UFC on ESPN 21 ‘Brunson vs. Holland’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 20, 2021
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J.P. Buys (126) vs. Bruno Silva (126)

Round 1

By the time fight night started, UFC on ESPN 21 was left with 10 bouts. We begin this shortened card in the flyweight division, when Buys (9-2, 0-0 UFC) looks for his successful debut against “Bulldog” Silva (10-5-2, 1 NC; 0-2, 1 NC UFC). The former will be aiming to make good on a married couple winning tonight – wife Cheyanne Buys competes later – while the latter searches for his first win inside the Octagon. This card opener draws officiating from referee Mark Smith, and the two 125ers touch gloves to kick off the night. Silva comes out jittery, and when he steps forward with a reaching left hand and flush kick to the cup. Fortuitous opening to the evening’s hostilities. Buys tries to walk it off, but the action is paused for a bit over 30 seconds before he is ready to go again. Both men come out swinging, and Silva aims a calf kick as Buys throws a right hand. Silva sits down on a right hand and another calf kick, and Buys walks through it but is surprised. Silva reaches out with his fingers outstretched and jabs Buys in the eye with his thumb, and we have another break as Smith is not thrilled with Silva. The South African takes 45 seconds to clear his vision, and Smith issues Silva a hard warning. Silva does not close his fists when engaging and draws a shout from Smith. When the two come together, Buys slips and falls to his back, where the Brazilian dives on top into the guard. Buys rolls and nearly frees himself in a scramble, but “Bulldog” is resilient and remains on top. Buys looks to sweep, and as he does, Silva times it and advances to half guard. The newcomer kicks off, and Silva rides the kick and climbs back into his foe’s open guard. Buys scoots his way back to the fence, gets to a knee and wall-walks to his feet. Silva delivers a knee to the chest, and he picks Buys up from behind and slams him down on his face. Buys shakes it off, stands again and threatens with a kimura to sweep. Silva stands up, and Buys is able to reverse the position and press the Brazilian into the wire. Buys works his man on the fence with a couple shoulder strikes, and Silva twists him back around before they separate. Buys whiffs on a big head kick, but he does manage to bully Silva back. Silva responds with an uppercut, and he catches his opponent with another shot before rushing into a clinch. Buys defends himself mashed into the fence by slapping his adversary in the ear, and they break free again. Silva cracks Buys with a spinning back fist that lands on the forearm, and Buys drops to knee as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Silva
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Silva

Round 2

Silva charges out of his corner to begin the round, and he launches a spinning kick and comes up short as Smith warns him already to not reach with his fingers. Buys chases him down with a few head kicks, and he throws one too hard and loses his balance. As soon as Silva sees this, he charges in and plows Buys over, where he starts dropping down hammers. Even in full guard, Silva is doing work with strikes from on top, until Buys latches on to him to keep him trapped. Silva bucks and stands up, where Buys uses the momentum to get standing as well. As Buys hops away, Silva kicks him in the face, but the South African appears unconcerned. Buys instead charges towards his opponent, throwing combinations and even mixing in a few low kicks. Silva throws back, but Buys is advancing heavily. Buys walks into a clean right hand, and his knees wiggle for a moment but he crashes into the clinch. After a brief clinch exchange, they break apart and Silva nails him with a quick combination. Silva blasts Buys with a nasty right hand and sends Buys flying, leading to Buys doing a somersault to recover. Buys gets up, and he falls back into the fence as Silva is ripping into him with a storm of punches. On rubber legs but still in the fight, Buys tries to escape. “Bulldog” relentlessly pursues his man, and he loads up with a monster right hand that buckles Buys’ legs and puts him down once and for all. Smith sees that Buys is done, and he jumps in to save the “Young Savage” from any more damage. What a way to start the night!

The Official Result

Bruno Silva def. J.P. Buys R2 2:56 via TKO (Punch)

Montel Jackson (136) vs. Jesse Strader (137.5: Missed Weight)

Round 1

The next fight of the night comes at a 138-pound catchweight when a fighter missed weight. “Quik” Jackson (9-2, 3-2 UFC) will look to quick work of Strader (5-1, 0-0 UFC) and make the newcomer pay for missing the mark by 1.5 pounds. Referee Keith Peterson has slain all the nonsense in the building, and the two touch gloves before throwing down. Strader backs off and chips at his opponent with several leg kicks, as Jackson is content to march him down without throwing anything. Strader keeps landing a kick or two low, until Jackson winds up with a booming head kick. It barely gets blocked, and he chains the kick into a leg kick that surprises Strader. The newcomer targets the body and legs indiscriminately, as Jackson aims single kicks in response. “Sui Generis” lets fly kick after hacking kick, and Jackson is tired of it and winds up a huge right hand. Strader ducks it, and Jackson follows it with a knee to the chest and a huge right hand that puts Strader down hard. “Quik” chases after him with punches, but the newcomer jumps back to his feet and swings back to get Jackson to back off. Jackson bites down on his gumshield, wings a pair of nasty punches and levels Strader once more. “Sui Generis” slumps down into the corner between the fencing and the canvas, and Jackson lords over him dropping bombs. “Quik” continues to pour it on with fast but devastating punches until Peterson has seen enough. That was quick.

