Edmen Shahbazyan knows he is lucky to have Ronda Rousey as his manager.
When Rousey was the UFC champion, one of her training partners was then 15-year-old, Edmen Shahbazyan who trained at the gym. At open workouts, Shahbazyan was the person Rousey would judo throw. But, since then, “Rowdy” knew he would be something special.
Fast forward seven years later and Shahbazyan is set to headline his first UFC show this Saturday when he takes on Derek Brunson. Although the spotlight of being the main event may get to some people, Shahbazyan knows he is different as he was around Rousey during her superstardom.
“I kind of experienced that growing up watching her and watching her preparing for those big fights,” Shahbazyan said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “That helped me a lot growing up and having her by me and watching her fame and her rise to the top. That is an advantage I will have in the future.”
Seeing Rousey dealing with all the media and everything she did to be a champion will no doubt help him. But, having the UFC Hall of Famer as his manager and letting her deal with Dana White and the UFC is a big bonus.
Although they don’t train together that often, Shahbazyan says if he ever needs advice he can always ask Rousey, who he views as an older sister.
“It is cool and awesome having such a big name like her to manage me and represent me. I look at her like an older sister,” he explained. “From a young age, I’ve known her and it is cool she is doing this for us.”
When Edmen Shahbazyan steps into the cage on Saturday night, he knows a big part of the reason he is there is because of Ronda Rousey. So, for him, that relationship has been so important as she is the one who inspired him to get into MMA.
“It is definitely cool as I’ve dedicated my life to this sport and I’m going after my dreams. But, yeah Ronda and I always keep up with each other. We just talk and it is always motivating talking to her and incredible getting tips from her. Whenever she is in town we see each other,” he concluded. “It has been motivating as I saw it first hand on how she did it. She inspired me.”