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What Shahbazyan has in a perfect start, Brunson has in experience. Brunson has been delivering thrilling fights since his UFC debut in 2012 and has come out on top in nearly all those fights. His only blemishes are against the uber-elite (Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza, Anderson Silva).

After facing that level of superstar opposition, welcoming Shahbazyan to the upper echelon of the division shouldn’t be an issue.

“Every fight is important, and I’ve been at this for a while so it’s just another fight for me. It’s a step-up in competition,” Brunson said. “As a prospect if you come in and win your first couple fights and you’re going to get a step-up. I’m not worried about hype or any of that. I go into each fight the same way. Get my hand raised and look for finishes. I’m not concerned if the person across from me is getting hype or if the media is focused on them. I know what my job is.”

Brunson has had his focus on this job for a while now. The two have been scheduled to fight several times this year and now will finally meet. Training has been different for Brunson this time around, though. His gym in North Carolina is still shut down because of the pandemic, prompting him to move down to Florida to prepare.


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