Middleweight contender Derek Brunson stopped Edmen Shahbazyan via TKO at 0:26 of the third round in the UFC Fight Night main event Saturday in Las Vegas.
Both fighters came out swinging
and traded big punches at the beginning of the bout. Shahbazyan landed the harder shots and was slightly more active on the feet, but Brunson had success with a takedown and clinch work.
The first half of the second round was more of the same. However, Shahbazyan seemed to visibly tire in the second half and Brunson took over.
The veteran took down his opponent and brutalized him with ground-and-pound, briefly advancing to top mount. Brunson was very close to finishing Shahbazyan, who was badly hurt but made it to the end of the round.
Brunson immediately attacked Shahbazyan at the start of the third. He hurt him with a few punches, got him to the mat, and took his back. From there, Brunson landed a few shots on the ground and referee Herb Dean waved off the contest.
With the victory, Brunson has won three fights in a row. This was his first stoppage win since 2017.
Shahbazyan, one of the top prospects in MMA, fell short for the first time as a professional. He entered his first UFC main event with a 4-0 record in the promotion.