It was expected that Holly Holm would headline the August 1st UFC card against Irene Aldana. However it has been revealed that this will no longer be the case, after one of the fighters was forced off the card.
The UFC’s return to the Apex Center is set for August 1st, with a Fight Night card that was originally supposed to headlined by Holm vs Aldana. Unfortunately, according to recent reports, it seems that this fight will no longer be happening, at least not next month. It was revealed that Aldana was forced to withdraw from the event, for reasons not yet disclosed.
Next weekend’s Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana main event is off, sources say, because Aldana had to withdraw.
The new main will be Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 22, 2020
According to the report, the middleweight clash between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan, originally scheduled for the co-main event, will be promoted to the headlining slot. That being said, the bout is going to stay a three round affair, presumably due to the short notice nature of the change. This fight serves as a big opportunity for the prospect Shahbazyan, who notably trains with Ronda Rousey’s coach Edmond Tarverdyan. Moreover, he is managed by Rousey herself, who has spoken very highly of the prospect who is undefeated as a pro, with five wins in the UFC.
So What Happens To Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana?
It is unclear what forced Aldana out of her bout with Holm. That being said, it does not seem to be something incredibly serious, as the UFC is apparently already looking to reschedule the contest. It seems now they want to have it headline a card on October 5th, but the fight is not signed or official.
UPDATE: Irene issues statement after testing positive for COVID-19:
“I deeply thank all the fans and all the media for their messages of support and the interest shown in the news of the postponement of my fight in 1st. August vs. Holly Holm.”
“We are going through a very complicated world situation and my country is no exception: COVID-19. Despite the fact that we made a camp in total isolation and with the health measures recommended by the authorities, unfortunately I had some symptoms and in the pertinent examinations it was positive.
“I am still recovering: the first days were complicated in terms of symptoms, but I am much better.
“You know my professionalism and my interest in a commitment of this size. My enthusiasm and preparation is and will be total.
“I deeply thank the UFC, its president Dana White, Mick Maynard and my opponent and her team for the understanding shown, we will be ready for the new date that the company assigns us within the next few months.
“Once again thanks for your understanding and support always.”
This is a big opportunity for Irene Aldana, who had a rough start to her UFC career, but has won five of her last six. If she can get past the former champ in Holly Holm, it seems like a certainty that her next fight would be for the title.