UFC Vegas 22 staff predictions

How many upsets have we seen because a punch landed in the right place at the right time? Then again, how many times has a clear favorite dominated the underdog? That’s the best thing about combat sports. The unpredictability.

In the modern era of the UFC a well rounded game has become the standard and if you don’t have it you will eventually get exposed. Surging fighters who break into the top 10 and then vanish aren’t that uncommon. That is why tonight’s main event has a lot of eyes on it.

In the middleweight main event Kevin Holland takes on his biggest test to date in Derek Brunson. Derek currently sits at number seven in the middleweight rankings and after winning five fights in 2020, Holland sits at number 10. Brunson has been labeled with the dreaded moniker of gatekeeper and he hopes to change that tonight. Holland has received criticism because of some questionable decisions in his victories and landing a “lucky punch“ against Jacare Souza. We will find out tonight if Kevin is the real deal and if Derek truly is a gate keeper.

Prediction: Sean McClure picks Holland, Editor Jack Bratcher takes Brunson.

The co-main event is a welterweight clash between Max Griffin and Song Kenan. The pair has been gifted a high profile spot on the card and one would think they will come out swinging. Neither of the two are ranked and a win probably won’t help them crack the top 15 unless it is in spectacular fashion. Griffin has a losing record in the UFC and his biggest win is by decision over Mike Perry. Kenan is 4-1 with Griffin probably being the biggest name he has faced to date. This fight should be a good one but it will not impact the rankings whatsoever.

Prediction: Sean has Griffin, Jack takes Song.

A strawweight bout between Cheyanne Buys and Montserrat Ruiz doesn’t have any real impact on the division other than the winner announcing their arrival. Buys won her way in to the UFC via the Contender Series and Ruiz is an Invicta import. They are not amateurs by any means and this will be a competitive match up. A decisive win will make a name for the one who can get it.

Prediction: Sean takes Ruiz, Jack has Buys.

Bantamweights Adrian Yanez and Gustavo Lopez has the potential to steal the show if they both show up. Adrian got to the UFC via the Contender Series and has one successful fight under his belt since arriving. Lopez is 1-1 in the organization and his best chance in this fight is probably to get the fight to the ground and submit Yanez. Adrian definitely wants to keep this one on the feet.

Prediction: Sean has Yanez, Jack also has Yanez.

Finally, the opening bout of the main card is a heavyweight clash between Tai Tuivasa and newcomer Harry Hunsucker. Harry took a last minute fight on the Contender Series and despite looking good early he lost via TKO. Tai needs a win badly because he is just 1-3 in his last 4 outings. Hunsucker stepped in at the last minute when Tuivasa’s opponent had to withdraw. A KO win for Harry would announce his arrival and a victory for Tai would not have an impact on his ranking but would get him back in the win column.

Prediction: Sean has Tuivasa, Jack also takes Tuivasa.