UFC 244: Brad Tavares Prepared for Totally Different Style of Fighter with Edmen Shahbazyan

Brad Tavares returns to the octagon to face undefeated 21-year-old Edmen Shahbazyan at UFC 244.

New York, NY— At UFC 244, Brad Tavares finds himself once again facing a rising contender in the middleweight ranks.

But that doesn’t mean there are any similarities between his last and current opponent.

Tavares (17-5) last graced the octagon in an unanimous decision loss to current champion Israel Adesanya headlining The Ultimate Fighter: Undefeated finale in July 2018.

The 31-year-old Tavares suffered a broken arm in the bout, which needed an extended period to heal due to a few medical mishaps. Hawaii’s Tavares now returns at UFC 244 to face undefeated 13th ranked middleweight (10-0) Edmen Shahbazyan.

Although a few comparisons can be made between the standing of his opponents, the Kailua, Hawaii native doesn’t see it that way.

“At the end of the day they are two completely different fighters,” said Tavares during Thursday’s UFC 244 media day. “They might be younger and on the rise and in similar positions but fight wise—skill wise, completely different. They pose different threats. With Issy it’s his striking but that’s not to say he hasn’t adapted a ground game. Whereas Edmen, he’s hard-nosed and comes forward but he gets takedowns and goes for submissions which he ends up getting sometimes.”

“Definitely Issy is the better fighter,” he added.

Now that the TUF 11 alum has returned, he is looking forward to beginning a new win streak and accomplishing the ultimate goal.

“The feeling I have right now is I’m just happy to be home. I feel relaxed—no added pressure, it’s one of those things you don’t know what you have till it’s gone and I really missed this and to be apart of this, it’s crazy,” said Tavares.

“My goal has always been to wear that belt around my waist, maybe this time off has let my body rest again. You have to look at the good and bad. I just want to pick up where I left off because before Adesanya I was on a four fight win streak. People were putting me up there—my name was getting put in title talks and unfortunately I lost to him but look where he is now. I want to make my way back, get some good victories and fight Adesanya again if he has the belt,” Tavares added.

Brad Tavares vs. Edmen Shahbazyan takes place Saturday, November 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight takes place on the televised preliminary card on ESPN 2 (TSN in Canada).