Ronda Rousey, Edmen Shahbazyan
Picture by way of @edmenshahbazyan on Instagram

Former UFC ladies’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey praised middleweight prospect Edmen Shahbazyan, calling him a “particular” younger expertise.

Rousey, the UFC Corridor of Famer, is the supervisor for Shahbazyan, who additionally trains at Rousey’s outdated stomping grounds at Glendale Combating Membership. The younger middleweight headlines his first UFC occasion this weekend when he takes Derek Brunson at UFC on ESPN+ 31. It’s an enormous struggle for the 22-year-old Shahbazyan, who is an ideal 11-Zero in his MMA profession to this point. Within the greatest struggle of his younger profession thus far, Shahbazyan shall be trying to bounce into title competition at 185lbs with a win over the perennial contender Brunson this Saturday evening.

Talking with UFC president Dana White earlier than the occasion, Rousey shed some mild on her star pupil, saying that she and the entire group knew he was a particular expertise years in the past.

“Little Eddie, he’s at all times been particular. He’s at all times been referred to as Neo (from ‘The Matrix’). He’s the one. He’s one of many first era of children who solely did MMA. He was obsessive about MMA once I was coaching with the health club. He was truly like my throw-in dummy for my open exercise (earlier than the Liz Carmouche struggle at UFC 157. He was 15 years outdated, he was like nonetheless like larger than me. However like he was one in every of my coaching companions. He realized armbars by me. He obtained beat up by me,” Rousey mentioned.

“He was within the health club at a really pivotal time and he and his brother (Leon Shahbazyan) would similar to present up with 10th Planet (Jiu-Jitsu) books and so they had been fully obsessed. I’ve by no means seen children extra obsessive about MMA and that was like the primary era of that. I got here up in like judo and different issues and MMA turned a factor that everybody else needed to modify to after they had been aways specialists in one thing else.”

With Rousey managing his profession, Shahbazyan is in good arms. The UFC is clearly very excessive on the 22-year-old phenom and the promotion granting him his first UFC fundamental occasion already speaks to how a lot the matchmakers imagine in his expertise. A win over Brunson and Shahbazyan shall be pushing title competition at a report younger age, with the prospect of him breaking Jon Jones’ report for the youngest champion in UFC historical past being very actual.

Do you agree with Ronda Rousey that Edmen Shahbazyan is a particular fighter?