Edmen Shahbazyan turned a negative into a positive after suffering the first professional loss of his career last year.
Shahbazyan was stopped by Derek Brunson in the main event of UFC Vegas 5 in what was his first main event appearance since joining the promotion in 2018. The young prospect started off well and looked to add another first-round stoppage to his already impressive resume, but the seasoned veteran proved to be too much.
Brunson utilized his wrestling and dominated Shahbazyan on the ground, which led this his third-round technical knockout win. A loss like that may be a difficult pill to swallow for any fighter, but not for Shahbazyan. He — and his team — were seemingly appreciative to deal with this situation early on in his career so that he can learn and improve from it.
That is exactly what Shahbazyan did, and he opened up about the loss to Brunson and its aftermath in an interview on an upcoming episode of Just Scrap Radio with Cole Shelton of BJPENN.com.
“Of course, it was my first career loss and I use it as a big-time learning lesson,” said Shahbazyan. “I was kind of going in there to hunt for the finish and look to finish him right away and I gassed myself out like that because I was looking for one shot to put him out. It’s experience, he is an experienced guy, too. He weathered the storm, stayed calm, and eventually went in his favor. As far as learning from the fight, I learned a lot about myself and some things I needed to change up in training and it has been going really well now and I can’t wait to fight on May 15.”
Not only does Shahbazyan use his first loss to enact change, but also as a tool for motivation ahead of his next fight. Shahbazyan is expected to make his return at UFC 262, where he meets fellow ranked contender Jack Hermansson.
He hopes that this new version of “The Golden Boy” is more than enough to get him back into the win column in May.
“Everybody loses at some point and I’m happy this happened and I took it as a big-time learning lesson,” said Shahbazyan. “I wasn’t so down on the loss and I used it to motivate me to come back better and work on myself.”
About the author