Two scheduled bouts were scrapped from the card in Las Vegas – one as the result of a late positive coronavirus test and another when a fighter passed out just seconds before he was scheduled to make his ring walk.
Mere minutes before the main card began, it was announced that Trevin Giles had fainted backstage, forcing the Nevada State Athletic Commission to call off the opening bout against Kevin Holland.
Giles was later reported to be in good health.
A matter of hours before the event started, a contest between Ed Herman and Gerald Meerschaert was cancelled after the latter delivered a last-minute positive test result for Covid-19.
In the middleweight main event, veteran Brunson (21-7) dominated Shahbazyan – who entered the Octagon undefeated at 11-0 – for the first two rounds, ending the second frame with heavy ground and pound.
Referee Herb Dean could have called off the fight then but allowed 22-year-old Shahbazyan to receive doctor treatment. Dean then stepped in to end the punishment early in the third round.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas-based Scot Joanne Calderwood had to be taken to hospital after fainting backstage following a submission loss to Jennifer Maia in the evening’s co-main event.
In the main card’s remaining two fights, Bobby Green outlasted Lando Vannata to claim a decision victory and Vicente Luque defeated Randy Brown via second-round TKO.