UFC Vegas 22 showcased some of the best rising talents the UFC has to offer. And despite incurring a loss and halting any momentum, the losers at UFC Vegas 22 still have many intriguing matchups in the UFC.
Despite the stellar 2020 Kevin Holland had, he could not capitalize on the start of 2021, losing to Derek Brunson by unanimous decision. Holland was getting the better of Brunson on the feet, however, it was the wrestling of Brunson which ultimately won the fight. If Holland would attempt to gain any momentum striking, Brunson would shoot a double leg or force an over-under clinch.
If Holland faces a short medical suspension from UFC Vegas 22 and wants to continue his activity, he may entertain a fight with Omari Akhmedov. However, with many of the top middleweights locked into upcoming matchups, it may be in the best interests of the “Trailblazer” to allow the division to unfold.
Song Kenan had a short showing Saturday night at UFC Vegas 22, losing to Max Griffin by first-round knockout. Prior to the loss, Song was riding a two-fight winning streak including an impressive knockout of his own last year. Fellow welterweight Takashi Sato had a similar career trajectory. Picking up his own impressive knockout last year before being stopped in his next fight. An exciting matchup between two strikers, Kenan Song and Takashi Sato could be on the horizon.
Cheyanne Buys looked great on the feet against Montserrat Ruiz. However, whenever the fighters engaged in the clinch, Ruiz would find her signature head and arm throw and controlled Buys from the scarf hold position. Coming off an impressive win on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, Buys had a lot of momentum going into this fight.
At just twenty-five years old, she has time to improve and has proven the UFC is where she belongs. A fight against Miranda Granger or Mallory Martin could give her the experience which she needs to grow.
Gustavo Lopez displayed tremendous heart in his bout with Adrian Yanez. Losing the first and second round, Lopez attempted to push for a finish in the third. Unfortunately for Lopez, his aggression made him vulnerable to Yanez’s swift right hand, and as was the trend at UFC Vegas 22, finished the match. With bantamweight being one of the more active divisions in the UFC, Gustavo Lopez may want to reassess and rest.
An intriguing matchup for his return would be Khalid Taha. Both fighters are coming off losses to surging prospects and would be vying for a chance to regain some momentum.
UFC Vegas 22 began with an exciting showing as Tai Tuivasa knocked out Harry Hunsucker forty-nine seconds into the first round of their fight. Hunsucker, who was a short-notice replacement, fell to a professional record of 7-4. Despite this loss, the UFC may give Hunsucker a chance for another fight in the promotion with a full training camp. A potential opponent would be the loser of the Maurice Greene and Marcos Lima fight occurring early in May.
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