UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Edmen Shahbazyan vs Derek Brunson

Young vs old.

Both guys throw their bones with awful intentions every time they step inside the Octagon. This is a good matchup for… We will get to that in a moment.

This is the main event but since it wasn’t originally scheduled to go 5 rounds, they will only be going for 15 minutes. That is if these two killers make it that far.

Edmen “The Golden Boy” Shahbazyan is only 22 years old! And he is a 3 to 1 favorite in a UFC main event?! That sounds pretty outlandish to me.

If you’re a smart bettor, you will look for valuable plays that go against the narrative. I was just talking about this in another UFC betting article.

There are plenty of hyped-up fighters who don’t live up to expectations. Do we need to take a trip to see the school counselor?

You see, guys, expectations are bad, mmkay. They just are. They’re bad and they don’t really help anything, mmkay.

Anytime I catch myself saying I expect this to happen or even worse: this should happen, I try to stop and remember to quantify.

Teetering in your head about who is “going to win” is foolish and highly inefficient. Stop it! Remember to quantify!

Edmen has betting odds of (-315) to win outright which denotes a 75% chance of victory.

Do I really believe this 22-year-old kid wins 8 or 9 times out of 10 against a veteran with one of the hardest overhands and best double leg takedowns in MMA?

That’s the level of certainty I would need to make a smart play here.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us this week’s main event from the desert. Let’s break down this fight a little further and make a pick of the most valuable betting line available.

Edmen Shahbazyan (-315) vs Derek Brunson (+265)

Edmen Shahbazyan was training with the first ever women’s UFC world champion, Ronda Rousey’s former home, the Glendale Fight Club in LA ever since his tween years.

He has the same coach but don’t get it twisted. His striking is LEGIT. This guy is a ninja and he is improving leaps and bounds with every fight.

He has a very very dangerous opponent in Derek Brunson this Saturday night but I will come out and tell you straight that I am buying the hype behind Edmen Shahbazyan.

This kid, who is still shy of 23 years old, has been fighting professionally for over 3 years now.

He was 5-0 with 5 first round finishes, albeit against weak competition when he got his call to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series.

After blowing through Antonio Jones, Dana gave the young man a contract and a big step up in competition in his first official UFC bout.

Darren “The Dentist” Stewart is a killer, a very nasty Muay Thai striker with power and solid takedown defense out of the UK. Edmen wrestled his heart out and was very successful slowing down Stewart for the first two rounds.

The Golden Boy gassed hard, though, in the third and was nearly finished. He came away with a split decision due to his takedowns in the first and second stanzas.

I don’t really believe the narrative that his cardio is total crap and he was exposed against another good striker. He had an adrenaline dump and he also expended a ton of energy with 21 takedown attempts. He did cash in on 8 of those, though.

This happens to almost every young lion who is blowing through everyone in the first round.

What was impressive in the fight against Stewart, though, was that Edmen still got the W. Since then, he has returned back to his extraordinary self and finished 3 consecutive opponents in the first round.

11-0 with 10 first-round finishes. Oowee.

I love his head kicks a lot and Derek Brunson is a sucker for the ol shin to chin.

Both Robert Whitaker and Jacare Souza knocked him out with head kicks and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya did it with a knee.

Derek is very strong in round one but so is Edmen.

Don’t be late to the party for this fight. The over/under round total is set at even money for 1.5 rounds. Normally, an under 1.5 rounds isn’t a bet I like very much but this one is tempting.

Brunson could win round one but I think Edmen will find his range and timing pretty early. I do think Edmen is going to win but I would have to cap him at 80% at the very least just to make a 1 unit play.

Then I’m risking a lot of juice on a very young fighter.

7 of Brunson’s 9 UFC losses have come by TKO and not sub and only 1 of Edmen’s 10 career finishes has been by submission.

We can get Edmen by TKO for (-105).

I think he TKO’s Brunson 6 out of the 10 times they fight and that gives us a nice edge on the books.

Edmen by finish is (-155). That isn’t bad and it may very well be safer because of the submission possibility but I see Shahbazyan rocking him with a right hand.

Then possibly setting up the head kick like he did in his last fight against a very durable Brad Tavares.

My Pick
Shahbazyan by TKO

In Conclusion

Do not blink. I repeat.

I was just telling my Muay Thai class that a little while ago as I brushed their eyelashes with the focus mitt.

You can’t afford to blink at a high level of Muay Thai and as fans, we darn sure can’t afford even a wink when these two finishing machines slam circuit boards on Saturday night.

More than 80% of these athletes’ fights end inside the distance. I exp… Quantify.

I believe there is about an 80% chance this one ends inside the distance but so do the sportsbooks.

I like Edmen Shahbazyan at (-105). The book says coin flip but we say 6/10 times.

That’s nearly a 10% edge so we can throw 2 units on Edmen to TKO the dangerous Derek Brunson this Saturday night in Vegas.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.