TUF 28 Finale results: Edmen Shahbazyan uses wrestling-heavy approach to edge past Darren Stewart


LAS VEGAS – Edmen Shahbazyan (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was known as a striker but showed he’s well-rounded in a hard-fought win over Darren Stewart (9-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC).

The middleweight bout was part of the main card of today’s TUF 28 Finale event at Pearl Theatre at The Palms in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Stewart opened the fight throwing heavy leather, but Shahbazyan instantly slipped under and brought the fight to the floor. Stewart crawled quickly back to his feet, but Shahbazyan stayed tight to the body, refusing to break his grip and keeping control of the action. Shahbazyan continued to score takedowns, even as his opponent was warned for grabbing the cage, but Stewart was always quick to pop back to his feet. Shahbazyan eventually elected to return to the striking game, firing off a high kick as he moved away.

Shahbazyan wasted little time pushing back to the clinch, where the grinding contest continued. Stewart was forced to play defense, but he was calm throughout his time against the fence and was able to stay upright. He came alive in the final minute, rattling off heavy punches that certainly bothered his opponent. Shahbazyan complained of a low blow, but the action carried on, and he landed a late takedown after some wild scrambling.

Shahbazyan drove forward for a takedown again early in the second. After some initial resistance, his effort was rewarded, and he was able to slip to the back and get one hook in place. With Stewart using the cage to defend, Shahbazyan turned his attention to a guillotine, but that also proved difficult. Stewart’s defense was sound, but he wasn’t given an opportunity to return the attack.

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