Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
A major change has been made to the upcoming UFC card on Aug. 1 with the postponement of a bantamweight main event between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana. A middleweight showdown pitting Derek Brunson against Edmen Shahbazyan will now serve as the headliner.
UFC President Dana White made the announcement on his official Instagram account on Wednesday while speaking with ex-champ Ronda Rousey.
Holm’s manager Lenny Fresquez confirmed in a statement to MMA Fighting that Aldana withdrew from the fight and the matchup is postponed, possibly until October. He added that an attempt was made to secure a suitable replacement, but a new fight didn’t come together.
MMA Fighting was unable to reach Aldana or her rep for comment at the time of this writing.
“Holly is very disappointed and saddened that her fight was postponed, but stuff happens,” Fresquez said. “We’re only interested in fighting someone that’s going to help us get a title shot. So there’s only really two girls, and that’s Aldana and [Aspen] Ladd, and Ladd’s out.”
As for the new main event, Brunson and Shahbazyan were already scheduled for the same show, but now they will be promoted into the headline spot. The pair have been rebooked twice; a previous booking at UFC Portland was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Brunson has picked up back-to-back victories in his past two fights with wins over Ian Heinisch and Elias Theodorou. A stalwart of the middleweight top-10 for several years, Brunson has faced a who’s who in the division including past fights against Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya.
Meanwhile, Shahbazyan attempts to keep his perfect record intact after initially earning his UFC contract after getting an impressive win on The Contender Series. Since that time, Shahbazyan has gone 4-0 in the UFC with three straight finishes, including a devastating head kick knockout over Brad Tavares in his last octagon appearance.
The UFC card on Aug. 1 will take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
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