The Official Result

Montel Jackson def. Jesse Strader R1 1:58 via TKO (Punches)

Trevin Giles (185.5) vs. Roman Dolidze (185)

Round 1

Up next at middleweight, “The Problem” Giles (13-2, 4-2 UFC) tries to serve as a problem for Dolidze (8-0, 2-0 UFC) and hand the Georgian his first career loss. This intriguing stylistic match draws oversight from referee Herb Dean, who has his hands full between these two finishers with 18 finishes in their combined 21 victories. A touch of gloves starts things off, and Dolidze slowly stalks towards his opponent with a left hand ready to fire. The Georgian throws out a body kick, and Giles slaps it away only to take a subsequent kick to the leg. Dolidze winds up with two more, and both draw visible reactions out of Giles. Dolidze gets off another, and he throws one on the inside to mix things up. Giles has had enough of these kicks, and he slings a head kick that barely gets blocked in time. Dolidze continues to score booming leg kicks, and Giles responds with a jab only to get poked in the eye. Dolidze gets warned heavily for it, and Giles blinks it out and is ready to continue. Dolidze aims kicks from both legs, and Giles is loose on the outside trying to advance before letting loose with a quick head kick. Once more, it gets blocked, and Dolidze cannot make him pay for it. The Georgian’s best strike is his powerful leg kick, and he connects with several more until Giles loads up on a big right hand. Both men trade bombs, and Dolidze smiles and throws an axe kick. Giles pops him with a right hand, and Dolidze responds with a back fist that makes Giles hop back a moment before gathering his thoughts. When Giles lands a right hand, Dolidze chops down his leg a few more times. Dolidze aims a low and then high kick as Giles keeps his distance, but Dolidze advances into a takedown where he bowls Giles over. The American scrambles back up, and Dolidze takes his back standing up. Giles fights the hands and tries to twist around, eventually doing so as Dolidze tries and fails to lift him up. Dolidze keeps Giles pinned against the fence, digging the thigh with knees until Dean implores them to keep working. Dolidze cracks him in the cup, and Giles grimaces but does not get a break. Instead, Dolidze knees him there again, and Dean simply shouts “watch the groin.” The Georgian grinds heavily against the fence until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dolidze
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dolidze
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dolidze

Round 2

Giles comes out firing with a couple big punches, and Dolidze smiles and laughs at him. Giles keeps away from leg kicks as Dolidze switches stances while advancing, and the two have a staring contest for a few seconds. Giles walks through a kick to land a right hand bomb, and he snaps out a jab when Dolidze tries to respond. Dolidze boots him in the side, and aims one to the head but the second is blocked. Dolidze scores a few punches, and Giles whiffs with counters and drops his hands. Giles hops back and forth using angles, and Dolidze kicks him in the body a few times. One lands flush to the liver, and Giles’ right hand drops immediately. Giles, who may be hurt, charges in to start swinging. He nails Dolidze a few times, and Dolidze drops to a knee and the two tumble to the ground. Giles drills him in the face with a few punches, and Dolidze rolls through for a heel hook and then transitions into a knee bar as Giles pops him in the chops. The Houston native rolls through the leglock attempts and belts him in the face to break the grip, but Dolidze is still holding on tight. Dolidze sits down on the heel hook, and he turns into it but Giles rocks him with a few back fists and right hands. Dolidze’s head lowers, and he may be in trouble, but he shakes it out and loses his grip. Giles steps over him, but before he can get away, Dolidze leaps back to his feet and latches on to Giles’ back. When they separate, Giles cracks Dolidze a few times, until the Georgian gloms back on to him to stop these huge shots from landing. Dolidze leans on his man against the fencing, and Dean tells them to start working as Giles appears frustrated. The grind remains embraced until the horn blares.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Giles
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Giles
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Giles

Round 3

The middleweights slap hands to clock in the final stanza, and Dolidze slowly wades forward to swing a body kick that is easily evaded. Dolidze gets off a pair of kicks to the legs, and a follow-up one to the head clatters off the guard. Giles throws a few leaping hooks, and he ducks when Dolidze fires back with a vengeance. Giles tags Dolidze with a right hand, and Dolidze shoots for a takedown only to get stuffed. Giles starts smiling and laughing as he lands another right hand, and when he blocks a heavy head kick, the smiles leaves his face in an instant. Dolidze rumbles forward and gets cracked with a right hand, and Giles follows it with a massive right hand that rocks Dolidze badly. Dolidze falls into a desperation takedown, and Giles ties up for an anaconda-type choke, but there is nothing there. As the Georgian ambles back to his feet, Giles asks Dean whether Dolidze’s knee is down to see if he can knee his foe in the head. Giles throws a few big shots, and they tie up until Dolidze falls to his back and aims for a kneebar. The American is unfazed and pulls his knee out, but he does wind up on his back for a moment as Dolidze is in side control. Giles powers out to get to a knee, and he takes a few knees to the thigh before returning to his feet. When they both get up, Giles fires off a quick head kick that glances past the guard. Dolidze is visibly fatigued, and Giles stands calmly before him throwing a few punches. Dolidze lands on him, and Giles bullies into the fence. Giles attempts his own takedown, but instead falls to his back as the Georgian drops down on him. Giles gets up and is pressed on the fence, and he somersaults to try to break the grip only for Dolidze to follow him down. Giles throws up his legs for a triangle choke, but he cannot get it before time expires. This could be a very close call.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Giles (29-28 Giles)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dolidze (29-28 Dolidze)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Giles (29-28 Giles)

