An anticipated bantamweight fight between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana, which was set to headline a UFC card on August 1, has been postponed.
The bout was postponed when Aldana withdrew from the matchup and a suitable replacement could not be found for Holm. The reason for Aldana’s exit is not currently clear.
With Holm vs. Aldana scratched, the card will now be headlined by a clash of middleweight contenders, as the streaking Edmen Shahbazyan takes on the veteran Derek Brunson.
Dana White announces on Instagram with Ronda Rousey that Irene Aldana vs. Holly Holm is being postponed and Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (Rousey is Edmen’s manager) will be the new main event for Saturday, August 1.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) July 22, 2020
News of this shakeup was announced by UFC President Dana White, who was joined on an Instagram live session by Shahbazyan’s manager, former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Lenny Fresquez, who manages Holm, subsequently issued a statement on the bout’s postponement to MMA Fighting.
“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.”
Holly Holm, the former UFC bantamweight champion, has not fought since January, when she picked up a second victory over Raquel Pennington. That victory was preceded by a first-round TKO loss, which marked a failed bid to capture the UFC bantamweight title.
Irene Aldana, on the other hand, is riding back-to-back wins: a decision win over Vanessa Melo, and a jaw-dropping, one-punch knockout over the formerly unbeaten Ketlen Vieira.
Derek Brunson will enter the new August 1 main event riding back-to-back wins over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch. Shahbazyan, finally, is undefeated at 11-0, with Octagon victories over Darren Stewart, Charles Byrd, Jack Marshman and Brad Tavares.