Shahbazyan favoured to remain undefeated on UFC Saturday odds


Edmen Shahbazyan, left, kicks Brad Tavares during the first round of a middleweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 244 in New York. Shahbazyan stopped Tavares in the first round. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Edmen Shahbazyan will be looking to improve his professional MMA record to an unblemished 12-0 when he clashes with fellow middleweight Derek Brunson on Saturday in the main event at UFC Fight Night 173 as a heavy -340 betting favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by

Shahbazyan is coming off yet another dominating performance in his last outing, tallying a first-round KO victory over Brad Tavares at UFC 244 that marked his 10th victory inside five minutes over 11 career fights going into Saturday night’s bout at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Shahbazyan’s victory over Tavares proved to be one of the lengthiest fights of his career. Of the 10 clashes in which he has finished an opponent, six have lasted fewer than 70 seconds, while his lone matchup to extend beyond the first round came at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, where he eked out a split decision win over Darren Stewart.

While Shahbazyan’s star is clearly on the rise, Brunson looks to record three straight wins for the first time in four years when he enters the Octagon on Saturday as a +260 underdog at online sports betting sites. Pegged as the No. 8 contender in the UFC middleweight rankings, Brunson is coming off a unanimous decision win over Ian Heinisch at UFC 241. That win marked the 36-year-old American’s second straight win by unanimous decision, and put the brakes on a run of six fights that featured four losses, including three by opening-round TKO.

However, like Shahbazyan, Brunson also possesses an impressive track record of success in the first round. Of his 20 career wins, 14 have coming inside the first five minutes, capped by a first-round KO win over Lyoto Machida at UFC Fight Night 119 that earned Brunson his first career Performance of the Night bonus.

Elsewhere on the UFC odds for Saturday, Joanne Calderwood looks to build on her recent split decision victory over Andrea Lee at UFC 242 as she takes on Jennifer Maia as a -150 betting favourite in a clash of women’s flyweights. As well, Vicente Luque vies for his fourth Fight of the Night bonus in his past six outings as he takes on Randy Brown as a -190 favourite in their welterweight matchup.

After battling to a draw in their first meeting at UFC 216, Lando Vannata faces off against fellow lightweight Bobby Green as a -155 wager, while the other middleweight matchup on Saturday’s main card has Kevin Holland listed as a -225 betting favourite against Trevin Giles

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