The UFC returns home to the Apex in Las Vegas for a night of exciting fights.
Edmen Shahbazyan will look to keep the hype train chugging along as he meets UFC veteran Derek Brunson.
Brunson has heard a lot about his opponent but he isn’t buying the hype.
Despite having four times as many fights inside the octagon, Shahbazyan is who has received the spotlight leading up to the fight.
Brunson is looking to derail the hype train and prove he is one of the best at 185 pounds.
“This is definitely his biggest test to date,” Brunson said about Shahbazyan when speaking to MMA Fighting. “He hasn’t faced anyone like me yet. As seasoned, as gritty, a guy that can match him on speed and strength.
“I’ve been around. I’ve fought in the big fights. To this date, definitely his toughest test.”
Brunson likes the matchup as a win against Shahbazyan will shift the spotlight onto him.
“It’s a high profile fight,” Brunson said. “Definitely need to go out there and set the tone. This fight can catapult me into another big fight. Where they’re talking him as a potential title challenger, the same thing they were saying about the last guy I fought (Ian Heinisch) and kind of took his hype away from him.
“This guy right here, he’s talking about being the youngest champion. I go out here and beat him up, that takes everything away. He’s got to reset and that puts me back in the picture and people will start talking about me and my title hunt also.”
Brunson isn’t taking his opponent lightly.
“He’s pretty solid,” Brunson said. “He’s good at what he does. He’s a consistent guy. He likes to come forward, striking based. He’s solid. He’s young, energetic and he hasn’t lost so he’s confident.”
“If a guy has a lot of buzz, just like when [Darren] Till came to middleweight,” Brunson explained. “He didn’t fight a single fight but he had a lot of buzz around him so that fight will do a lot in terms of what you’re trying to do going forward. That’s kind of how I look at this matchup.”