A pair of middleweights in a gatekeeper vs. rising star battle are the main event of UFC Fight Night on ESPN this Saturday, August 1st, when Derek Brunson takes on undefeated Edmen Shahbazyan live from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Brunson is 20-7 as an MMA fighter, and is ranked #8 at middleweight with an 11-5 mark in the UFC. He’s an active fighter in both the standup and the ground game, with 3.39 strikes per minute and 2.80 takedowns per 15 minutes in 16 fights in the promotion. The 36-year-old from Wilmington, North Carolina was a three-time D2 All-American wrestler, and is looking to get in the title picture with a win challenging a fighter at the top of the division. He’s already been in the ring with the likes of #1 Robert Whittaker and legends like Anderson Silva, but has never fought for UFC gold.
Shahbazyan is 11-0, and what an 11-0 it is. His four main roster UFC fights include a decision win in his first appearance, then three straight first round stoppages; one by TKO, one by submission, and one by knockout. In those three fights, he’s spent a total of 4:17 in the ring. Across those three fights he’s also landed 40 significant strikes, and taken only four. “The Golden Boy” served as a training partner for Ronda Rousey as a teenager, and fights out of Glendale, California. He’s ranked #9 in the division at just 22 years old, and is considered one of the rising stars of the sport.
Here are the betting odds at DraftKings Sportsbook for Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC Fight Night on August 1st:
Money line odds
Derek Brunson: +250
Edmen Shahbazyan: -335
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