Edmen Shahbazyan: UFC 248 win over Derek Brunson puts me in great spot for title shot

Edmen Shahbazyan is keen to test his skills against the litmus test that is Derek Brunson at UFC 248.

Shahbazyan, an undefeated middleweight prospect, gets a chance to prove his worth against a divisional mainstay at the March event. Brunson has fought many of the best in the history of his weight class over the years, and he’s only faltered against the elite.

Does Shahbazyan belong in that upper tier? He intends to find out when the pair share the octagon.

“I think it’s a great matchup,” Shahbazyan told MMA Junkie. “I know he’s a veteran of the sport and he’s been a top contender fighting for a while, but I look forward to going out there and performing amazingly.”

UFC 248 takes place March 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

If Shahbazyan can get past Brunson, it would put him in a position in which there wouldn’t be much real estate between himself and the champion. That’s good news for Shahbazyan, who has the potential to break Jon Jones’ record for youngest titleholder in UFC history if he continues on his current trajectory.

That’s something on the forefront of Shahbazyan’s mind going into UFC 248, and he intends to deliver a performance that stands out.

“I just turned 22. I’m improving every single day, and I love doing this,” Shahbazyan said. “With a win over him, it puts me in a great spot in the division to soon fight for a title. I want to be the champ, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there one step at a time.”