Wednesday, May 31, 2023
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MMA Preview: UFC 223 – Edmen Shahbazyan (12-2-1) vs Anthony Hernandez (10-2-0)

Edmen Shahbazyan is a fantastic striker with a knockout-to-win ratio of 83.33%. His opponent in the UFC Fight Night 223 co-main event is Anthony Hernandez, an expert grappler who’s got a submission-to-win ratio of 70%. 

Edmen Shahbazyan vs Anthony Hernandez Odds

Edmen Shahbazyan+200
Anthony Hernandez-260

Odds taken from Sports Odds Direct on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Now a 25-year-old, Edmen Shahbazyan started his MMA career in 2017 in CXF. After going 6-0, he took part in Dana White’s Contender Series, where he beat his opponent by TKO. Next came an appearance in The Ultimate Fighter, where he won by a split decision. It wasn’t a vintage performance by Shahbazyan, but it did bring him a UFC contract.

He then went on to win his first three UFC fights before hitting a rough patch, losing three fights in a row. Those three defeats are probably why oddsmakers see him as the underdog in Saturday’s co-main event.

However, one should keep in mind that he’s already put an end to his losing streak. In his most recent fight, Shahbazyan defeated Dalcha Lungiambula by TKO, for which the UFC awarded him the Performance of the Night bonus.

The impressive win has certainly given him a morale boost, which is why he’s coming to Vegas with his head held high. Still, beating Anthony Hernandez won’t be easy, especially not if the two end up on the floor.

Anthony Hernandez is a fantastic wrestler/grappler who also does well striking-wise. He’s 12-2-1 overall, with just one win by KO/TKO. However, the one fight that got declared a no-contest was originally a KO win for Hernandez – it was later overturned after he tested positive for marijuana.

What needs to worry Hernandez ahead of Saturday’s fight is that his rival has fists of concrete. The trouble is that he’s not great when it comes to strike defense, getting hit 53% of the time by the opponents.

He got knocked out only once in his professional career, which happened against Kevin Holland who’s a great boxer. Still, Shahbazyan isn’t much behind him striking-wise.

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