UFC: Holm vs. Aldana Postponed; Brunson vs. Shahbazyan Tops August 1 Event

UFC 239 Edmen Shahbazyan UFC 244
Edmen Shahbazyan Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

The bantamweight headliner between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana on the UFC’s August 1 card has been postponed; middleweights Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan will now be the new main event.

UFC President Dana White broke the news on Wednesday during an Instagram conversation with former champion Ronda Rousey that the main event between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana next Saturday has been postponed, and that the middleweight bout between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan is the new headliner.  MMAFighting reports that Aldana was the one who withdrew from the fight and that the bout with Holm will be pushed back, with a date in October being targeted.  Notably, Shahbazyan is managed by Rousey through her management company: One Fight Management.  The fight is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on August 1.

The undefeated Shahbazyan is considered one of the top prospects in mixed martial arts with an undefeated record of 11-0.  After stringing together victories on the local circuit in California, “The Golden Boy” impressed the UFC President on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018 and has gone on to record four victories inside the Octagon.  Last year, he was ranked third on ESPN’s list of the top 25 fighters under the age of 25.  Besides being managed by Rousey, he also trains under her old coach Edmond Tarverdyan at the Glendale Fight Club.

A veteran of the UFC since 2012, the hard-hitting Brunson has faced the best the division has had to offer for nearly a decade.  The past several years have seen the North Carolina native fight the likes of Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Lyoto Machida, and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza en route to becoming a staple of the UFC’s middleweight division.  Brunson goes into the fight with Shahbazyan on a two fight win-streak with victories over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch.

Per a report by ESPN, the main event fight between Shahbazyan and Brunson will be three rounds.

The Updated UFC Vegas 5 Fight Card:

  • Derek Brunson vs Edmen Shahbazyan
  • Markus Perez vs. Eric Spicely
  • Trevin Giles vs. Jun Yong Park
  • Da Un Jung vs. Ed Herman
  • Vicente Luque vs. Randy Brown
  • Luke Sanders vs. Chris Gutiérrez
  • Frankie Saenz vs. Jonathan Martinez
  • Ray Borg vs. Nathan Maness
  • Timur Valiev vs. Jamall Emmers
  • Jennifer Maia vs. Joanne Calderwood