The Official Result

Trevin Giles def. Roman Dolidze via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Leonardo Santos (155.5) vs. Grant Dawson (156)

Round 1

At lightweight, two men averse to losing come to blows when the ageless Santos (18-3-1, 7-0-1 UFC) looks for his eighth win inside the Octagon against the surging “KGD” Dawson (16-1, 4-0 UFC). The third man in the cage is referee Chris Tognoni, and the contenders searching for a spot in the rankings touch gloves to start things off. Immediately, the two fighters are warned four reaching out their fingers. The Brazilian lands a leg kick, and he rushes forward with a pair of punches and lands a leg kick at the end of it. When Santos scores again, Dawson changes levels but gets stuffed. Santos bears down on him with shots, and he stuffs another takedown only to get kicked in the gut. Santos chops down the lead leg a few more times, leading Dawson to duck down and throw a big overhand right that Santos sees coming. Santos keeps working the leg from afar, and again there is a warning for outstretched fingers. Santos gets off a right hand that bounces off the side of Dawson’s head, and Dawson responds with a huge right hand that wobbles the Brazilian’s legs. Dawson takes advantage of this strike to aim for a takedown, and he lifts Santos in the air but cannot slam him down. Santos scrambles back to his feet and Dawson stays heavy, grinding him against the cage wall. Santos puts his hands up in frustration while Dawson drops in a few knees and foot stomps, and decides to get out of danger by hitting a quick trip to put Dawson on his back. Santos climbs into the guard, but “KGD” butt-scoots his way to the fencing. Santos cannot keep him down for long, and Dawson turns him around to hunt for a single leg takedown. Tognoni asks Dawson to stay busy, so Dawson obliges by changing levels for a double. Santos stops this move and slaps Dawson in the side of the head, and there is a cut on the back corner of Dawson’s head. Santos spins him into the cage and grinds out the remainder of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Santos

Round 2

The lightweights again touch gloves to seal the cage, and Tognoni angrily tells them both to close their fists. Santos walks forward with a jab and a follow-up right hand, and he backs off when Dawson kicks the leg. Santos returns fire with his own kick, and there is another warning for fingers. Dawson aims a leg kick and then second, leading Santos to kick him to the body and then fall over. Dawson stings his man with a right hand, and Santos steps in with a knee to the chest. The Brazilian throws two front kicks, and the second pounds off Dawson’s cup and the American falls to his knees in pain. Dawson takes a full minute before coming back, and Santos apologizes to begin the round again. Santos blocks a head kick and quickly responds with a calf kick. Dawson is on him with a quicker combination of a leg kick and an overhand right, and the two trade kicks one after the other. Dawson hacks at the lead leg and drops Santos to a knee, but the Brazilian stands back up and drills Dawson on the side of the head. Dawson rushes forward for a takedown, and he is greeted by a stern knee to the solar plexus. “KGD” continues his forward movement to press Santos into the cage wall, and he keeps Santos stuck against the fence while unable to ground his opponent. Dawson embraces the grind while failing to take the fight down, all while Santos palm strikes him in the face repeatedly until Tognoni separates the two. Santos charges forward with a string of strikes until Dawson shoots in on him. Santos sees this coming, and he swirls around to take Dawson’s back. Dawson is able to stand back up, but Santos is working him to the side of the head. The two break and start slugging it out with both landing with impunity. Santos tags Dawson and backs off, but “KGD” races after him and nails him in the face with a spinning wheel kick. Santos bounces off the fence, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Dawson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Dawson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Dawson

Round 3

The final round begins with a glove touch, and both men trade big shots and walk them off. Dawson winds up and whiffs on a big right hand, and he marches forward to land a heavy leg kick. Santos eats a few punches, and when he tries to counter with an overhand right, Dawson ducks it to take the fight down. The Brazilian stuffs it and gets pressed into the fence, as Dawson changes levels for a single. Like every time in the fight so far, Santos defends the takedown. This time, Dawson lifts his opponent in the air, but he sets him down when Santos is able to keep his balance. Both men grab the fence, and Dawson redoubles his effort and finally is able to take Santos down. Santos drops to his knees, and Dawson is on his back and stays heavy when Santos rolls to his side. “KGD” steps over to three-quarter mount, and Santos keeps him there and pulls him back to half guard. Santos absorbs a right hand, and he defends his face from further punishment but precious seconds are ticking off the clock. Santos turns to sweep but Dawson pushes him back over, where the American uses his shoulder to keep Santos flat on his back. Santos bucks but Dawson’s top control is smothering him. Dawson starts to drop down left hands, and he ties up an arm-triangle choke from above only to let it go and drop down a few hammerfists. Dawson continues to re-introduce his fist into Santos’ face again and again, and Santos just takes them flush and does not show any concern. Dawson sits up, and Santos pulls for a heel hook as Dawson stands to his feet. “KGD” slams his right hand into Santos’ face, and as he keeps blasting him, Santos is suddenly in big trouble. Another right hand lands, and Santos’ hands drop and his grip releases because he is out cold! Dawson keeps smashing, and Santos’ mouthpiece goes flying to let Tognoni know that the Brazilian is completely unconscious. Unbelievable! Dawson could have been down on the scorecards in the last round, and he scores the literal last-second knockout to hand Santos his first defeat in over a decade!

