Edmen Shahbazyan praises advice to take year off before returning at UFC 282


Edmen Shahbazyan was at a crossroads in his young career after losing three straight UFC fights.

Once hailed as the future of the middleweight division, the 25-year-old Contender Series veteran was in a scenario where one more setback could potentially bounce him from the promotion. Realizing he needed to change his training and preparation, Shahbazyan met prominent manager Ali Abdelaziz, who eventually brought him on as a client, with one condition: He needed to take a year off from fighting.

Shahbazyan was previously managed by Ronda Rousey. He moved to Las Vegas, trained at Xtreme Couture, and booked his return to UFC 282.. His second round knockout victory over Dalcha Luniambula was a sign of his renewed spirit. It took 13 many months to win the victory.

“I’m definitely glad I did it,” Shahbazyan told MMA Fighting about his hiatus from the sport. “During that time off, I really, really improved on myself mentally, physically and technically. I’m thankful for Ali for believing in me and really giving me that good advice. They were also my coaches. Just dedicating the time to work with me and really helping me improve during that time.

” You want to quickly get back to winning, but you have to make adjustments. It’s important to keep improving day-by-day. If it takes a while, or even two, then you must take the time to make those adjustments and improvements .

Shahbazyan also enjoyed his time off, especially after his experience with the new fighters and coaches at Xtreme Couture.

” The whole thing [was] was literally good for me and my soul for the first time,” he stated. The rest of the techniques, as well as the improvement I made were much appreciated, and it is something I am glad I did. It’s only going to be better from here.

“Getting the victory and really following the game plan, sticking to it and getting the victory, you couldn’t ask for more. I’m happy.”

According to Abdelaziz a chance meeting with Shahbazyan at a training session lead to their working together. He knew that the once promising prospect needed a fresh direction even before this encounter.

“What happened was we met at [American Kickboxing Academy], and we trained, and I could tell he had some stuff to work on,” Abdelaziz said about Shahbazyan. After that we did not talk about anything management-related, but Abdelaziz reached out to me and said, “Listen, to be able compete in UFC, your young, you have lots of room for growth.” He seemed good but I still felt there was so much more to learn. We all spoke and agreed that this team could work.

” After that, they did some amazing work [and] which really helped him. I don’t think he’s reached 50 percent of his potential yet. … He was told to take a year off, get stronger and develop. Now, I believe he’s ready to develop and become a better fighter. Every fight he’s going to get better, but now he has a very strong foundation.”

It could be argued Shahbazyan was rushed during the early part of his UFC career, scoring a main event opportunity in just his fourth fight with the promotion. He won’t make any excuses for the loss he suffered in that fight against Derek Brunson or the next two in a row that followed, but “The Golden Boy” learned a valuable lesson he’s carrying forward.

“I’m not rushing anything,” Shahbazyan explained. I’m looking forward to working out in the gym. Because I kicked quite a bit, my leg has swollen so I will take some days off. Let it heal. Then I will be back at the gym, working on improving and getting better. Fight by fighting .”

The same goes for his level of competition, because Shahbazyan still believes there’s a UFC title in his future. But he’s not going to run head-first into a brick wall just to break into the top 15 rankings again. Instead, he’s putting faith in the people that have his best interests at heart.

” My manager Ali, my coaches, communicate with me and we’ll work out the matchup. They’ll also wind me up so I can go fight,” Shahbazyan stated. I’d guess April. That should be ideal, I think.”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/24/23511439/edmen-shahbazyan-praises-advice-received-take-a-year-off-fighting-before-returning-with-win-ufc-282?rand=96749