Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 73, we are going to see a battle between two middleweight contenders who are hoping to get closer to a ranking. Former top prospect Edmen Shahbazyan (12-3) is back as he takes on Anthony Hernandez (10-2).
For Shahbazyan, he’s going to be looking for his second straight win tomorrow night. A few years ago, Shahbazyan looked like a guy who was going to be a UFC champion. The “Golden Boy” was 11-0 and was coming off three straight first round knockouts.
However, then he ran into Derek Brunson in his first main event. Brunson dominated Shahbazyan and that started a three-fight losing streak. Shahbazyan switched camps and returned back in December scoring a TKO win to snap his losing streak.
Anthony Hernandez’s run in the UFC started out a little rocky. He was just 1-2 in three fights, but he’s drastically turned things around. Hernandez has won three in a row including a submission win over BJJ ace Rodolfo Vieira. Now, he’s looking for his fourth straight win and hopefully looking to crack the top fifteen.
UFC Vegas 73 Prediction
This fight to me is going to come down to the first round. Despite the TKO win in his last fight, I still haven’t seen the Edmen Shahbazyan that we saw against Brad Tavares a few years ago. The confidence has been gone and he just doesn’t look like the same prospect that people were calling a future UFC champion.
That said, I do see him having early success with his striking in this matchup. In the first round, when they are at range, I like Shahbazyan’s chances. However, if he cannot put Hernandez away, I really worry about him the longer the fight goes on.
Hernandez will hold his own on the feet and I think he starts to take over in the second round. I really like his cardio in this matchup and his ability to hold his own on the feet with Shahbazyan will allow him to see the later rounds. His grappling will take over and I see him picking up his fourth straight at UFC Vegas 73.
Prediction: Anthony Hernandez by Decision