The Ultimate Fighting Championship return to American soil with UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan. UFC Odds are now available, here’s a complete betting guide taking the first look at Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan, including updated odds and our free expert UFC betting picks.
Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
UFC Middleweight Bout
Saturday, 1st August live from the UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas on ESPN+
It's that time of the week again, where we focus on the main event of next weekend's UFC headliner. Now that the 'Fight Island' hype is over we resume action in the USA, and where better to start than with gatekeeper of the middleweight division, Derek Brunson & twenty-two year old up and coming-star Edmen Shahbazyan.
Derek Brunson (20-7-0)
UFC middleweight Derek Brunson has an absolute murderers-row of martial artists on his fight resume, looking at the seven losses doesn't seem half so bad when you realize the level of competition he's faced.
Born and raised in North Carolina, USA, Brunson began his martial arts journey on the wrestling mats at school. High achievements led him to a Division II All-American level of the game, eventually turning to MMA once he'd finished college.
Heavy-hands and high-level wrestling have gave put Brunson as a staple gatekeeper in the middleweight division, who could achieve a severe talk in title contention with just a couple more significant wins.
Brunson vs. Shahbazyan Odds
The UFC bookmakers are behind the prospect, and you can't blame them. The opening line for Shahbazyan was set at -270, making him the considerable favorite. I do however question this line, I have no questions in the talent of Edmen, but doubting the experience of fighters like Brunson with such a juiced-line would be costly in the long-run.
Edmen Shahbazyan (10-0-0)
A twenty-two-year-old prospect in Edmen Shahbazyan proved his doubters wrong with a complete decimating performance over #11 ranked Brad Tavares last time out. Now faced with the top 10 of the UFC middleweight division, can the young hype train keep his wheels on the track?
Born and raised in Glendale, California, Edmen began full-time martial arts at the age of nine. With no one-particular area focussed on, he's slowly proving what the new generation of martial artists will be all about.
A 6-0 compiled knockout record drew the attention of the UFC, with training partner & manager Ronda Rousey claiming Edmen is the next big thing. A small spot-light is now shining on the 22-year-old as he makes his twelfth professional walk this weekend.
UFC Fight Night: Shahbazyan vs. Brunson Early Prediction & Betting Pick
How Can Brunson Win the Fight?
Stylistically, this fight will more than likely take place on the feet, which could favor Brunson if his aggressive forward pressure gives Edmen problems early in the Fight.
I'd say Brunson is undoubtedly the more vigorous wrestling, but Edmen seems to have his takedown defense mastered thus far.
How Can Shahbazyan Win the Fight?
I think Edmen has proved time and time again, exactly how he prefers to finish fights – I don't expect the game plan to change, but his skills will be sharpened.
A striking master class against the flat-footed Derek Brunson is expected, and I have no worries for Edmen fending of the 37-year-old cardio.
Who Will Win the Fight?
I'm taking Shahbazyan with this UFC pick, and I'll never forgive Brunson for sleeping my hero Lyoto Machida – plus, the kid looks so damn impressive, it's extremely hard to fade him at this stage; the hype is real.
Believe the passion behind Ronda Rousey and the team surrounding Shahbazyan, looking at his record of consecutive fast finishes would lead you to believe he's an aggressive, fast starter. But no, Edmen has such a composed, sniping style to his fight game. Some fighters have "IT", Edmen is one of those guys.
The problem I have is the experience of Brunson matched with the heavily juiced odds of -265.
UFC Betting Pick: Edmen Shahbazyan to win inside the distance [when available] with BetOnline [-150 > -200]