Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana nixed, UFC return to Las Vegas gets new main event

Next week’s UFC Fight Night event slated for the Apex in Las Vegas has lost its main event bout between Holly Holm and Irene Aldana.

ESPN broke the news on Wednesday before UFC president Dana White enlisted Hall of Famer Ronda Rousey to help him announce the new main event between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan.

Aldana had to withdraw from the bout, though it was unclear at the time of publication as to why.

Holm’s manager, Lenny Fesquez, told MMAFighting that they tried to secure a replacement, but that with limited options, they weren’t able to do so.

“Holly is very disappointed and saddened that her fight was postponed, but stuff happens,” Fresquez said in a statement to MMAFighting. “We’re only interested in fighting someone that’s going to help us get a title shot. So there’s only really two girls, and that’s Aldana and [Aspen] Ladd, and Ladd’s out.”

The hope now is to rebook the fight for sometime in October.


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Although previously unannounced, Brunson vs. Shahbazyan had been expected to serve as the co-main event on Aug. 1. As White announced in his interview with Rousey, who is Shahbazyan’s manager, the bout will now be elevated to main event status, though with the short amount of time left until the event, it will remain a three-round bout.

The UFC Fight Night on Aug. 1 will be the promotion’s first event back in Las Vegas following a month-long residency on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.