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Home Sports UFC Fight Night Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan -- Live results, analysis

UFC Fight Night Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan — Live results, analysis

There is plenty of talk about what Edmen Shahbazyan can do in the future. At 22 years old, the surging middleweight still has one year to become the youngest champion in UFC history, surpassing Jon Jones’ record. Many think that could be within his reach.

But Shahbazyan knows it would not be wise to overlook the opponents in front of him as he attempts to climb the 185-pound ladder, including Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Shahbazyan (11-0) has won all four of his UFC fights thus far, the past three via first-round finish. The California native is considered one of the top blue-chippers on the UFC roster. Shahbazyan trains out of Glendale Fighting Club in California under coach Edmond Tarverdyan, the longtime mentor of superstar Ronda Rousey.

Shahbazyan, a protégé of both, is managed by Tarverdyan and Rousey. Brunson (20-7) is considered one of the toughest outs in the middleweight division. The North Carolina native is on a two-fight winning streak. Brunson, 36, has lost to only current or former champions since 2016: Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, Anderson Silva and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

In the co-main event Saturday, Joanne Calderwood puts a potential women’s flyweight title shot on the line against former Invicta champion Jennifer Maia. Calderwood (14-4), who is No. 4 in ESPN’s MMA women’s flyweight rankings, was queued up for the title opportunity against champion Valentina Shevchenko, but she didn’t want to wait for Shevchenko to return from injury later this year. Maia (17-6-1) has won two of three and has lost only to former title challengers Katlyn Chookagian and Liz Carmouche.

Also on the card, Vicente Luque and Randy Brown meet in a high-octane welterweight encounter, Lando Vannata and Bobby Green face off in a lightweight rematch, and Kevin Holland and Trevin Giles do battle in a clash of middleweight prospects.

Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim recap the action as it happens from Las Vegas.


Fight in progress:

Men’s bantamweight: Frankie Saenz (13-6, 5-4 UFC, +220) vs. Jonathan Martinez (11-3, 2-2 UFC, -260)


Results:

Men’s bantamweight: Nate Maness (12-1, 1-0 UFC) defeats Johnny Munoz (10-1, 0-1 UFC) defeats by unanimous decision

Recap to come.

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Johnny Munoz picks up Nathan Maness and slams him to the mat late in Round 2 of their bout at UFC Fight Night.


Men’s featherweight: Jamall Emmers (18-5, 1-1 UFC) defeats Vince Cachero (6-3, 0-1 UFC) by unanimous decision

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Jamall Emmers throws a flurry of strong punches early in his bout vs. Vince Cachero at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Emmers showed off a multifaceted skill set — just not all at once — in putting on a commanding performance to earn his first UFC victory.

Emmers, a 31-year-old fighting out of Redlands, California, worked a different attack in each round. In the first, he punished Cachero to the body, landing an unrelenting array of knees and kicks. Emmers went mainly with right hands to the head in Round 2, landing some big ones. In neither round did Cachero stop moving forward, however.

Emmers, who lost his UFC debut to Giga Chikadze in March, went to takedowns in the final round, getting two on four tries and setting up submission attempts both times. But Cachero, a 30-year-old Hawaii native fighting out of Los Angeles, defended well to make it to the final horn in his UFC debut.

All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Emmers, who has won five of six.

Cachero was a late replacement for Timur Valiev, who withdrew from the fight earlier in the week because of visa issues.

— Wagenheim

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Men’s bantamweight: Chris Gutierrez (15-3-2, 3-1-1 UFC) and Cody Durden (11-2-1, 0-0-1 UFC) fight to a unanimous draw

It doesn’t happen often, but unanimous draws do exist in MMA. And this was a fairly scored one.

Durden dominated the first round with his wrestling, ground and pound and submission attempts. It was a 10-8 round, with Durden having Gutierrez’s back for much of the five minutes. In the second and third, though, Gutierrez took over with his striking. Gutierrez landed hard kicks to the body and calf of Durden, doing damage to both areas. Gutierrez dropped Durden twice in the third with kicks.

Durden, 29, was making his UFC debut on just a week’s notice. The wrestler from American Top Team in Georgia had a seven-fight winning streak snapped. Gutierrez, a 29-year-old Boston native, is unbeaten in four straight UFC fights and had won three in a row coming in. Gutierrez was a -310 favorite.

— Raimondi

Watch this fight on ESPN+.


Still to come:

Middleweight: Derek Brunson (20-7, 11-5 UFC, +285) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0, 4-0 UFC -350)
Women’s flyweight: Joanne Calderwood (14-4, 6-4 UFC, -150) vs. Jennifer Maia (17-6-1, 2-2 UFC, +130)
Welterweight: Vicente Luque (18-7-1, 11-3 UFC, -190) vs. Randy Brown (12-3, 6-3 UFC, +170)
Lightweight: Lando Vannata (11-4-2, 3-4-2 UFC, -150) vs. Bobby Green (25-10-1, 6-5-1 UFC, +130)
Middleweight: Kevin Holland (17-5, 4-2 UFC, -210) vs. Trevin Giles (12-2, 3-2 UFC, +180)

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