The organized main event for the Aug. 1 UFC Fight Night card between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana has been called off.
Aldana took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce that she had to withdraw after testing positive for the coronavirus.
According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the main event will be Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan with Holm vs. Aldana no longer on the card.
Helwani added that the current plan is to rearrange Holm vs. Aldana for Oct. 5 as the main event.
The 32-year-old Aldana has won five of her past six fights and is among the fastest-rising stars in UFC’s female ranks. Holm was set to be arguably the biggest challenge of Aldana’s career despite her recent inconsistency.
Holm is best known for her shocking upset victory over Ronda Rousey in 2015, but she is just 3-5 since the win of her life. She has fallen to big names such as Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes, but she is coming off a win over Raquel Pennington at UFC 246 in January.
Aldana lost to Pennington last year, but she has bounced back with victories over Vanessa Melo and Ketlen Vieira.
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Overall, Aldana is 12-5 with six wins by way of knockout and three submission victories professionally, while the 38-year-old Holm is 13-5 with eight knockouts. Holm is ranked second in the UFC women’s bantamweight division, and Aldana is sixth.
Whenever the Holm vs. Aldana fight does take place, the winner could be in line for a title shot versus Nunes.
The middleweight bout between Brunson and Shahbazyan will be a classic case of a clash between a grizzled veteran and an up-and-coming youngster.
Brunson, 36, is 20-7 professionally and has faced some of the biggest names in the sport, including Anderson Silva, Israel Adesanya and Lyoto Machida. Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Shahbazyan is a perfect 11-0 with nine of those wins by knockout.
Shahbazyan hasn’t faced the big names Brunson has, but he is 5-0 under the UFC banner and viewed as one of the top prospects in the sport.
If Shahbazyan manages to defeat Brunson, it will be the biggest win of his career and should help him rise significantly from his No. 9 ranking in the middleweight division.
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