The Official Result

Grant Dawson def. Leonardo Santos R3 4:59 via KO (Punches)

Marion Reneau (136) vs. Macy Chiasson (136)

Round 1

In the first of two women’s matches tonight, the eldest fighter in the promotion Reneau (9-6-1, 5-5-1 UFC) looks to snap a three-fight skid against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 29 winner Chiasson (6-1, 4-1 UFC) at bantamweight. Referee Mark Smith serves as the cage official for this preliminary headliner, and the two ranked 135-pounders touch gloves before engaging. Reneau reaches with a jab but gets her lead leg kicked in the process. Chiasson ducks in, lands a left hand, and darts out of the way before receiving a counter. Both women paw at one another with jabs, and when Reneau reaches out with a kick, Chiasson tags her with a right hand. “The Belizean Bruiser” gets off a leg kick while Chiasson backs off to jab and find her range, and Reneau takes advantage of the lull by landing a pair of kicks. Chiasson bears down on her and scores a left hand, but Reneau greets her with another chopping leg kick. Chiasson splits the guard with a right hand, and Reneau rushes in to strike in response and follows it with an inaccurate spinning kick. Chiasson reaches out with a one-two and walks through a leg kick, but she takes a right hand on the chin in response. The leg kicks have force the younger fighter to switch stances, and she decides to kick the leg as well. Reneau steps forward with a three-punch combination that rings Chiasson’s bell, but Chiasson gathers herself and slings a head kick that is blocked in the nick of time. Reneau whiffs on a head kick, and so does Chiasson. Both women trade body kicks, and Reneau works the leg and circles away. Chiasson attempts another head kick, but the punches she lands after are more effective. A kick from Reneau leads to an immediate response from Chiasson, and Chiasson bends Reneau over with her body kick. Chiasson clinches up, and Reneau spins her into the fencing. Reneau savvily sneaks around to take Chiasson’s back, where she aims to trip Chiasson’s legs out beneath her. Reneau cannot land it, and instead gets off a few right hands before the bell. Chiasson tries to fire back, and sneaks in a left hand after the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Reneau
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Reneau
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Reneau

Round 2

Chiasson comes out firing from her corner, throwing body and head kicks as Reneau turtles up. A big shot from Chiasson hurts Reneau, and “The Belizean Bruiser” is busted up and bloodied as she stumbles back to the fence. Chiasson rushes her into the wire, pressing her tightly into the wall, but she cannot do any damage. Reneau ties her up in this position to gain her bearings, but Chiasson walks her across the cage from one side to the other. Chiasson works knees to the body as Reneau pours blood from her nose, and Reneau can do nothing but absorb knees while Chiasson pushes her full weight on her opponent. Chiasson considers a single leg takedown, but opts to grind and work strikes against the cage. Chiasson gains brief separation to elbow that damaged nose repeatedly, but instead of backing off, she crashes back in to tie the fight back up. Chiasson uses effective dirty boxing in the clinch, and Chiasson kicks at her and marks the liver. Reneau throws winging shots while hurt, and Chiasson takes a few flush but avoids the brunt of the damage and targets the body again with a kick. Chiasson stalks her opponent down but she takes a right hand across the forward bow, only for Chiasson to get off a few shots and hurt Reneau again. “The Belizean Bruiser” blitzes forward and hits a takedown, where she nearly climbs to mount only for Chiasson to sweep her thanks to a heel hook attempt. Chiasson sits comfortably on top, and Reneau slashes at her with elbows and short punches while Chiasson tries to get off ground-and-pound. As Reneau searches for a triangle choke, the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson

Round 3

The bantamweight touch gloves, and both throw big kicks to begin. The force of Reneau’s makes Chiasson stumble, but she is able to get back standing before Reneau can make her pay. Reneau throws combinations as Chiasson evades her and targets a stiff right hand, dodging and scoring while Reneau comes out throwing heavy strikes. Reneau connects with a few leg kicks and Chiasson changes stances to lessen the impact. Reneau ducks a left hand and pursues a takedown attempt, where she circles around and drops Chiasson to a knee but cannot ground her. Chiasson breaks the grip and lands a left hand, and she takes a right hand on the chin but manages to return fire with a few punches. Chiasson reaches out with a jab, and she comes up short on hooks. Reneau chases Chiasson down and ties her up, but cannot land the takedown she is seeking. Chiasson knees her to the body while the two jockey for position in the clinch, and Reneau manages to give her one back on the forehead. Chiasson gets off a few short punches when Reneau changes levels to take the fight down, and she sweeps Chiasson’s legs and puts Chiasson on her back. Chiasson closes her guard, and opens it to stand up. Chiasson gives up her neck when getting back up, but Chiasson muscles her way free and the two start trading heavy leather. Reneau takes the worst of the shots and tries to tie up, so Chiasson pushes her away and lands a few more. In the clinch, Chiasson walks Reneau back to the center of the cage and hits a trip, where she plants Reneau flat on her back. Chiasson lands a strike or two, but she is more interested in holding on to position and fighting off a scramble. Reneau is swinging from her back, and Chiasson responds in kind with powerful strikes. The two continue to punch one another right to the final bell, and once more, we have what could be a very close decision.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson (29-28 Chiasson)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson (29-28 Chiasson)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Chiasson (29-28 Chiasson)

