Below you will find quotes from Edmen Shahbazyan, UFC #10 middleweight, along with his coach Edmond Tarverdyan and Artem Vakhitov, the most dominant light-heavyweight champion in GLORY history.
The three discuss the preparations for this weekend’s showdown with Jack Hermansson and reveal why the team at Glendale Fight Club flew Vakhitov all the way from Siberia, Russia specifically for this camp.
These quotes are free to use and share, as is the above photo and the sparring / interview video which you can find at the below link.
Video: Shahbazyan closed-door sparring sessions
Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1)
Ranked #10, youngest ranked middleweight in UFC
On this weekend’s fight with Hermansson, coming off first career loss:
“That first loss taught me a lot. I am just excited to get back in there and really show my improvements and get the win. In that fight I really wanted to go for the finish.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish [the fight with [Derek Brunson] and that kind of gassed me out, so if I can stay calm and relaxed, not rush for the finish, that’s one of the big adjustments.”
On why he brought in Russian kickboxing champion Artem Vakhitov for this camp:
“He’s a beast man, he’s the best in the world at his craft. Bringing him to do kickboxing with has been a blessing, it’s helped me a lot – I’m just excited to keep improving, keep learning from him, keep getting better.”
Head Coach, Glendale Fight Club:
On Shahbazyan’s place in the UFC light-heavyweight title picture:
“He’s not far away, it all depends how the division goes. If this fight goes well then maybe a fight or two after that and then maybe a world title shot. Maybe a year, year and a half. He’s young, all these veterans are older. They are wiser, more physically mature, they are at their peak. Edmen has time.
On bringing in one of the world’s top kickboxers for this specific camp:
“Obviously Jack Hermansson is not the same level of striking as Vakhitov, but I wanted challenges for Edmen to overcome. [Edmen] was a boxer before he switched to MMA. His kickboxing still has room to improve, so I wanted to a top kickboxer to come in and give us a challenge.
“Vakhitov brings a lot of pressure. He’s impressive. The way he keeps moving forward and the non-stop output, he presents a lot of difficulty. That work was really good for building Edmen’s conditioning and his willpower.
“If he can deal with the kind of relentless pressure Vakhitov brought in camp, he can deal with the kind of pressure Hermansson will bring in this fight.”
On Shahbazyan going into this fight off the back of his first ever loss:
“He was looking for a big finish and that guy was a veteran and if you don’t respect his takedowns and so on, you’re going to suffer. I think when you’re young and a bit immature, you think you can knock everyone out.
“So that fight was a wakeup call for him – you can’t get a home run every time, you need to box and you need to not underestimate veterans by thinking you can just take them out with one punch. He had to learn the hard way – and I am glad he learned that lesson from a great guy like Derek.”
GLORY light-heavyweight champion 2016-2021
On helping Shahbazyan prepare for Jack Hermansson:
“The chance to train with a top UFC fighter was very interesting. It was something new for me, although I’ve been thinking about MMA for a while now.
“I was brought in to work stand-up with Edmen and we worked a lot on being under pressure, and building reactivity and timing in his striking, that he can carry into this fight.”
On potentially competing in MMA himself:
“It was good working with Edmen and I look forward to seeing the results in the Octagon. For myself, I am now even more interested in MMA and maybe one day you see me competing in small gloves.
“I would like to fight the top strikers in MMA, guys like Jon Jones, Israel Adesanya, Jan Blachowicz. That would be interesting for sure.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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