The UFC’s return to Vegas has a change of main event.
UFC president Dana White announced during an IG Live session with Ronda Rousey that rising middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan, whom Rousey manages, has been promoted from co-main event to headlining status for his fight vs. Derek Brunson. Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana has been postponed to a later date for reasons unknown at this point.
Irene Aldana vs Holly Holm is being postponed and now the main event August 1st is Derek Brunson vs Edmen Shahbazyan pic.twitter.com/82JvLBACfy— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) July 22, 2020
According to BJPenn.com’s Cole Shelton, the fight will remain a three-rounder presumably due to the short notice.
Shahbazyan (11-0) was signed off of Dana White’s Contender Series after a 40-second TKO of Antonio Jones. In the UFC, he had a somewhat shaky debut in a split decision win vs. Darren Stewart, but the 22-year-old has since rattled off three straight victories by stoppage. In his last outing, he wiped out veteran Brad Tavares by head kick at UFC 244.
Brunson (20-7) has won his last two fights by decision over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch. He’s alternated two-fight winning streaks and two-fight losing streaks over his last eight bouts, so the pattern is not looking good for him at the moment. His biggest wins have come against Lyoto Machida and Uriah Hall, both of whom were stopped in the opening round.
Current UFC rankings have Brunson at #8 and Shahbazyan at #9, so in terms of rankings this is the biggest step up of young Edmen’s career.
The August 1st UFC show takes place at the APEX facility, with the main card airing live on ESPN+.