New York, NY — Many fighters enter the UFC with a bit of hype behind them, but not many live up to it right away. That is true for middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan, who rattled off four straight wins in the octagon before running into adversity coming into UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden on November 6.
The middleweight division is light on contenders with champion Israel Adesanya seemingly clearing out the division rather quickly. While that may present a clear path to a title shot for Shahbazyan, he remains focused on the task at hand.
“Right now I’m focused on just this fight but going forward from here I’m going to take it fight by fight, and just learn from each fight and get better,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 268 media day. “I’m not going to rush things.”
Shahbazyan is currently on a two-fight losing streak, losing to Derek Brunson in August of 2020, and then dropping a decision to Jack Hermansson this past May. The young middleweight is taking those losses in stride as learning experiences.
“You know mentally I’m in a great place. The last two fights of course didn’t go my way but I fought top dogs my last two fights. I use it all as a learning experience. It’s not like I went in there and didn’t really do anything. I did my part a little bit and it didn’t go my way. It’s a learning lesson and I’ve learned from it. Used it as a learning lesson and worked harder from it. I’m coming back now.”
As an up-and-comer, learning from losses is rather valuable as MMA has not yet reached the level of boxing in terms of losses. In boxing one loss can derail your career completely, but in MMA where anything can happen at any time, young fighters like Shahbazyan have plenty of room to grow and improve.
Coming into UFC 268 Shahbazyan has seen growth in his game. Especially in one particular area.
“I mean, if you watch my last fights I would say my ground wrestling, and I’ve been putting a lot of work into that.”
Shahbazyan takes on Nassourdine Imavov in the prelims of UFC 268 on November 6 at MSG in New York, NY.
Watch the full UFC 268 media day appearance from Edmen Shahbazyan above. More coverage of the event can be found below. UFC 268 takes place Saturday November 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.