A high-stakes middleweight pairing between longtime contender, Derek Brunson, and rising prospect, Edmen Shahbazyan has been promoted to the headliner of UFC Fight Night Vegas on August 1st. – in the place of an original bantamweight main event featuring, Irene Aldana and former titleholder, Holly Holm, which has been postponed to a later date. The new curtain closer will be a three-round affair.
With wins in his last two, North Carolina contender, Brunson looks to knock back the emerging Glendale based striker, Shahbazyan, and work his way toward the top-five at 185-pounds. 22-year-old upstart, Shahbazyan has managed four straight wins since his appearance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series back in July of 2018 – claiming the #9 rank at middleweight in the process. UFC president, Dana White confirmed the reworked headliner during an Instagram session with former UFC bantamweight best, Ronda Rousey – who serves as Shahbazyan’s manager.
36-year-old Strikeforce alumnus, Brunson will make his seventeenth Octagon appearance since his switch from the now-defunct promotion back in December 2012. With eleven knockout victories, Brunson has scored eye-catching wins over the likes of Lorenz Larkin, Roan Carneiro, Uriah Hall, Chris Leben, Lyoto Machida, and Ian Heinisch since his professional debut ten years ago.
Edmond Tarverdyan trainee, Shahbazyan – has picked up three stoppage victories in his last four outings, after a split-decision triumph over Darren Stewart back in November of 2018. Following the decision judging win over Stewart, Shahbazyan has managed to knock out both Charles Bryd and Brad Tavares – in between a rear-naked choke win over Jack Marshman. The Glendale Fight Club trainee is revered as one of the most talented prospects on the promotion’s books.