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Saturday’s UFC Combat Night card was a frigid dose of actuality for a pair of warring parties who looked to be on the precipice of main breakthroughs. Edmen Shahbazyan bumped into the stiff offense of Derek Brunson and suffered the main lack of his profession, whereas Joanne Calderwood saw her prompt title hopes shrink after taking a short-peek war and falling by submission to Jennifer Maia.The winners and losers of those bouts will every feel the effect of Saturday’s results, nonetheless so too could presumably reigning UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, with the listing of high contenders to her belt shuffled after Saturday’s result.ESPN’s panel of MMA experts — Ariel Helwani, Phil Murphy, Marc Raimondi and Jeff Wagenheim — damage down the full fallout from UFC Combat Night and project what lies ahead.What’s your edifying takeaway from Saturday’s main match?Helwani: Brunson is no one’s stepping stone. That is for sure. Now, I effect no longer mediate it was a mistake to e book him against Shahbazyan because this seemed indulge in a lawful next step for the 22-year-extinct, brooding about how lawful Shahbazyan seemed as of late. But it no doubt’s sure Shahbazyan’s no longer on the extent of the Brunsons of the enviornment yet, let on my own the tip contenders. And that is the reason OK. He’s edifying 22. Take into accout, Brunson is 36. He’s been combating since 2010. Shahbazyan, meanwhile, has been combating since 2017. I effect no longer need any doubt Shahbazyan will be abet and be a player at 185, nonetheless the coronation will must serve.For Brunson, brooding about he stumbled within the highlight versus Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya within the previous, it was lawful to leer him lawful those wrongs. He’s no longer a gatekeeper and deserves a tiny bit more appreciate. Hopefully other folks conception that now.Raimondi: Brunson is a proper downside below the steerage of the team at Sanford MMA and coach Henri Hooft. He’s 3-0 since going all of the manner down to the Florida gymnasium. This version of Brunson is design more affected person. He’s no longer head making an strive. He’s utilizing his oppressive wrestling abilities. He’s keeping a excessive hurry. Plus, Brunson restful has good vitality in his fingers. These are all components for a high middleweight fighter within the UFC. It wouldn’t be loopy for Brunson to acquire any person indulge in Jack Hermansson next. With three straight wins, Brunson is no longer a long way from middleweight contention. By the vogue, that division is as attention-grabbing because it has been in years with guys indulge in Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa, Whittaker, Jared Cannonier and others on the tip.Wagenheim: I’ve constantly preferred the philosophy of Conor McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh: We take or we study. For Shahbazyan, the affect of Saturday’s setback could no longer be truly understood unless the following time he steps in some unspecified time in the future of the Octagon. He seemed keen and dreadful within the main round, nonetheless it was no longer one-manner traffic, as about a of his earlier fights had been, and the abet-and-forth wore him down. By Round 2, Shahbazyan seemed a step slower, whereas Brunson, exhibiting more endurance than what we could solution to anticipate from him, was methodical in turning the war his manner. This was a step up in competition for Shahbazyan, and forgive the 22-year-extinct for no longer recognizing that — since the oddsmakers no doubt did not, both, inserting within the tiny one as a simply about 3-to-1 approved. The following step for Shahbazyan is to acquire abet to the gymnasium and continue to sort on an already stable talent home. And that is hoping he would not lose any of the boldness that got him to the place he’s.Murphy: It’s easy to clown Shahbazyan for the gas tank draining to “empty” within the 2nd round Saturday. The first round, though, revealed some holes, even earlier than Brunson took him into the deep finish.Brunson represented a brand contemporary level of opponent for the 22-year-extinct Shahbazyan, and “The Golden Boy” seemed indulge in a fighter in his first UFC main match. He was inflexible early and overextended on quite a lot of vitality photographs. When he landed, Shahbazyan demonstrated huge vitality. People cageside physically recoiled when Brunson absorbed super kicks to the physique.The physical gifts are there. Many warring parties obtain an early