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Sports Briefs: Undefeated Glendale MMA fighter headed for 'Dana White's Tuesday Night Contenders Series'

Sports Briefs: Undefeated Glendale MMA fighter headed for 'Dana White's Tuesday Night Contenders Series'
Hoover High product and Glendale Fighting Club trainee Edmen Shahbazyan will fight Tuesday in Las Vegas for a chance at a UFC contract. (File Photo Courtesy of Dave Beard)

Shahbazyan shoots for UFC contract

Still roughly five months shy of his 21st birthday, Edmen Shahbazyan is already knocking on the door of the world’s most preeminent mixed martial arts organization.

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On Tuesday night in the latest installment of “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series,” Shahbazyan, a Hoover High product who trains at the Glendale Fighting Club, will face Antonio “Doomsday” Jones in a scheduled three-round middleweight bout.

Streaming live on UFC Fight Pass, the night of fights begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. PST with Shahbazyan’s bout slated to be the first of five fights.

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Both combatants bring 6-0 records into the cage, though Shahbazyan has finished all six of his bouts, all of them in the first round and all of them via knockout. The 33-year-old Jones has four decision wins.

Jones, whose bouts have all taken place in New Mexico or Texas, began his professional career in June of 2015 and he last fought on March 4 when he defeated Artenas Young via unanimous decision. His most notable victory was a 2017 unanimous decision over UFC veteran Roger Narvaez.

Shahbazyan’s last win came on April 21 in Burbank when he blew through Daniel McWilliams in 30 seconds. All of Shahbazyan’s bouts have been held in Southern California so he and Jones will each be making their Las Vegas debuts. Shahbazyan, who made his pro debut in February of 2017, will be facing his most highly regarded opponent yet as he has yet to face an opponent with a current record over .500.

Shahbazyan will be the second GFC fighter to compete on the contender series, as Alfred Khazhakyan fought and lost in season one against Sean O’Malley, likely the most high profile fighter signed to a UFC contract in the first season.

Shahbazyan was the last Hoover High wrestler to advance to the CIF State Meet when he did it in 2015. He has trained for most of his life under GFC coach Edmond Tarverdyan and often helped former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey train during her MMA career. He is currently represented by Rousey’s One Fight Management company.

Crescenta Valley Summer Series returns

The Crescenta Valley Summer Cross-Country Series is back at the starting line beginning on Wednesday.

Many of the best distance runners in area history have taken part in the series over the years.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday with a 2-kilometer race at 6 and the three-mile run following at 6:20 p.m. Entry fee is $5, all ages are encouraged to take part and times are taken for everyone

Locals conclude run in Babe Ruth tourney

Glendale is hosting the Babe Ruth 14U State Tournament, but unfortunately for the two local squads, their runs came up short of Saturday’s championship.

Heartwell, which is currently undefeated in the six-team double-elimination tournament, will host Westchester at 3:30 p.m. Saturday with a game following if Westchester wins the opener.

Glendale Blue and Glendale Red fell on Thursday and Monday, respectively.

Glendale Red lost its opener, 11-0, on Sunday and was subsequently eliminated Monday in a 12-4 defeat to Glendale Blue.

Glendale Blue lost to Torrance, 11-5, before defeating Glendale Red. Glendale Blue moved on to Wednesday, when it downed Torrance, 8-3, but was eliminated on Thursday night against Westchester, 15-2.

Coach Z Basketball Camp

Crescenta Valley High boys’ basketball coach Shawn Zargarian will conduct the annual Coach Z Basketball Camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at Crescenta Valley High’s gymnasium, 2900 Community Drive, La Crescenta.

The event is geared for boys and girls, ages 7-13. T-shirt and lunch provided.

For more information, email Zargarian at szargarian@gusd.net.

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