UFC Fight Night 173: "Brunson vs Shahbazyan" Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight for UFC Fight Night 173: “Brunson vs Shahbazyan.” The event was headlined by a middleweight bout between veteran contender Derek Brunson and highly-touted unbeaten prospect Edmen Shahbazyan.

In the flyweight co-main event, Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood stepped in on short notice to battle former Invicta FC champion Jennifer Maia. Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque met Randy “Rude Boy” Brown in a featured welterweight matchup. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for the card.


Derek Brunson vs Edmen “The Golden Boy” Shahbazyan

Round 1:
Shahbazyan pawed out with jabs and right hands early in the fight. He controlled the striking exchanges until Brunson clinched and took him down into back control. Shahbazyan scrambled free and Brunson landed left hands as the fighters stood up. Both men landed power punches and Shahbazyan backed Brunson up with an overhand right. Time was briefly called when Brunson was kicked in the groin. The fight continued and Shahbazyan avoided a clinch attempt. He landed a knee and Brunson took his back. Shahbazyan turned into the clinch and the fighters separated. Brunson landed a knee-punch combo and Shahbazyan answered with a knee and an elbow before the bell. Close, back-and-forth round. 10-9 Shahbazyan.

Round 2:
Brunson chased after Shahbazyan with left hooks and body kicks in the second round. Time was called when Shahbazyan was poked in the eye. Action resumed and Shahbazyan landed a hard body kick. Brunson punched his way into a clinch and he landed a big knee to Shahbazyan’s nose. Brunson landed another flurry of punches and he clinched once more. Shahbazyan gave up his back and Brunson tripped him, then worked from the top in side control. Brunson alternated between back control and mount, dropping punches and elbows to Shahbazyan’s face. He postured up with huge punches and elbows that appeared to briefly knock Shahbazyan out and a large cut was opened below Shahbazyan’s right eye. 10-8 Brunson.

Round 3:
The final round began with Brunson punching his way into a clinch and he dragged Shahbazyan down into back control. Brunson landed a handful of punches as Shahbazyan covered up, and referee Herb Dean waved off the fight.

Winner: Derek Brunson by TKO (Punches) at 0:26 of round three. He improves to 21-7-0.


Jennifer Maia vs Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood

Round 1:
Calderwood began the fight with leg kicks and Maia threw hooks over the top. She landed a combination and Calderwood answered with front kicks to the body. Maia closed the distance and landed two more right hands. She followed with a four-punch flurry, but Calderwood caught a kick and dumped her to the mat. From the top in Maia’s half-guard, Calderwood landed short elbows. Maia looked to set up a triangle choke from the bottom and she switched to an armbar. Maia fully extended Calderwood’s arm and Calderwood tapped out.

Winner: Jennifer Maia by Submission (Armbar) at 4:29 of round one. She improves to 18-6-1.


Vicente “The Silent Assassin” Luque vs Randy “Rude Boy” Brown

Round 1:
Luque landed a series of leg kicks in the opening minute and Brown landed one of his own in return. Luque landed more calf kicks and jabs, then followed with an overhand right. Seconds later, Luque dropped Brown with a counter right hook and he followed with hammerfists on the ground. Brown tied him up from the bottom and Luque threw short elbows from half-guard. He stood and forced Brown to follow. Brown landed two front kicks and Luque continued to attack his lead leg. He countered Brown’s jabs with a leg kick and two right hands. Brown clinched and tried for a takedown in the final 40 seconds. He threw short knees and a right hand before breaking away. 10-9 Luque.

Round 2:
Brown landed two body kicks to begin the second round and time was called when he was kicked in the groin. Action resumed and Luque landed a combination. Brown replied with jabs and Luque dropped him with a calf kick. He motioned for Brown to stand and he did. Brown cue Luque near his right eye with jabs and Luque responded with another leg kick. Brown switched stances and Luque landed a left hook over the top. He followed with a kick-punch combo and Brown answered with an uppercut and a knee. Luque landed a hard body kick and Brown backed him up with a spinning back elbow. He clinched and landed a knee in close, then slammed Luque down into side control. Luque battled back to his feet and the fighters clinched. Luque landed a knee that dropped Brown face-first to the mat and the fight was stopped as Luque landed a couple of follow-up punches.

Winner: Vicente Luque by KO (Knee) at 4:56 of round two. He improves to 19-7-1.


Bobby “King” Green vs “Groovy” Lando Vannata

Round 1:
Both men landed hard right hands in the opening seconds and Vannata flurried to the body. Green kicked at Vannata’s lead leg and Vannata staggered him with a counter right hook. Green recovered quickly and Vannata landed two right hands in a brief clinch. Both men landed right hooks and Vannata followed with a combination and a leg kick. Green dropped him with a right hook, but Vannata recovered and rose to his feet. Green briefly tripped him again, but Vannata stood and landed a right hand on the break. Big right hands landed for both men and Vannata followed with a big flurry that backed Green up. Green landed a hard one-two and a lunging left hook to Vannata’s nose late in the close round. 10-9 Green, barely.

Round 2:
Green ducked under a head kick from Vannata and he landed a quick one-two that led to an early clinch in round two. Vannata broke free and Green attacked his lead leg with kicks. Both men landed jabs and Green blocked a head kick. He took Vannata down and passed his guard in order to escape from a guillotine choke. Vannata scrambled and kicked Green off. Green jabbed and kicked at Vannata’s left leg. Vannata countered long jabs from Green with a takedown, but Green quickly stood. Vannata landed an elbow and Green attacked his lead leg with kicks. Vannata landed a counter right hook before the bell. 10-9 Green.

Round 3:
The fighters clinched early in the final round and Green landed hard knees to the body. He countered a right hook from Vannata with a step-in elbow that dropped him. Green took top position in Vannata’s half-guard and landed a series of elbows to Vannata’s face. He mounted him and landed more punches, but Vannata spun into a heel hook and that forced Green to stand up. Vannata followed him and Green secured a takedown soon after. Vannata trapped him in a guillotine choke, but Green pulled his head out and struck with left hands from the top. Vannata tried to scramble up and Green attempted a rear-naked choke. Vannata escaped to his feet and both men landed powerful hooks. Vannata landed a head kick and Green responded with a one-two. He tripped Vannata to the mat late in the round. Excellent fight. 10-9 Green.

Winner: Bobby Green by Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 26-10-1.


Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland vs Trevin “The Problem” Giles

*This fight was scrapped just before walkouts when Giles passed out backstage.*


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)