Edmen Shahbazyan is back.
According to Manouk Akopyan of the LA Times, and confirmed by BJPENN.com, Shahbazyan will fight sixth-ranked middleweight, Jack Hermansson at UFC 262 on May 15. The event will also take place in Houston, Texas with a full crowd.
One of the co-featured bouts for #UFC262 will be a middleweight match between No. 6 Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs. No. 12 Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1), I'm told by a source with direct knowledge of the deal.
Shahbazyan will have a second chance to prove his ceiling in the step-up fight. https://t.co/HIpK0i6kX6
— Manouk Akopyan (@ManoukAkopyan) March 19, 2021
One of the co-featured bouts for #UFC262 will be a middleweight match between No. 6 Jack Hermansson (21-6) vs. No. 12 Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1), I’m told by a source with direct knowledge of the deal. Shahbazyan will have a second chance to prove his ceiling in the step-up fight.
Edmen Shahbazyan is currently 11-1 as a pro and coming off his first career loss last August. The 23-year-old headlined the show against Derek Brunson and suffered a third-round TKO loss. Prior to the setback, he beat Brad Tavares by first-round KO, Jack Marshman by first-round submission, Charles Byrd by first-round TKO, and Darren Stewart by decision. He earned his way into the UFC with a first-round TKO win over Antonio Jones on the Contender Series.
Jack Hermansson, meanwhile, is coming off a decision to Marvin Vettori last August. In the fight before, he submitted Kelvin Gastelum in 78 seconds to return to the win column after being knocked out by Jared Cannonier.
It is interesting to see Shahbazyan get a step-up in competition despite the loss. Many thought the top prospect would face someone lower in the ranks or someone unranked after his first career loss last August. However, Hermansson also needed a step back after losing a clear-cut decision to Vettori in December. He is also just 1-2 in his last three.
Regardless, this should be a phenomenal fight, which will likely be on the main card of UFC 262. The winner of Edmen Shahbazyan vs Jack Hermansson could also get a top-five opponent and be a couple of wins away from a title shot.
Who do you think will win, Edmen Shahbazyan or Jack Hermansson?