The Official Result

Macy Chiasson def. Marion Reneau via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Tai Tuivasa (264.5) vs. Harry Hunsucker (249)

Round 1

Hang on to your hats, two heavyweight brawlers in Tuivasa (10-3, 4-3 UFC) and Hunsucker (7-3, 0-0 UFC) are set to throw down to kick off the main card. Two big men with one combined decision win between them look to get things done early, and referee Herb Dean may have his hands full. There is a good-natured glove touch, and the fun begins. Tuivasa lands a heavy leg kick, and Hunsucker responds with one. They trade them, until Hunsucker crashes forward and lands big shots. Tuivasa hurts the newcomer’s leg with kicks, and both men throw heavy leather but Hunsucker is in trouble already. A booming right hand from Tuivasa hurts Hunsucker, and another that follows sends “The Hurricane” crashing down to the ground. Tuivasa smells blood and wants to finish the job, where he drops down bombs and Hunsucker kicks off to get Tuivasa to readjust himself. From there, “Bam Bam” clubs Hunsucker repeatedly until Dean halts the fight, with Hunsucker unable to defend himself from punishment any longer. Tuivasa gets the job done in under a minute, and he rushes about the cage to find a shoe and a cold beverage, but there are none to be had. He’ll get one backstage, don’t worry.

The Official Result

Tai Tuivasa def. Harry Hunsucker R1 0:49 via TKO (Punches)

Gustavo Lopez (136) vs. Adrian Yanez (135)

Round 1

Switching gears to the bantamweight category, Yanez (12-3, 1-0 UFC) and Lopez (12-5, 1-1 UFC) square off in what should be a fun one between two men who vastly prefer the finish. Trying to keep up with these fast-paced fighters will be referee Chris Tognoni, and they respectfully touch gloves to begin their melee. Both men come out hesitant, jumping back and forth but not engaging with anything of note. It takes 50 seconds before a man lands a strike, as they both trade left hands. Lopez comes out to take his foe’s head off, throwing a winding left hand but just missing as it blows Yanez’ head back. Yanez backs off to land a leg kick, and he scores a right hand that forces Lopez to retreat. Lopez kicks the calf once, and he has another checked when Yanez walks him down to throw a one-two. Lopez advances and gets clipped by a right hand, but he wears it well and takes another on the chin for good measure. Yanez starts sizing up that right hand and Lopez is looking for angles but cannot close the distance. Lopez lands a short combination, only to get disrupted by a quick left hand. Lopez boots Yanez in the body and strafes away to avoid the counter. Lopez paws out a jab, and Yanez gives him one back only to take a right hand square on the chin. Yanez quickly brings up a front kick on the jaw, and a heavy left-right stings Lopez. Yanez follows the punches with a front kick right to the sternum, and he nails Lopez coming in with a sharp left hand that drops him to a knee. Lopez stumbles off and gathers himself, where he starts dancing on the outside and gets worked with crisp punches. Yanez’ boxing is crisp, and he hurts Lopez with a few punches and busts Lopez’ nose up. Yanez catches a body kick and walks Lopez down, where he lands a one-two and resets. Two more punches find their mark before the horn sounds, and a confident Yanez strides away.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yanez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Yanez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yanez

Round 2

Yanez takes the center of the cage to start the second frame, and he catches Lopez on the end of a right hand. Lopez darts in, lobs a bomb that comes up short, and ducks away in time to not get countered. Both men throw front kicks at the same time, and one clicks off a cup but there is no pause. Yanez threatens with a flying knee, and Lopez sees it coming just in time to back away. The Texan gets off a right hand even while Lopez lands on him, and he slowly marches Lopez down. When Lopez lets go, Yanez fires big shots. Yanez cracks Lopez on the chin and sets him down, and although he tries to finish the fight, he cannot secure the stoppage when Lopez shoots in for a desperation takedown from his seat. Yanez stuffs it, lands a few more shots and tries to punctuate a combination with a flying knee. Yanez does not step on the accelerator to force a stoppage, and instead backs off to keep his counter-happy gameplan in full display. Yanez fakes and feints as he waves his hands around and switches his stances, freezing Lopez in place but neither man commit to any strikes. Yanez stays out of range from jabs, but he does take a stiff calf kick as the two stare at one another from a distance. Yanez sneaks up a head kick, and it is just blocked in time. The pace wanes as neither want to make any mistakes, and out of nowhere, Yanez blasts Lopez with a right hand. Lopez eats it like a sandwich and starts advancing, but he backs off when Yanez threatens with a head kick. Yanez aims and misses with another head kick, spinning around but keeping Lopez at bay. A body kick from Yanez leads to a single punch from Lopez, and Yanez is able to counter him right before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Yanez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Yanez
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Yanez

Round 3

The bantamweights touch gloves, and Lopez grins as he comes out of his corner. Yanez jabs out with a punch and a kick, and he steps back to admire his handiwork. Lopez winds up with a strike, and a pinpoint-accurate right hand cracks him square on the jaw. Lopez falls face-first to the ground, and Tognoni leaps in to halt the action as Lopez’ forehead bounces off the canvas. This was a masterful performance for Yanez, who looks every bit a future contender after that impressive victory over a tough foe.

