The UFC was back in America last night for UFC Vegas 5 and the big news coming out of this event was the experienced Derek Brunson beating the highly-rated talent Edmen Shahbazyan.
Brunson won via TKO at the start of round three after a dominant round two. It was clear that ‘The Golden Boy’ had gassed out after taking just winning round one in my opinion. Edmen hasn’t needed that much cardio yet due to all of his fights, apart from one, prior to last night ending by the end of the first round. Brunson was wise to use wrestling tire the 22-year-old and showed his experience in his patience to finish the fight.
However, after Edmen’s performance, a lot of fans have hopped off the hype train and are now saying he’s overrated. This for me is very harsh on the youngster as firstly, he’s only 22, so he’s nowhere near his prime and is still a top 15 middleweight in the UFC. Also, he’s still got so much to learn in MMA. He’s still got to ‘find himself as a fighter’ which is a quote that fans always use for the likes of Darren Till, who’s 5 years older than ‘The Golden Boy.’
I think a lot of fans expected Edmen to be like Jon Jones, winning/competing for the title in his early 20s which is why they’ve turned their backs on the youngster.
I think this first loss will be a tough pill to swallow but the way he bounces back is where we see if he’s overrated or not. All of the top guys in the UFC, as much as they’re physically brilliant, their mental strength is why they’re at the top because, when they lose, they bounce back.
I hope Edmen works on his cardio, as it’s evident that is his biggest weakness. After that I believe that he can definitely be one of the top guys in the division, his wrestling can also do with a bit of work but Israel Adesanya’s wrestling isn’t the best and he’s the champion so I think his cardio definitely needs more work than his wrestling.
With ample time to work on his craft, I’m sure Edmen will come back better and will understand that he needs to pace himself against top 10 opposition. As I said before he’s only 22, I’m confident he’s the future of the division and I’m sure he’ll be challenging for the title in a few years after learning more about MMA at the top level.