6-1, 4-1 UFC)
Chiasson lands a left hand as Reneau was throwing a kick. Reneau with a leg kick. She lands another. They trade punches. Reneau with a calf kick. Chiasson with a body kick. Reneau with a combo. Chiasson with a leg kick. They trade body kicks. Chiasson with a body kick. They trade body kicks. They clinch and Reneau lands a knee. Chiasson with a knee. Reneau switches to back control and lands some knees to the thighs. Reneau with some right hands at the end. 10-9 Reneau.
Chiasson throwing punches to start the second and rocks Reneau. Reneau stumbles back and Chiasson comes in and they clinch. Reneau has blood coming from the nose. They are clinched up and trade knees. Chiasson landing knees as they remain clinched up against the fence. Chiasson with some elbows and lands a left hand. Chiasson with body punches as they stay clinched. Chiasson lands a body kick as they break. Reneau lands a right hand. Chiasson lands a combo. Reneau gets a takedown. Chiasson is able to sweep to the top and works in the guard of Reneau. Chiasson ends the round on top. 10-9 Chiasson, 19-19.
Reneau lands a punch and Chiasson stumbles to the mat for a brief second. They trade punches. Chiasson lands a left hand. Chiasson with a body kick. Reneau ducks under a Chiasson punch attempt and drags Chiasson to a knee but they stand and break and Chiasson lands a left on the break. Reneau lands a right hand. Chiasson with a body kick. Reneau lands a right hand and they clinch. Reneau gets a takedown but they work right back to their feet and break. Chiasson lands some dirty boxing and they trade inside the pocket. Chiasson with an elbow. Chiasson gets a takedown and ends the fight on top landing punches. Close, good fight. 10-9 Chiasson, 29-28 Chiasson.
Official Result- Macy Chiasson def. Marion Reneau by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
ESPN MAIN CARD | 10 PM ET/7 PM PT
> Tai Tuivasa (10-3, 4-3 UFC) vs. Harry Hunsucker (7-3, 0-0 UFC)
Tuivasa with a leg kick. Hunsucker with a leg kick and Tuivasa with one back. Hunsucker with a combo but Tuivasa hurts him with a leg kick. Tuivasa with some punches and sends Hunsucker down with a right hand and then finishes him off as he gets on top and lands punches. Tuivasa with a huge knockout win.
Official Result- Tai Tuivasa def. Harry Hunsucker by TKO (punches) at :49 of Round 1
> Adrian Yanez (12-3, 1-0 UFC) vs. Gustavo Lopez (12-5, 1-1 UFC)
Lopez lands a combo. Yanez with a leg kick and body kick. Yanez lands a right hand and Lopez eats it. Yanez with another right hand. They trade punches. Lopez with a body kick. Lopez lands a right hand. Yanez with a body kick. Yanez with a combo. They trade hard punches. Yanez with a right hand and then lands a combo with a looping left hook. Yanez with another left hand that stuns Lopez. Yanez with a right hand. 10-9 Yanez.
Yanez with a right hand. They trade kicks. They are both throwing and Yanez lands a combo that ends with a right hand that drops Lopez. Lopez gets to his feet and both are throwing and Yanez with a flying knee followed by a left hand. They're both circling around and looking for openings and Yanez with a high kick. The pace has really slowed. Lopez with a body kick and Yanez lands a counter right hand. Lopez with a leg kick. Yanez lands a right hand. Yanez with a high body kick. 10-9 Yanez, 20-18 Yanez.
Yanez lands a right hand. Yanez lands another right hand and Lopez face plants to the mat and it is over! What a showing and what a knockout by Yanez.
Official Result- Adrian Yanez def. Gustavo Lopez by knockout (punch) at :27 of Round 3
> Cheyanne Buys (5-1, 0-0 UFC) vs. Montserrat Ruiz (9-1, 0-0 UFC)
They both connect right away and Conejo clinches against the fence but Buys reverses. Conejo gets the fight to the mat and has the head-and-arm position. Conejo landing left hands from this position as she applies pressure. Buys trying to hop over to escape as Conejo continues to land left hands. Conejo with more left hands. She lands more as Buys can't escape from the position. Conejo holding position but not doing much other than short punches. Buys escapes and takes the back as the round ends. 10-9 Conejo.
Buys landing to start the second and lands a high kick. They trade in close range. Buys with a nice right hand. They exchange against the fence before clinching. Conejo gets the head as Buys has the back and Conejo gets a takedown with head-and-arm position again. Conejo with short left hands. They still battle in this position but Buys being more active this time. Buys trying hard to escape and she does and they scramble up. Conejo gets her down by the neck again. Buys escapes and lands a punch and is in side control. Buys gets to full mount at the end and lands big elbows and punches to end the round strong. 10-9 Conejo, 20-18 Conejo.
