Holm vs. Aldana Postponed; Brunson vs. Shahbazyan New UFC Fight Night 173 Main Event

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jul 22, 2020

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A women’s bantamweight matchup between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana that was scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night 173 on Aug. 1 has been postponed.

As a result, a middleweight clash pitting Derek Brunson against Edmen Shahbazyan has been elevated to the event’s featured bout. UFC president Dana White announced the news via Instagram Live on Wednesday.

Holm’s manager, Lenny Fresquez, revealed to MMAFighting.com in a statement that Aldana withdrew from the contest and the fight could be rebooked in October. Aldana later revealed via social media that a positive COVID-19 test was to blame for her withdrawal.

“Holly is very disappointed and saddened that her fight was postponed, but stuff happens,” Fresquez said. “We’re only interested in fighting someone that’s going to help us get a title shot. So there’s only really two girls, and that’s Aldana and [Aspen] Ladd, and Ladd’s out.”

Brunson is currently on a two-bout winning streak after taking back-to-back decision triumphs over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch in 2019. The 22-year-old Shahbazyan has kicked off his professional tenure with 11 straight victories — including four in UFC competition.

UFC Fight Night 173 is expected to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Note: This article was updated at approximately 6 p.m. ET to include information regarding Aldana's positive COVID-19 result. Advertisement
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