There was a time when Edmen Shahbazyan might have been handed a “gimmie” match-up while trying to bounce back from his first professional loss. Instead, the prospect was matched up with Jack Hermansson at UFC Vegas 27, thrust right back into the fire.
Hermansson opened the fight holding center, throwing a low kick with Shahbazyan circling on the outside. Shahbazyan would press back, attacking with his right hand and a combo, putting Hermansson on the defensive momentarily. When Hermansson shot for a takedown, the youngster was nowhere to be found. As the round wore on, Shahbazyan found his range, and that right hand became even more of a problem, mixing it as it was with combinations and the occasional front kick.
Round two found Hermansson on top within the first minute, making like difficult for Shahbazyan. The Swede couldn’t keep Shahbazyan down, and instead had to settle for a half-hearted choke attempt along the fence. When Shahbazyan worked free, it was his own turn to defend a takedown with a guillotine choke. It wasn’t there, and Hermansson soon moved into half-guard. Shahbazyan’s ground game had certainly been tested through two and a half rounds. And as far as that realm was concerned, Shahbazyan earned a passing grade, scrambling out the back dor and transitioning to the top with a minute remaining in the frame.
The third round saw Shahbazyan mixing up his strikes, and Hermansson shooting for a takedown early. He worked to set up a choke while peppering Shahbazyan with shots, perhaps the most significant damage “The Joker” had done to that point. Elbows followed, as Shahbazyan, flat on his back, struggled to find a way out. Without question, this third round was the best for Hermansson, and he finished strong, on top raining down blows.
Thanks to a 10-8 third round, Hermansson took home a 29-27 on all three scorecards.
Official Result: Jack Hermansson def. Edmen Shahbazyan by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)