Edmen Shahbazyan credits manager Ronda Rousey for quick UFC rise

Ronda Rousey, Edmen Shahbazyan
Image via @edmenshahbazyan on Instagram

UFC middleweight Edmen Shahbazyan has quickly risen up the 185lbs rankings, and he partly credits his quick rise to his manager Ronda Rousey.

The 21-year-old Shahbazyan is managed by the UFC Hall of Famer Rousey, the long-time women’s bantamweight champion. The California natie admits that her influence on his career is a big part of why he’s so quickly morphed into a top-10 UFC middleweight.

Here’s what Shahbazyan told reporters after his UFC 244 head kick KO win over Brad Tavares when asked about Rousey’s influence on him.

“(She’s a) big inspiration. It’s motivational having such a legend manage you. It motivates me a lot,” Shahbazyan said.

At just 21, Shahbazyan is one of the youngest fighters currently on the UFC roster and is already a perfect 4-0 inside the Octagon since making his promotional debut less than a year ago. After going 6-0 on the regional circuit with six knockout wins, Shahbazyan drew the attention of the UFC matchmakers and picked up another knockout win on Dana White’s Contender Series to get signed to the big show.

He defeated Darren Stewart by split decision in his UFC debut in November 2018, then finished Charles Byrd, Jack Marshman and at UFC 244 Tavares in a win that saw him jump into the top-10 at 185lbs. The win over Tavares almost certainly guarantees that Shahbazyan will get a top-ranked opponent for his next fight. At this point, he might only be one or two more wins away from getting a title shot in the stacked UFC middleweight division.

Always humble, Shahbazyan credits much of his success to Rousey, and he believes with her managing his MMA career he’s in very good hands going forward.

“She always sends positive energy and great messages,” Shahbazyan said.

Do you think Edmen Shahbazyan is a future UFC middleweight champion under the tutelage of Ronda Rousey?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.