Buys trying to get Conejo to fight but Conejo just circling around. Buys lands a combo. They trade in close range. Buys with a right hand. Conejo lands a combo. Buys with a right hand. Buys lands another right hand. Buys with a body kick. Buys with a combo and lands a knee. Buys with a right hand. She lands another. They clinch for a second and Buys lands a left hand on the break. They clinch and Conejo gets another headlock takedown. Conejo with short left hands. Buys escapes and gets the back. Conejo scrambles to the top and lands some punches. Conejo now in the guard of Buys. She ends the fight on top. They exchange words and pleasantries after the fight, I'm not sure why. 10-9 Conejo, 30-27 Conejo.
Official Result- Montserrat Conejo def. Cheyanne Buys by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)
> Song Kenan (16-5, 4-1 UFC) vs. Max Griffin (16-8, 4-6 UFC)
Griffin with a leg kick. Kenan with a jab and then Griffin throws a right hand and a head kick. Griffin lands some right hands against the fence before they break. Kenan lands some jabs and Griffin landing leg kicks. Kenan with some body kicks. Kenan with a right hand. Kenan with a body kick and Griffin lands a left hand. Griffin lands a right cross and then lands a right hand that sends Kenan down to the ground and it is over. Big knockout win by Griffin.
Official Result- Max Griffin def. Song Kenan by knockout (punches) at 2:20 of Round 1
> Derek Brunson (#7, 21-7, 12-5 UFC) vs. Kevin Holland (#10, 21-5, 8-2 UFC)
They trade early and Brunson lands a punch and Holland slips on the mat and goes down and Brunson gets right on top. Brunson landing from the top and looks to land elbows but Holland playing great defense on the bottom. Brunson maintaining top position and landing to the body. Brunson with an elbow. Holland talking trash but still stuck on the bottom. Brunson lands a couple of stiff elbows and then some body punches. Brunson with more elbows before they scramble up to end the round. 10-9 Brunson.
Holland just misses a right hand to start the second. Holland with some short leg kicks. Holland talking to Khabib Nurmagomedov during the fight, as Khabib is sitting with Dana White. Brunson tries a takedown attempt but Holland defends. Holland lands a combo that rocks Brunson and then wobbles him with a right hand and Brunson goes down for a second but gets up and they clinch against the fence. Brunson gets a takedown. Brunson landing and looks for the mount but Holland going for a leg. Brunson spins out and gets into the half-guard and is looking for an arm-triangle. Brunson has it locked in and Holland is trying to fight it off. Holland is able to escape somehow and they get to their feet. Brunson ducks under a Holland right hand and gets a takedown. Brunson ends the round on top. 10-9 Brunson, 20-18 Brunson.
They trade and Brunson gets a takedown and works from the top. Holland looks to threaten with an armbar but Brunson escapes and is in his full guard. Brunson with some short right hands from the top. Holland landing a lot of strikes from the bottom as well. Brunson looks tired but he's maintaining top control. Brunson with more body punches and switches to elbows. Holland not trying to even attempt to get out from the bottom. Brunson getting busier and lands another elbow. Brunson ends the round on top. 10-9 Brunson, 30-27 Brunson.
Brunson with a short leg kick. Holland lands a right hand and stuns Brunson for a moment but rushes in and Brunson recovers. They clinch and Brunson with some lefts before they break. Brunson with an uppercut and takes the back and then takes Holland down. Brunson in side control. They get to their feet. They clinch against the fence and Brunson trips Holland down and is in his guard. Brunson landing from the top. Brunson staying busy and Holland is back talking but doing nothing. Holland able to roll out but Brunson still has body control against the fence. They stay clinched against the fence and Holland slapping the ears but Brunson has control as the round ends. 10-9 Brunson, 40-36 Brunson.
Brunson lands a left hand. They clinch and trade knees. Holland is able to get a takedown and is in the guard of Brunson. Holland landing body punches from the top and landed a couple of head punches. Holland tried a slam but Brunson defended it but Holland remains on top. Holland with some big right hands from the top and Brunson kicks him off and they get to their feet. Brunson then gets a takedown against the fence. Holland landing from the bottom as Brunson just holding on from the top and Brunson lands some short body punches. Brunson stands and Holland gets up and Holland just walking around as the fight ends. 10-9 Holland, 49-46 Brunson.
Official Result- Derek Brunson def. Kevin Holland by unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)