A planned headliner for UFC On ESPN+ 31 in Las Vegas on August 1st between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana has now been postponed after Aldana tested positive for Covid-19.
“We are going through a very complicated world situation, and my country is not the exception,” Mexican native Aldana wrote after the news broke. “I’m still in recovery. The first days were complicated in terms of symptoms, but I’m much better. You know my professionalism and my interest in a commitment of this size. My enthusiasm and preparation is and will be total.”
The UFC already has a replacement for the main event installed however, as now Derek Brunson will fight Edmen Shahbayzan at the top of the bill.
This middleweight fight had previously been in the works on two occasions, but had been scratched due to the pandemic lockdown, so while it’s on relatively short notice, both fighters had already been preparing for each other and now have a high profile spot to showcase their skills.
For Brunson this will be his first Octagon outing in almost a year, but he’s coming off two unanimous decision wins in a row over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch.
As for Shahbayzan, the former Contender Series recruit has made a strong impact in the UFC so far, racking up four wins in a row against Darren Stewart, Charles Byrd, Jack Marshman and most recently a head kick KO of Brad Tavares.
That takes Shabayzan’s overall career record to a perfect 11-0 heading into this fight.