Edmen Shahbazyan is a rising middleweight star who busted onto the UFC on Dana White’s Contender Series.
Edmen is already 4-0 in the UFC and has higher expectations of himself. Despite only being 22 years old, he will headline his first event this Saturday against top contender Derek Brunson in Las Vegas.
Shahbazyan embraces the opportunity to fight a top 10 fighter and put himself in arms reach of a title shot.
“I know being the youngest champion is at 23 years and 8 months by Jon Jones,” Shahbazyan said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I turn 23 in November and then I have eight months after that. That leaves me until July of next year.
“That’s a good amount of time for me to reach my goal of being a champion. That’s one year from now, and I believe the way I’m going with a couple more wins, it will put me in that position to make that goal into reality.”
Shahbazyan is a former training partner of UFC superstar Ronda Rousey. But Edmen has left Rousey’s shadow and is ready to make a name for himself.
“I’m coming for that belt eventually,” Shahbazyan said. “I want to make statements. I want to keep getting better. I want to fight top-ranked opponents and bettering myself.”
Shahbayzan thinks he will get past Brunson and the champ will get past Paulo Costa in Sept to set up a collision course in 2012.
“I think he gets past Costa,” Shahbazyan said about Adesanya’s upcoming fight at UFC 243. “I think he’s going to be slick for Costa and counter him. I think Costa has more of that coming in your face and getting you into a fight with him and that tires you. I think Adesanya will get out of the way and tag him up.
“I think Adesanya is a good fighter. A very slick fighter and a good champion. He’s definitely a challenge that I would love to face in the near future. It would be amazing. That’s definitely the fight I see in the future.”
“I like to dream big and dreaming big and accomplishing that kind of goal would be amazing for me,” Shahbazyan said. “Not only would I be the youngest champion, but I’d be the first ever Armenian-American champion. So two good things in one.”