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UFC Vegas 73 Co-Main Event Breakdown

137 days ago


It’s a light week in MMA this third weekend in May. Saturday night, the sport’s top promotion returns from the road for another UFC Fight Night.

Barring any late postponements for any reason, Saturday’s card features a total of 12 fights. Live coverage of UFC Vegas 73 is exclusive to ESPN+ inside the United States.

Action begins with the undercard at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT on the subscription-based streaming platform. Main card action follows at 7 pm ET/ 4 pm PT.

Before a strawweight tussle serves as the focus for the UFC Vegas 73 main event (more on that particular fight later on in the week,) middleweight action takes place in the UFC Vegas 74 co-main event.

Shahbazyan, Hernandez Clash in UFC Vegas 73 Co-Main Event Saturday Night

It’ll be a battle of unranked fighters inside the famous UFC Octagon at the Apex in the co-headliner. Edmen Shahbazyan (12-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) takes on Anthony Hernandez (10-2, 1 NC MMA, 4-2 UFC) on Saturday evening.

As this is a non-title fight, the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event will only be an advertised maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round in Las Vegas.

UFC Vegas 73 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into Saturday night’s co-headliner, Edmen Shahbazyan is the taller man at 6-foot-2, compared to Anthony Hernandez at six feet even. Hernandez owns a one-inch reach advantage (75 inches to 74 inches) over Shahbazyan.

The former has a two-inch leg reach advantage (42 inches to 40 inches) over the latter for the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event this weekend. As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have Hernandez installed as a -280 favorite on the money line, while Shahbazyan counters as a +210 underdog.

If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening over the weekend, please wager responsibly.

Edmen Shahbazyan Looking to Start a Winning Streak in UFC Vegas 73 Co-Main Event

Edmen Shahbazyan comes into the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event on Saturday night having gone 2-3 in his last five bouts. Most recently, he saw a three-fight losing streak snapped thanks to a second-round knockout of Daicha Lungiambula (11-6 MMA, 2-5 UFC) by way of a flying knee followed by punches in UFC 282 on Dec. 10.

After the win, Shahbazyan spoke with Joe Rogan in a post-fight interview. He credited his success that December night to relocating his training camp to Las Vegas.

“I guess I’m Vegas Edmen now,” Shahbazyan said. “Las Vegas! Let’s go!”

With Shahbazyan now based out of Nevada, Saturday’s UFC Vegas 73 co-main event is a “home game” for him. One last question: Can he make it two wins in a row? Watch and find out.

Anthony Hernandez Ready to Go in UFC Vegas 73 Co-Main Event

In the other corner, Anthony Hernandez has posted a record of 4-1 in his last five bouts. Currently, he’s on a three-fight winning streak, extended last time out against Marc-Andre Barriault (15-6, 1 NC MMA, 4-5, 1 NC UFC) in UFC Vegas 60 last September.

Hernandez subscribes to the mindset of “Get ready and stay ready,” something he revealed in a recent interview with MMA Locker Room on Pub Sports Radio.

“My (expletive deleted) garage is like, completely a gym,” Hernandez began. “So, all I do is train, and when I come home and I’m bored, train again, or play in there with the kids, but I’m definitely always doing something.”

With Hernandez in a constant state of preparedness, there’s no doubt he’s set to get in the cage this Saturday. The UFC could move up Saturday’s card to Friday and he’d still be ready to rumble.

He’s not going away from the UFC for a while. Saturday’s UFC Vegas 73 co-main event marks the first in a six-fight deal with the promotion.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event on Saturday night looks to favor Edmen Shahbazyan, a former high school wrestler in California with a black belt in Shotokan Karate, compared to Anthony Hernandez’ brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Look for Shahbazyan to Land Punches in Bunches

If there’s been one constant regarding Edmen Shahbazyan’s MMA career, it’s been that he’s known to make an opponent pay with his fists. In looking at the tape of his fight against Lungiambula, this was on full display.

During the second round of a scheduled three, after the fight was paused due to a low blow, the fighters stalked one another as they waited for the next big move. Lungiambula threw some feints to keep Shahbazyan honest.

As the round progressed, Shahbazyan landed a kick to Lungiambula’s body, while Lungiambula countered with a spinning kick to Shahbazyan’s head, which didn’t connect. Shahbazyan attempted to initiate a clinch, but Lungiambula stuffed it.

Shahbazyan landed a knee, and at that point, he was smelling blood. From there, he unloaded with a barrage of strikes on the ground. Chris Tognoni waved off the fight with under 30 seconds to go.

If Edmen Shahbazyan can open things up with a knee, it can expand his playbook in the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event. He might take Anthony Hernandez down and out.

Anthony Hernandez Slick With Submissions

In the other corner, when Anthony Hernandez gets his opposition to the cage mat, it could be game over. Marc-Andre Barriault knows this firsthand from their September bout.

During the third and final round, he took Barriault down from the clinch and grappled with him for a few seconds until Barriault worked his way back up. He wouldn’t stay there for too long.

Hernandez applied the needed torque to lock up an arm-triangle and finish the bout inside two minutes. If Hernandez is able to land a nasty takedown, it could be all over.

Final Thoughts

Even though this is only a three-round affair, the UFC Vegas 73 co-main event looks to be a decent show. The winner could find himself in the top-15 at 185 lbs. as soon as Monday morning.

Prediction: Edmen Shahbazyan by Unanimous Decision.

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