Las Vegas, August 2: Derek Brunson stopped Edmen Shahbazyan in the headliner of UFC on Vegas 5: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (August 1).
In the main event, middleweight contender No. 8 Brunson handed No. 9 Shahbazyan his first professional loss in the third round of an exhilarating contest.
Although 22-year old Shahbazyan impressed with his well-rounded skills, Brunson's experience shined through with creative trips and very dominant ground and pound. Early in the third round, Brunson earned the win through referee stoppage.
In the co-main event, No. 3 ranked women's flyweight Joanne Calderwood risked her top contender position against No. 6 ranked Jennifer Maia. Maia knew it was a huge opportunity and she aggressively took full advantage of it with her close range striking.
Calderwood was able to take her down, but Maia capitalized on the position by getting an armbar that forced Calderwood to submit in the first round.
At the post fight press conference, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Maia will be the next contender for flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko.
Also on the main card, lightweights Lando Vannata and Bobby Green heartily tried to outdo their first meeting that had earned them each a Fight of the Night bonus in their rematch.
Well-rounded MMA skills were in full effect as both used creative striking and grappling, and had near knockdowns. While their first battle was judged a draw, Green was able to show his boxing acumen and earned the decision victory.
In the main card opener, No. 12 ranked welterweight contender Vicente Luque keeps his spot in the rankings in a dominant performance against prospect Randy Brown. Luque ended Brown's rise with a well-timed knock out by a knee and punches in the second round.
Earlier in the preliminary card, there were decsion wins for Nate Maness and Jamall Emmers, while Chris Gutierrez vs. Cody Durden ended in a draw. In the only stoppage win of the prelims, Jonathan Martinez finished Frankie Saenz in the third-round of a bantamweight bout.
UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs Shahbazyan Final Results
1. Middleweight bout: Derek Brunson defeated Edmen Shahbazyan via third-round TKO
2. Women's Flyweight bout: Jennifer Maia defeated Joanne Calderwood via first-round submission
3. Welterweight bout: Vicente Luque defeated Randy Brown via second-round KO
4. Lightweight bout: Bobby Green defeated Lando Vannata via unanimous decision
1. Bantamweight bout: Jonathan Martinez defeated Frankie Saenz via third-round TKO
2. Bantamweight bout: Nate Maness defeated Johnny Munoz via unanimous decision
3. Featherweight bout: Jamall Emmers defeated Vince Cachero via unanimous decision
4. Bantamweight bout: Chris Gutierrez vs. Cody Durden resulted in a unanimous draw