NEW YORK — Edmen Shahbazyan put on a dominant performance against the 11th ranked middleweight in the UFC, Brad Tavares, at UFC 244 on Saturday, knocking him out two and a half minutes into the very first round.
At 21 years old, the undefeated Shahbazyan improves to 11-0, finishing 10 of those victories. Even though he is less than three years into his professional mixed martial arts career, he already is making a name for himself, even landing a high profile manager in former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey.
During fight week, Shahbazyan was nothing but smiles. When speaking to Yahoo Sports, “The Golden Boy” seemed so happy to be participating in the media events that many fighters dread. Even when trying to stay confident and collected, the moment did not seem lost on him. He was fighting on the biggest card of the year in what could be his breakout fight, and he wasn’t going to let his shot go to waste.
Tavares’ last fight was a five-round round war against the current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. After Adesanya defeated Tavares, his career skyrocketed. And while Adesanya also dominated Tavares, but he was unable to do what Shahbazyan did in just one round. Adesanya needed just two more wins to get his chance at the interim belt, and Shahbazyan looks to be headed down the same path. In a stacked division with many familiar faces looking to take down one of the biggest stars in the UFC, it could be a newcomer with the best chance to take the throne from right under him.
With the win over the 11th ranked fighter in the division, it would make sense to see “The Golden Boy” take on another top-ranked opponent, possibly even working his way into the Top 5 if the UFC feels like it’s the right time to push him. While Adesanya seems to have his plate full for 2020, don’t be surprised if Shahbazyamn quickly puts his name in for a title shot.
More UFC 244 coverage from Yahoo Sports: