The UFC’s summer schedule continues for an Aug. 1 event in Las Vegas, and the promotion has added a pair of important matchups to the fight card.
Former bantamweight champion Holly Holm hopes to stop rising contender Irene Aldana in a headlining fight, and middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan aims to break through by defeating veteran Derek Brunson.
The matchups were first reported by ESPN.com and confirmed to MMA Fighting by multiple people with knowledge of the upcoming fights.
Holm hopes to build on a recent rebound. The ex-champ and three-time title challenger most recently outpointed Raquel Pennington in a rematch of a previous victory, which put her back in the win column after a third attempt to win back the 135-pound title ended in a TKO loss to current two-division champ Amanda Nunes.
Aldana is coming off one of the most impressive performances of her career, a first-round knockout of contender apparent Ketlen Vieira, who was on a four-fight winning streak before getting stopped.
For Shahbazyan and Brunson, the Aug. 1 date marks the third booking of the fight after dates at UFC 248 and UFC Portland were scrapped, the latter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Shahbazyan hopes to extend his current unbeaten streak to 12 fights after a highlight-reel knockout win over Brad Tavares in his previous outing. After stoppage losses to current champ Israel Adesanya and Ronaldo Souza, Brunson is on the rebound with a pair of wins, most recently a decision over Ian Heinisch.
The Aug. 1 fight card is expected to take place at UFC APEX, which has hosted several events during the coronavirus pandemic, but the location has not been confirmed.