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Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan set to headline August 1 event of UFC

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon24 July 2020

UFC returns to Las Vegas with a series of action-packed cards every weekend in August, kicking off with a clash of top middleweight contenders as No. 8 Derek Brunson looks to hand No. 9 Edmen Shahbazyan his first professional loss.

Due to COVID-19 related issues with Irene Aldana, the bout against Holly Holm, originally set to the main event, has been postponed to a later date. As a result, the co-main event between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan will now be the three-round main event.

This event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance pursuant to a Health, Safety and Operations plan approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

A staple of the middleweight top 10, Brunson (20-7, Wilmington, N.C., US) returns to action intending to once again stop the ascent of another fast-rising prospect.

Despite his All-American wrestling background, Brunson has developed into one of the most explosive strikers in the division with knockout wins over Lyoto Machida, Uriah Hall and Sam Alvey. He now looks to extend his current win streak and work his way back towards the top five by becoming the first person to defeat Shahbazyan.

One of the youngest athletes on the entire UFC roster, Shahbazyan, 22 (11-0, Glendale, Calif., US) has quickly developed into the middleweight division’s top prospect.

Hailing from the same gym as former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, Shahbazyan has shown incredible skills during his young MMA career by finishing all but one of his victories in the first round, including wins over Brad Tavares, Jack Marshman and Charles Byrd.

He now takes a step up in competition and looks to prove that the hype around him is deserved with his most critical victory yet.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • A critical bout in the women’s flyweight division sees No. 3 ranked contender Joanne Calderwood (14-4, Glasgow, Scotland) step up on short notice to take on No. 6 ranked Jennifer Maia (17-6-1, Curitiba, State of Paraná, Brazil)
  • In an exciting welterweight bout, No. 12 ranked contender Vicente Luque (19-7, Brasilia, Brazil) looks to defend his spot in the rankings against rising prospect Randy Brown (12-3, Queens, N.Y., US)
  • In a thrilling lightweight rematch, Lando Vannata (11-4, Albuquerque, N.M., US) and Bobby Green (25-10, Fontana, Calif., US) look to replicate their first Fight of the Night performance
  • Light heavyweight veterans meet when veteran Ed Herman (26-14 1 NC, Portland, Ore., US) faces Gerald Meerschaert (30-13, Racine, W.i., US) on short notice
  • Kevin Holland (18-5, Fort Worth, Texas, US) and Trevin Giles (12-2, Houston, Texas, US) both look to build on their win streaks in a clash at middleweight
  • Veteran bantamweight Frankie Saenz (13-6, Scottsdale, Ariz., US) aims to make a statement against Jonathan Martinez (11-3, Plainview, Texas, US)
  • Perennial top contender Ray Borg (13-5, Albuquerque, N.M., US) looks to spoil the debut of UFC newcomer Nate Maness (11-1, Henderson, Ky, US.)
  • Middleweights Eric Spicely (12-6, Olneyville, R.I., US) and Markus Perez (11-3, Sao Paulo, Brazil) battle to return to the win column
  • In a battle of featherweight prospects looking to earn their first UFC win, Jamall Emmers (13-5, Mentone, Calif., US) welcomes the debuting Timur Valiev (16-2, Moscow, Russia)

Who do you think takes the main event? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy: UFC


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