My record stands at (20-14) after going (5-2) last week for UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till. Tonight the UFC returns to United State’s soil with UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan at the APEX in Las Vegas. You can catch all the action on ESPN+.
Starting off the six-fight main card in the middleweight division, Kevin Holland (17-5) fights Trevin Giles (12-2). Holland, a late replacement for Jun Yong Park, removed from the card due to travel issues on July 23rd, TKO’d Anthony Hernandez his last time in the cage at UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Harris. Giles earned a Fight of the Night performance victory over James Krause at UFC 247. Holland by submission.
Ed Herman (26-14-0 1NC) takes on Gerald Meerschaert (31-13), a fight in the light heavyweight division. Herman is hoping to make it three in a row with a win against Meerschaert, who was TKO’d in the first round by Ian Heinisch just under two months ago at UFC 250. I am afraid Meerschaert is getting back up on that horse too soon, not a good look for the UFC. Herman by KO/TKO.
In the men’s lightweight division, a FOTN contender, in my opinion, Lando Vannata (11-4-2) squares off with Bobby Green (25-10-1). Green is coming off an impressive three-round performance against the always game Clay Guida. Vannata defeated Yancy Medeiros in his last outing, arguably the much tougher opponent. Vannata by decision.
In the welterweight division, Vicente Luque (18-7-1) faces Randy Brown (12-3). Luque the No. 11 ranked welterweight defeated Niko Price via doctor stoppage due to an eye injury in the third round of their fight at UFC 249. Brown has also faced Price in the past — famously losing by TKO to hammer fists from the bottom position by Price. Luque by decision.
Moving on to the women’s flyweight division, in the co-main event, Joanne Calderwood (14-4) meets Jennifer Maia (17-6-1). No. 3 ranked Calderwood looks to be in the best shape of her career despite taking this fight on two weeks notice after her potential title matchup with Valentina Shevchenko fell through when the champion pulled out with a leg injury requiring surgery. Will the gamble against Maia payoff? Calderwood by decision.
The main event features Derek Brunson (20-7) vs. Edmen ‘The Golden Boy’ Shahbazyan (11-0). Shahbazyan the pride of Glendale, California, is managed by former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, and is trained by her former head coach Edmund Tarverdyan. Shahbazyan has looked spectacular so far in his UFC career, but the hype train ends tonight. Brunson by TKO.