One of the co-featured bouts for #UFC262 will be a middleweight match between No. 6 Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs. No. 12 Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1), I'm told by a source with direct knowledge of the deal.— Manouk Akopyan (@ManoukAkopyan) March 19, 2021
Shahbazyan will have a second chance to prove his ceiling in the step-up fight. https://t.co/HIpK0i6kX6
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The Los Angeles Times first reported early Friday that a middleweight matchup pitting Jack Hermansson (21-6) against Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) was in the works for UFC 262. The event, which will now take place in Houston, goes down on May 12. The high-stakes 185-pound tilt has since been confirmed by other outlets.
Hermansson dropped a decision to Marvin Vettori in his last time out, and the Swede has alternated wins and losses in his last four bouts. Hermansson put himself on the radar with a four-fight win streak that saw him finish Thales Leites, Gerald Meerschaert and David Branch, as well as earning an impressive decision victory over Ronaldo Souza. From there, Hermansson fell down the rankings from a second-round knockout loss to Jared Cannonier, only to bounce back with a heel hook of Kelvin Gastelum. “The Joker” sports an impressive career finish rate of 81 percent, with stoppages in six of his eight UFC victories.
Like his opponent, Shahbazyan is looking to return to the win column. “The Golden Boy” suffered his first career defeat when he faced Derek Brunson in 2020, losing by knockout in the third round. The setback halted momentum of four UFC wins over the likes of Darren Stewart and Brad Tavares on the way up. The California native posts an even greater finish rate than his opponent, with 91 percent of his triumphs coming inside the distance.
UFC 262 will be capped off by a vacant lightweight championship match between Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler. The pay-per-view card will be held on May 12 at the Toyota Center in Houston with fans in attendance, and the event will be bolstered by a major lightweight clash between Tony Ferguson and Beneil Dariush. In addition to the Hermansson-Shahbazyan battle, other noteworthy bouts include Edson Barboza vs. Shane Burgos at featherweight and Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell in the flyweight division.