wakeup call within the highlight and rebound to adorned careers; Max Holloway, Rose Namajunas and Amanda Nunes are beautiful about a. Shahbazyan’s next war now turns into a in point of fact unprecedented of his profession, and responsibility shifts to Glendale Combating Club to make sure he’s ready.Who’s next for Brunson?Murphy: Brunson took the “gatekeeper” impress in my conception. Brunson had no longer been as steep a making a wager underdog as he was heading into Saturday’s war since his Strikeforce days. Now he’s gotten his hand raised three times in as many fights since relocating to Sanford MMA, née Blackzilians, early edifying year.Fully good names lie before Brunson within the rankings, and two stand out: Yoel Romero and Kelvin Gastelum.The worn assumes Romero beats Uriah Hall in three weeks. Brunson lost a Combat of the Night to Romero in 2014, so a rematch is warranted. But Brunson is a more difficult out for Romero than most fans would credit ranking. The 43-year-extinct Romero — on a 3-war skid — needs the shortest path to a closing title shot.Meanwhile, Gastelum advantages from a short rebound after a hasty loss to Jack Hermansson on Combat Island. Gastelum, similarly, has three consecutive losses. Brunson could presumably lend a hand climbing by beating a worn title challenger, and Gastelum could presumably obtain abet within the take column against a revered extinct. Late Saturday, Dana White mentioned Gastelum as a that you would be in a position to mediate of opponent for Brunson.Who’s next for Shahbazyan?Helwani: The UFC must watch out with who they e book Shahbazyan against next. He beautiful lost his first helpful war and got beat reasonably badly on the finish. He’s a prospect value taking a gaze after, so this next step is wanted. They must sort his self assurance abet up. I would e book him against a No. 15-or-so ranked fighter, or even an unranked one. No shame in taking a step abet, although he remains within the rankings. An Ian Heinisch-sort would manufacture sense. If no longer, any person indulge in Brendan Allen, Antonio Carlos Junior or Eryk Anders would work, too. An advanced, solid fighter nonetheless no longer a mountainous likelihood. Take into accout, Shahbazyan has solid wins over Brad Tavares and Jack Marshman on his UFC yarn, so it is no longer indulge in he’s been combating tomato cans.play1: 05Vicente Luque knocks out Randy Brown frigid at UFC Combat Night in Las Vegas.Who’s next for Vicente Luque?Wagenheim: In our panel dialogue following edifying weekend’s fights, I suggested Luque as a that you would be in a position to mediate of next opponent for the 170-pound flavor of the month, Khamzat Chimaev. But after Saturday’s efficiency, Luque’s eighth absorb his edifying 9 fights (seven by finish), he deserves higher than that. He made a respectful callout of Nate Diaz, and if those phrases take fire within the 209, so powerful the higher. But it no doubt would not sound indulge in a war that could presumably entice Diaz abet to the Octagon. And, truly, Luque’s unsuitable KO warrants an opponent elevated than him within the rankings. How about Michael Chiesa? He’s been a favored aim of callouts currently, so Luque could gain himself standing in line. But Saturday’s efficiency beautiful could propel Luque entrance and middle.After Joanne Calderwood’s loss, what attain you attain with Valentina Shevchenko?Helwani: I wouldn’t e book Shevchenko vs. Maia beautiful yet. First of all, Shevchenko is no longer coming abet next month. She told me on Saturday night that whereas she is abet to coaching she is aiming to approach abet “earlier than the finish of the year.” She acknowledged her contemporary aim is to approach abet in November. That is three months away, nonetheless no longer home in stone. Maia is on a one-war gracious whisk now. She uncared for weight in her edifying two fights going into this one. I effect no longer mediate a take over Calderwood, as impressive because it was, must restful point out she must be next for the champ.I would e book her against Cynthia Calvillo, who seemed lawful in her flyweight debut in June, next and then inquire of if any person emerges as a legit contender for Shevchenko. Truth is, there isn’t any likelihood to Shevchenko lawful now at 125, and there could no longer be one for a whereas. The outlet between her and the relaxation of the weight class is huge — presumably the edifying ever — so it wouldn’t injure to acquire the following contender, whomever it would be, a tiny bit more work. Plus, I would grab to leer Maia manufacture weight no