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Try as they might, the Ultimate Fighting Championship could not salvage all three fights impacted by late-notice withdrawals.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas after a month in Abu Dhabi with UFC Fight Night 173. The event is headlined by two middleweight contenders as Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan will both look to get one step closer to a crack at UFC gold with a victory.
With a recent TKO loss to champion Israel Adesanya, Brunson (20-7) appeared further away than ever from a potential title fight. The North Carolina native has bounced back since that defeat with decision wins over Ian Heinisch and Elias Theodorou. The 36-year-old hit the scales at the middleweight limit of 186 pounds.
This marks the first headlining opportunity for the undefeated Shahbazyan (11-0). The Glendale Fighting Club representative has looked great since his Octagon debut against Darren StewartBrad Tavares, Jack Marshman and Charles Byrd. He’ll now get a major step up in competition against Brunson. The 22-year-old had little issue making weight and officially came in at 185.5 pounds.
The weigh-ins were not without drama, as Jonathan Martinez (140.5)* missed weight by 4.5 pounds for his bantamweight bout against Frankie Saenz. Martinez was fined a percentage of his purse, and the fight will continue as scheduled. Also, short-notice replacement Charlie Ontiveros never made it to weigh-ins, and his bout with Markus Perez was canceled. This news accompanies recent developments that forced several last-minute changes to the card.
UFC Fight Night 173 will stream in its entirety on ESPN+. The prelims begin on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, while the main card kicks off at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
UFC Fight Night 173 Weigh-in Results:Derek Brunson (186) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (185.5)
Joanne Calderwood (126) vs. Jennifer Maia (124.5)
Vicente Luque (170.5) vs. Randy Brown (170.5)
Lando Vannata (155.5) vs. Bobby Green (156)
Trevin Giles (185) vs. Kevin Holland (184)
Frankie Saenz (136) vs. Jonathan Martinez (140.5)*
Ed Herman (206) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (204.5)
Johnny Munoz Jr. (145.5) vs. Joseph Nathan Maness (144.5)
Markus Perez (194.5) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (N/A)**
Jamall Emmers (146) vs. Vince Cachero (145)
Chris Gutierrez (135.5) vs. Cody Durden (135.5)
* Martinez missed weight by 4.5 pounds and has been fined a percentage of his purse.
** Ontiveros did not attend weigh-ins. The fight was canceled by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.