The Official Result

Adrian Yanez def. Gustavo Lopez R3 0:27 via KO (Punch)

Montserrat Ruiz (115) vs. Cheyanne Buys (116)

Round 1

An interesting battle between newcomer strawweights is the featured fight of the night, as Buys (5-1, 0-0 UFC) looks to win one tonight for her family against short-notice replacement and fellow newcomer Ruiz (9-1, 0-0 UFC). Assigned to this 115-pound battle is referee Mark Smith, and there is no touch of gloves as the two start brawling immediately. Ruiz crashes in with strikes to clinch up, and she leans heavily against Buys on the cage while searching for a body lock takedown. Buys turns her about and knees her in the chest, before taking Ruiz’ back standing. Ruiz throws Buys down to the ground and is instantly in a scarf hold position. Ruiz slams her left hand on Buys’ face, and she is crushing Buys’ head on the ground as Buys’ head starts changing a reddish hue. Ruiz keeps this lock trapped, and her squeeze is making Buys twist and turn. “Conejo” holds on tight with her head lock/scarf hold, and she keeps working Buys with her left fist. Ruiz lifts the neck up to squeeze a headlock, and Buys fights it off by throwing her legs up for a triangle from behind the back. “The Warrior Princess” cannot free herself from this position, and Ruiz keeps punching Buys in the face while maintaining this position. Buys nearly scrambles out, but Ruiz drags her back down to the scarf hold position and drops down short punches. Buys holds a grip around the back but Ruiz keeps slugging her on the forehead and nose. As Buys throws her legs up again, Ruiz continues to squeeze and keep punching. Buys survives this position and turns about, even taking Ruiz’ back in a wild scramble right at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Ruiz
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz

Round 2

Buys is aggressive to start the round, and Ruiz walks into punches and kicks and looks surprised. A long flurry gets Ruiz’ attention, but she backs off to reset. Buys reaches with a right hand, and Ruiz catches her with a left hand counter on the way in. Buys throws punches in punches while Ruiz crashes the pocket and ties Buys up, where she pins Buys into the clinch again while searching for the head-and-arm throw. Buys keeps on her feet and breaks the grip, thwarting this position and pushing Ruiz into the fence. As they spin around, “Conejo” once more secures the head lock throw, and finds herself in the same scarf hold position as she kept for most of the previous frame. Buys’ head is trapped in this position and she bucks her legs, but Ruiz is not abated as she lands strikes and squeezes with heavy top pressure. Buys kicks off the ground and rolls to her stomach, only to get dragged back into the same posture. With this head lock in position, Ruiz ties up Buys’ arm between her legs for a scarf hold armlock. She tightens the grip, and Buys flails with her legs for triangle setups from behind the back to at least break the posture or free her arm. Buys succeeds to break away, and seconds after she stands up, Ruiz hits the same throw and puts “The Warrior Princess” right back down again. This scarf hold position nullifies anything Buys can do, and Buys tries to climb around to the back and manages to scramble to get on top. Buys lands punches from on top and gets to three-quarter mount, only to take full mount with seconds to go. Buys drops down elbows and punches right until to the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz

Round 3

The strawweights come out ready to throw punches, and Buys catches Ruiz coming in with a few punches. A Buys right hand makes Ruiz take a step back, and she points at the ground to lure Ruiz into a brawl. When Ruiz does not oblige, Buys kicks her in the chest. Both women throw wild punches, and both land to a small degree but neither amount any damage with them. Ruiz circles around the outside, ducking and moving when Buys tries to line up punches. Both women land strikes in an exchange, and Buys blocks a punch to get off an overhand right. Buys plants her foot on Ruiz’ chest, and she retreats when Ruiz throws a high kick back. Buys slaps away a jab, and she rushes into the clinch to knee Ruiz a few times. Ruiz waves her arms around and kicks the leg, and she walks into a right hand. Buys cracks her with a solid right hand, and Ruiz ducks down and tries to clinch up. Ruiz looks for the throw like before, and she ties Buys up into the fence and aims the head lock toss. She gets it, and Buys is enraged she wound up in this position as she lets loose a wail of frustration. Ruiz lands short punches, and Smith tells Ruiz to keep working. Ruiz grabs on to an elbow to get an armlock, and Buys powers her way out of the position to circle around and take Ruiz’ back. The two scramble wildly, and Buys threatens with a leglock only to get shoved over and punched in the face a few times. “Conejo” keeps heavy on top and Buys motions her arms that her opponent is not doing anything. Smith tells her to work, so Ruiz punches her in the body a few times. The two engage in one final brawl all the way to the bell, and Ruiz yells at Buys right after. Buys is fired up by whatever Ruiz said or did, and she throws a punch or two after the bell. When Smith separates them, Buys is not finished yet, so she reaches towards Ruiz and shouts, “I’ll follow you home, b---” while throwing up middle fingers. Cooler heads eventually prevail as Buys’ team calms her down, and the fracas is over.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz (30-26 Ruiz)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Ruiz (30-27 Ruiz)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Buys (29-28 Ruiz)

The Official Result

Montserrat Ruiz def. Cheyanne Buys via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)

Gregor Gillespie (155.5) vs. Brad Riddell (155.5)

Round 1

Per the UFC on Saturday afternoon, the bout has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. The fight will be rescheduled for a later date.