longer less than yet again earlier than she will be able to get a title shot.Raimondi: I’m no longer sure if the UFC will peek Maia as title-war ready, notably since she entered Saturday coming off a loss to worn challenger Katlyn Chookagian. Essentially the most tremendous wager lawful now could presumably be presumably Cynthia Calvillo. She’s coming off a take over worn challenger Jessica Witness and is unbeaten in four straight. Sure, Calvillo’s flyweight debut was against Witness, nonetheless she was a extreme likelihood at strawweight earlier than that and is lengthy any person the UFC has considered as a future neatly-known particular person. Relying how for a long way longer Shevchenko is out, the UFC could presumably attain Maia vs. Calvillo for the title shot.Respect you soon Jennifer Maia 👊🏻— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) August 2, 2020 Wagenheim: Saturday’s victory, as impressive because it was, locations Maia on a whopping one-war gracious whisk. She got here in at No. 9 within the ESPN women’s flyweight rankings, and he or she must attain more to ascend to the tip rung of the ladder. If Shevchenko is healed up and willing to switch within the following couple of months, the title shot must restful proceed to fifth-ranked Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1, 6-1-1 within the UFC), who is unbeaten in her edifying four fights and additionally owns a victory over Calderwood. If the champ must remain on the shelf for longer, presumably pit Calvillo against Maia in a No. 1 contender elimination bout. That is no longer going to take a seat successfully with No. 6 Lauren Murphy, winner of three straight, nonetheless Maia’s inquire of-opening efficiency does warrant an opportunity against any person elevated within the tip 10.What’s next for Maia?Raimondi: What a mountainous take for Maia. She’s the worn Invicta FC flyweight champion, nonetheless unless Saturday had never overwhelmed anybody of Calderwood’s caliber — a perennial contender within the UFC’s flyweight and strawweight divisions. Calderwood was queued up for the title shot against champion Valentina Shevchenko, nonetheless took the likelihood and fought Maia to cease contemporary whereas Shevchenko recovers from a leg injury. Maia now has a case for a title opportunity — and Shevchenko at as soon as called her out on Twitter. It’s unclear if the UFC believes Maia is ready for that manufacture of war. If a title eliminator between Maia and Cynthia Calvillo is no longer within the offing, Maia taking on Lauren Murphy would be very attention-grabbing.What’s next for Joanne Calderwood?Raimondi: Calderwood restful has to be knowing of indubitably one of many tip women’s 125-pound warring parties within the enviornment, no matter the loss. She restful is no longer terribly a long way away from a title shot in what is restful a young division. There are about a attention-grabbing choices on hand for Calderwood next. Possibly a lawful next opponent is Viviane Araujo, an up-and-comer from Brazil who was supposed to war Maia on this card, earlier than Araujo withdrew attributable to a impart take a look at for coronavirus. Yet one more keen matchup would be Calderwood against Antonina Shevchenko, the older sister of the champion.Became it a mistake for Calderwood to take the war against Maia?Murphy: Fresh news affirmed knowledge in Joanne Calderwood’s resolution to take this war. What came about within the Octagon on Saturday has tiny effect on that.Earlier this week, Brett Okamoto reported worn strawweight champion Jessica Andrade is finalizing an October bout agreement with worn flyweight challenger Jessica Witness at 125 pounds. Many other folks imagine flyweight is Andrade’s optimum weight class — a provoking proposition, on condition that she fought at bantamweight unless 2016.Calderwood’s yet-to-be-officially rebooked war against champion Valentina Shevchenko has no longer moved the needle. Shevchenko opened as a 12-to-1 approved of their on the initiating place scheduled June pairing, more lopsided than Khamzat Chimaev against Rhys McKee. Andrade holds a head-to-head take over Calderwood from UFC 203. Who among us would’ve been disturbed had Andrade decrease Calderwood in line?Calderwood had to pad her resume for the time being. Issues were going successfully unless she failed to roll out of Maia’s armbar strive. There no doubt could no longer be a title shot now, nonetheless I’m no longer happy one was looking ahead to Calderwood anyway, had she remained slothful.


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