Dana White Contender Series WEEK 9 PREVIEW


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LEON SHAHBAZYAN VS. PHILLIP ROWE

For the first time in the history of the Contender Series, welterweights will close out the show on Tuesday with Shahbazyan making his delayed debut in Las Vegas against “The Fresh Prince.”

Initially slated to compete on the opening week of the season, Shahbazyan, the older brother of middleweight rising star Edmen Shahbazyan, was forced out of his pairing with Brok Weaver due to medical issues. A week after Weaver stepped into the cage and secured a contract, Shahbazyan will look to do the same.

A product of the Glendale Fighting Club, the 23-year-old has earned stoppages in each of his seven career wins, showing an aptitude for submissions. He’s faced limited competition on his way to the Contender Series, but the same could be said of his brother prior to his bout last summer in Las Vegas and that clearly hasn’t held him back any.

Training out of Fusion Xcel Performance, Rowe is a teammate of Mike Perry and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, so you can be sure he’s gone hard rounds with elite talent over the years. The 29-year-old is towering for the 170-pound weight class and heads into the cage on a six-fight winning streak, all of which have come by way of finish.

With one trip to the scorecards between them in 16 combined fights, there is a very strong likelihood that this one ends inside the distance and is electric for as long as it lasts.



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