Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan will have to wait another week before they can compete against each other in the eight-sided cage. Their bout, scheduled to be part of the main event card at UFC 262 In Houston, Texas on Saturday, May 15th has been shifted back a week. The cause for the delay was a case of COVID-19 that was detected within the Hermansson camp.
Hermansson-Shahbazyan Off UFC 262 Card
Instead, the two middleweights will fight as part of the May 22nd UFC Fight Night 188: Font vs. Garbrandt, in which the main event is a battle between former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt battling Rob Font. That card is slated for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Bantamweights Matthew Christopher Schnell (15-5) and Rogerio Bontorin (16-3) will step up from the preliminary matchups to be the third bout on the pay-per-view portion of the UFC 262 card.
For newcomers wondering how to bet on the UFC, the betting line for the Hermansson-Shahbazyan fight is showing Hermansson as the -165 favorite in the moneyline. That means a bettor would need to wager $165 on Hermansson (21-6) in order to turn a $100 profit on the play. Shahbazyan (11-1) is the +135 underdog. Were you to place a $100 wager on Shahbazyan, you’d garner a return of $135 on your investment were he to win the bout.
Looking to Bounce Back
Both Hermansson and Shahbayzan are coming into this fight off setbacks. Hermansson suffered a fractured orbital bone early in his loss against Marvin Vettori, leaving him battling double vision as well as his opponent. He suffered a five-round unanimous decision defeat to Vettori.
The Swedish-born Norwegian fighter is the No. 7-ranked middleweight in the UFC ratings. However, Hermansson has lost two of his last three bouts. He suffered a TKO defeat at the hands of Jared Cannonier at the 27-second mark of the second round on Sept. 28, 2019. They were the main event on a UFC Fight Night card held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hermansson, known as The Joker, was riding a four-fight win streak prior to his latest 1-2 skid.
Shahbazyan was dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten in his last bout against Derek Brunson. The No. 5-ranked middleweight stopped Shahbazyan via a third-round technical knockout. Shahbazyan, from Glendale, California, is a former training partner of ex-UFC superstar Ronda Rousey. He won his first four bouts after signing with UFC, finishing three of his opponents off within a minute.
Ten of his career victories were recorded via first-round stoppages. Shahbazyan ended five of his fights in less than one minute. He should feel at home in Sin City. This will be the sixth time in seven bouts that Shahbayzan has fought in Las Vegas.
“I see him as a good stand up fighter,” Hermansson told MMA News in assessing Shahbyzan’s fighting style. “He’s kind of a sniper. I’m a little bit more high pace with aggressive grappling in my style.
“I see myself as a better version of Derek Brunson. I see myself as a guy who is going to give him at least as many problems in the same areas of the game. I definitely feel like I have some tools that are going to be tough for him to handle.”
More Bad Luck
Both Hermansson and the UFC 262 card seem to be encountering their share of bad luck when it comes to postponed matches. The Hermansson-Shahbazyan bout moved up in the pecking order when a welterweight fight between Nate Diaz and Leon Edwards was postponed until UFC 263. It was originally the co-main event along with the UFC lightweight world title bout between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. The Diaz-Edwards tilt was scheduled to be the first five-round non-title main event in UFC history.
Hermansson has also seen his share of adjustments required in recent bouts. He was originally to fight Darren Till as part of a UFC Fight Night card on December 5th of last year. However, Till was forced to bow out due to injury. Kevin Holland was announced as Till’s replacement. Unfortunately, he was also forced to pull out of the bout after testing positive for COVID-19. Hermansson eventually fought and lost to Vettori on that card.