Derek Brunson understands the significance of his middleweight scrap with Edmen Shahbazyan.
On Aug. 1, Brunson and Shahbazyan will share the Octagon in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 31. For Brunson, it’s a chance to derail the hype train. As for Shahbazyan, this will be an opportunity to put away his toughest test to date in impressive fashion.
Derek Brunson Treating Edmen Shahbazyan Fight Like ‘High Profile’ Bout
Brunson spoke to MMAFighting‘s Damon Martin ahead of this weekend’s event. During the interview, Brunson talked about what a victory over Shahbazyan would do for him.
“It’s a high profile fight,” Brunson said. “Definitely need to go out there and set the tone. This fight can catapult me into another big fight. Where they’re talking him as a potential title challenger, the same thing they were saying about the last guy I fought (Ian Heinisch) and kind of took his hype away from him.
“This guy right here, he’s talking about being the youngest champion. I go out here and beat him up, that takes everything away. He’s got to reset and that puts me back in the picture and people will start talking about me and my title hunt also.”
Brunson is coming off back-to-back victories. He has beaten Ian Heinisch and Elias Theodorou via unanimous decision. The wins were much-needed for Brunson, who was coming off back-to-back first-round TKO losses to Jacare Souza and Israel Adesanya.
MMA News will have you covered this weekend during the UFC on ESPN+ 31 broadcast. Join us on Friday afternoon for live weigh-in results. Of course, we’ll be bringing you live results and highlights on fight night.