Max Griffin (170.5) vs. Kenan Song (171)

Round 1

Our new co-main event comes at welterweight, when “Pain” Griffin (16-8, 4-6 UFC) looks to deliver the pain against rising Chinese talent Song (16-5, 4-1 UFC). This high-intensity potential slugfest will be overseen by referee Keith Peterson, who takes out nonsense from the top rope. There is no glove touch, and Griffin is firing right out of the gate. Song catches him with a sharp counter, but Griffin is on him throwing heavy shots. Song sticks out a heavy jab that snaps the head back, and Griffin is unconcerned as he searches for his angle in to throw strikes. He finds it, charging forward with body shots before headhunting as he pushes Song into the fence. Griffin pursues a takedown when his momentum takes them into the clinch, but the Chinese fighter separates before he can get it. Both men land single strikes at the same time, and Song comes up short with a head kick but lands a jab after. “Pain” causes some pain with a slapping leg kick, which draws a visible reaction out of his opponent. Song picks away from a distance with his kicks, and Griffin marches him down but takes a right hand on the jaw. Song kicks the body a few times, and Griffin walks through a leg kick by checking it and making Song back off. The American loads up on a right hand hurting Song and forcing the Chinese fighter to stumble backwards. Griffin strides forward, where he unleashes a one-two that shuts Song’s lights out. With Song falling face-forward lifelessly to the mat, Griffin lands a punch that is close to the back of the head by the time Peterson is able to dive in and stop the fight. This is a huge victory for Griffin, who is now one win away from a .500 UFC record and uses his moment on the microphone to call for a fight in Houston against Geoff Neal.

The Official Result

Max Griffin def. Kenan Song R1 2:20 via KO (Punches)

Derek Brunson (186) vs. Kevin Holland (183)

Round 1

Quicker than expected, we have reached the main event of the evening. At stake is a possible place as a top contender, and two men on a combined eight-fight win streak look to end the other’s success. Brunson (21-7, 12-5 UFC) will face Holland (21-5, 8-2 UFC), and despite Holland’s ribbing, there is no bad blood as the two middleweights decide to touch gloves in front of referee Herb Dean. Holland reaches out with his hand, and he jumps back and gets kicked midair. Holland scores a fast front kick on the chin, and he ducks out of the way as Brunson is coming out throwing haymakers. Holland slips and falls to his back, and Brunson leaps on top to attack. “Trailblazer” ties Brunson up from his back with a body triangle, and Brunson does not mind as he lands a few punches from above. Holland slashes with elbows from below, but the far more emphatic punches are Brunson’s as they have an appreciable effect. Brunson works elbows as Holland looks to set up a submission, and the strikes break up the attempt without issue. Brunson throws heavy shots as he maintains heavy top pressure, and Holland pushes off only to get warned for nearly raking Brunson’s eye. Holland keeps his guard closed as Brunson pounds on him, and Holland talks to him and responds with short, hacking elbows. Holland boxes the ears and throws his legs up to try something, but Brunson ignores it and continues to hammer away on him. Holland is chattering away at him the entire time, and Brunson appears composed and lands heavy shots that silence Holland for the briefest of moments. Holland continues to banter and tell Brunson to stop covering his mouth, and Brunson continues to rain down powerful shots. Holland jumps back up, and Brunson pushes him away right at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brunson

Round 2

Between rounds, Holland has a conversation with former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov who is sitting in the stands. Holland laughs and smiles, and the fight clocks back in again. Holland whiffs with a huge right hand and a head kick, and Brunson walks forward and gets tagged with a left hand counter. Holland shouts to Nurmagomedov to tell him when Brunson’s takedown comes, and Brunson crashes forward into a clinch for a takedown attempt. Holland breaks free and lazily spins around, and he drills Brunson with a nasty right hand. Holland clips him again with a few punches, and Brunson falls across the cage. Brunson aims for a desperation takedown, lifting Holland’s leg up high in the air. Holland lands a few punches with his leg raised, and Brunson pops him with a right hand and lands an emphatic takedown. Holland surrenders mount quickly, only to roll for a leglock and allow Brunson to climb back into top position. In half guard, Brunson targets an arm-triangle choke, and looks to pass to mount or side control so he can finish the submission. Holland rolls but is pushed down and flattened on the canvas, where Brunson puts his full body weight from the other side and the choke is tight. Holland continues to talk even while firmly in the danger zone, and Brunson is in side control applying the choke. Holland rides out the submission that would put lesser fighters out, and miraculously powers out of the position and kicks off to stand back to his feet. Holland laughs and turns around, and when he throws a kick, Brunson picks him up and slams him down. Holland keeps talking to people out of the cage, asking for advice to stop takedowns. Brunson, in full guard, works him over with punches as Holland slaps and paws at him from beneath. Brunson postures up to land a few strikes, and he kicks off right before the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brunson

