Edmen Shahbazyan wants to be the youngest world champion and middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya is taking notice.
Adesanya (18-0) recently appeared on Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Rogan brought up Shahbazyan’s (11-0) win over Brad Tavares (17-6). “Stylebender” admitted he was not too familiar with Shahbazyan prior to his thunderous first-round finish of Tavares at UFC 244.
“I saw his fight,” Adesanya told Rogan. “He hit Brad Tavares with the head-kick and that kind of caught my attention like, ‘oh s—t, who is this kid?’”
“He’s at 185, he’s 21. He’s on the come up. I played with Brad for five rounds, he starched him in one round. I’m not taking that lightly. I look at that kid,” Adesanya continued. “Eventually, when that kid comes up, I’m sure I’ll see him at some point. I need to get back to work. Don’t get me wrong I’m working. But you know that FOMO [Fear Of Missing Out].”
In the meantime, Adesanya is angling for a UFC middleweight title defense against Yoel Romero. The potential match-up comes in light of an injury suffered by top contender Paulo Costa. Shahbazyan, meanwhile, is ranked number 10 in the division and poised for a big fight.