In the main event of UFC Vegas 5, Derek Brunson was looking to extend his winning streak to three while Edmen Shahbazyan was looking to remain undefeated.
During fight week, all the talk was on Shahbazyan and how this will be a coming-out party for him. He was a massive favorite but it was the veteran in Brunson who got the job done by third-round TKO.
Now, following the event, here is what I think should be next for Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan.
Derek Brunson is undefeated since going to Sanford MMA in Florida and had an incredible game plan for this one. The 36-year-old used his wrestling and was patient and waited for his moments, unlike the Brunson we’ve seen in the past where he would run at his opponent.
Not only did Brunson score a TKO win over Shahbazyan and gave him his first loss. But, he also is now on a three-fight winning streak and should get the chance to fight ahead of him. There are a couple of options that make sense for him like Jack Hermansson, Darren Till or Kelvin Gastelum.
Yet, Brunson should get the winner of Yoel Romero vs. Uriah Hall which takes place on August 22. Although he has fought both of them, where he lost to Romero and beat Hall, rematches against either guy make sense.
In the Romero fight, Brunson had a lot of success and if he can get past the Cuban, he proves he is a much better fighter now. For Hall, he has looked much better at Fortis MMA, so if Brunson beats him again, a top-five or top-three opponent would be next.
Edmen Shahbazyan had all the hype entering this fight with people thinking he could be the youngest UFC champion. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old, that plan is out the window following his UFC Vegas 5 loss.
Although Shahbazyan lost to Brunson, he still showed some promise in the fight and remains one of the top prospects in MMA. He is still young and will only get better. So, a logical next fight for him is against Ian Heinisch.
Heinisch, like Shahbazyan, lost to Brunson in his chance to move up the rankings. So, a fight between them would allow the UFC to see who they should push more while the loser would have to build themselves up again with fights outside the top-15.
What do you think should be next for Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan after UFC Vegas 5?