Round 3

Holland is not dismayed by the results of the last rounds, and he comes out smiling and reaches out his left hand. Brunson flirts with a leg kick, and Holland smacks him with an overhand right counter. Brunson retreats and circles around the cage, and Holland walks him down and lands a crisp right hand. Brunson shoots in for a takedown, where he lifts Holland up and slams him down on the canvas. Holland throws his legs up for a triangle choke, and he turns it into an armbar but Brunson is savvy and able to get out of harm’s way. Holland is able to get Brunson to stand up, but Brunson wades through an upkick to lower himself back into Holland’s guard. Holland stays busy on his back with elbows and slaps, and Brunson’s workrate has slowed dramatically. Brunson sits up a few times with slowed punches, and Holland ties him up and looks to Dean for a standup. Holland ties up a body triangle and elbows Brunson a few times, but he does allow Brunson to land some punches as well. Brunson, whose strikes are slowing, lands some but not enough to stave off Dean. The shots are enough to keep the position, but Holland is consistently throwing palm strikes and elbows at high volume. Brunson grinds his elbow on Holland’s chin, and his ground-and-pound is sporadic but effective at racking up lengthy control time in the round. Brunson sits up to drop down a few punches, and he squeezes heavily from above while Holland tries and fails to kick off the fence. Brunson continues his grind-embracing approach until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brunson

Round 4

Holland opens up the round with a leg kick, and he backs away while Brunson pump-fakes with takedown attempts. Brunson lets loose a lazy leg kick, and two punches find their home on his chin as a response. Holland clips Brunson with a few punches, and Brunson falls forward to take the fight down. Holland backs off, and recklessly charges into the fray only to get tied up. Holland pushes him off, and gets pulled into a clinch where Brunson uppercuts him several times. Brunson pushes him into the fence and gets a takedown, where he lands in side control. Holland scrambles back to his feet, but Brunson drags him right back down and is in Holland’s closed guard. Holland is frustrated as Brunson calmly and methodically gives ground-and-pound, and when Brunson elbows him in the face, Holland loudly cheers for him. Dean asks Brunson to work a few times, and every time he says it, Brunson lands a punch or two from on top. Holland looks to kick off the fence, only to get pulled back away from it and eat strikes. Brunson’s top control is making Dean take a close look at standing the fight back up, as he claps for Brunson to continue working. Holland kicks off the fence and gets to his knee. He hops over to the fence, and Brunson follows him and mashes him into the wire. Brunson presses his full body weight into Holland’s chest, and he knees Holland a few times and puts his hands out of the cage for a moment. Dean admonishes him, and he apologizes. Holland fails to escape the clinch, and elects to slap Brunson a few times before the fourth round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Brunson
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Brunson

Round 5

Holland offers a glove touch but Brunson ignores him to start off the final round. Holland picks his leg up to block a leg kick, and he stands still in the center of the cage while Brunson aims for angles. A front kick from Holland misses, and Brunson backs off and jabs him a few times. Brunson ducks down and clocks Holland with a left hand, and he may have hurt Holland but Holland wears it well and counters a leg kick with a left hand. Holland catches Brunson on the way in with a left hand, and when he leaps forward with a hook, Brunson ducks down and clinches up to take the fight down. The two land punches to the body in the clinch, and Holland knees him a few times for good measure. One of Holland’s strikes opened up a cut on Brunson’s eye, and Holland smells the blood and is excited by it. “Trailblazer” surges forward and takes Brunson down, and he is now the first fighter in UFC history to land a takedown on Brunson. Holland celebrates his work, but Brunson ties him up and locks him down so that little effective ground-and-pound can be levied. Holland postures up and lands a few punches, before lifting Brunson up to slam him down as if he were channeling his inner Quinton Jackson. Dean tells Holland that he will stand him up if he does not do anything, so he sits up and lands some shots. Brunson kicks him off, and he rushes forward for a takedown of his own to grind out the talkative kickboxer. Holland defends the first attempt but cannot stop the redoubled effort, as he slowly descends to the canvas where Brunson is lording over him punching him in the face. Dean already tells Brunson to do something, and Brunson does just that with elbows and punches. Holland pushes off the fence and giggles at Brunson, but Brunson is holding the position and winning the fight because of this strategy. Holland kicks off, and he walks away upset that he lost. With 10 seconds left, Holland appears to admit defeat as he turns his back and waves his hand in disgust. Brunson lands a punch as Holland is not paying attention, so Holland explodes with a flying knee and a hammerfist on the way down, and the final horn blares to end this 25-minute affair. The fight card comes to an inglorious end, but there is no ill will between the two middleweights. A big pay-per-view event comes over the horizon next week, although it has lost some luster as featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight is off – this is likely why the Riddell-Gillespie fight was scratched on tonight’s card. We will be here for UFC 260, and we hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Holland (49-46 Brunson)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Holland (49-46 Brunson)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Holland (49-46 Brunson)

The Official Result

Derek Brunson def. Kevin Holland via Unanimous Decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46)
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