UFC Vegas 5 Results and Rundown: Brunson Exposes Shahbazyan
UFC Vegas 5 saw two last minute cancellations but moved forward with nine ambitious matchups. Per MMA Fighting, Gerald ‘3M’ Meerschaert tested COVID-19 positive Saturday and had his light heavyweight bout with Ed Herman scrapped. Due to the timing of Meerschaert’s diagnosis, Herman did not compete.
After Trevin Giles fainted during walkout formalities the UFC’s weekend casualty list grew. Though Giles regained consciousness and pled with officials to continue vs. Kevin Holland, the state athletic commission rescinded the opening UFC Vegas 5 main card bout.
The actual Octagon show produced four rugged encounters headlined by crossroads middleweights Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan. Regarded as gatekeeper to the stars, and only losing vs. 185 elite, Brunson exposed former top prospect Shahbazyan Saturday night. With many prognosticators calling for a clean “Golden Boy” coronation ceremony along his plausibly imminent title run, 36-year-old Brunson unhinged his younger challenger via third round TKO. But in the minutes before viciously erasing his assignment, UFC mainstay Brunson (+270 underdog) pieced up Shahbazyan while outlanding the hyped UFC fledgling 78-35 to compliment four dominating takedowns.
Brunson has now earned three straight wins following a pair of abrupt stoppage defeats vs. Israel Adesanya and Jacare Souza. While the 17-fight Zuffa veteran won’t move higher in the stacked middleweight ranks, he did an essential service by deflating previously undefeated Shahbazyan. Now, the 22-year-old must regroup moving forward or become another in a long line of touted newcomers that flamed out when met with prideful resistance.
Winner: Derek Brunson by stoppage
The co-main saw a minor upset as no. 6 ranked female flyweight Jennifer Maia (+135) tapped no. 3 ranked Joanne Calderwood. After an even opening round where Calderwood edged Maia standing 33-31, 'Jo Jo' was overwhelmed and submitted at 4:29 of the first frame by her game Brazilian opponent. Maia has now won three of four UFC tests after recently struggling vs. Kaitlyn Chookigan. Meanwhile, Calderwood loses a proposed title shot vs. rehabbing Valentina Schevchenko in addition to her shine from a 3-1 run entering Saturday's event. With ring time limited during the pentultimate bout, the key takeaway is Octagon parity can see any outcome as each fighter is generally evenly matched in this era.
Winner: Jennifer Maia by stoppage
The third UFC Vegas 5 main card draw also ended in quick fashion as underrated stoppage machine Vicente Luque used creative measure to land a crushing knee to Randy Brown, thus time stamping an otherwise competitive welterweight tilt at 4:55 of round two.
With his 11th early-eraser vs. Octagon fare, Luque stands 13-2 in the World's largest mixed martial arts promotion. One now must assume bigger lights await 'The Silent Assassin.' Meanwhile, after outlanding Luque 76-66 and gaining the fight's only takedown, Brown's winning streak ends at two. Look for Vicente Luque vs. a name opponent during the 28-year-old's next outing.
Winner: Vicente Luque by stoppage
Abbreviated main card action began as slight underdog veteran Bobby Green used all three rounds to piece up Lando Vannata 136-64 standing and earn three takedowns to Vannata's one. In a far cry from their 2017 draw, Green paced a route performance while handing Vannata his second loss in three Octagon bids. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Green chased his June win over Clay Guida with more success to gain his first UFC winning streak since 2014.
Winner: Bobby Green by decision
UFC Vegas 5 undercard results include:
-Jonathan Martinez3rd round TKO win vs. Frankie Saenz
-Joseph Maness decision win vs. Johnny Munoz
-Jamall Emmers decision win vs. Vince Cachero
-Chris Gutierrez and Cory Durden fought to a draw