||02-05-2010 10:10 AM
Georgi Karakhanyan Talks About Bellator Season 2
Recapping With Georgi Karakhanyan - I Like To Fight A Lot
by Matt Clarmont - 02-04-2010
When Bellator Fighting Championships began releasing the names of those who would populate their 2010 roster, eyebrows began to progressively raise with each passing day's announced signing. They raised considerably more when the featherweight tournament was confirmed to include one Georgi Karakhanyan.
“Georgi K.” is how he is endearingly referred to by most. “Insane” is how he fights and so it serves as a fitting nickname for someone who has progressed so much in such a compressed period of time. In just over 3 years of professional fighting, he has compiled an otherworldly 12-1 record and has quickly become the subject of future top 10, 145 pound discussions. He hasn't trained for much longer than that either and he didn't originally intend on dedicating his future to the sport of MMA.
“I started getting into Brazilian jiu jitsu in April of 2006. It was nothing serious, nothing like 'oh I was going to become a professional fighter' or 'I was going to be in MMA.' It was basically just to see what Brazilian jiu jitsu was all about,” said Georgi when asked about his trek into MMA. 3 short years may indicate that he was a natural at the Brazilian martial art, but it was hard work and determination that yielded the success story we see today.
“I started a [Brazilian jiu jitsu] class, I was getting tapped too many times. I was getting frustrated so I decided to get better and just train more,” and then came the call from King of thae Cage, “After about 6 months of training, I got offered a fight at King of the Cage and I just took it. I won that fight by guillotine choke which was the only submission I knew and I was good at. After that fight I just made up my mind. I kind of liked that feeling of walking out, the adrenaline and all that, the crowd, so I just decided to see how far I could take it and now I'm here, fighting for Bellator.”
Though Bellator seems to be a leap up in exposure, it isn't quite a leap in competition. Georgi's last victory was over an established prospect himself in Albert Rios, who a few short weeks ago took out UFC veteran and Brazilian jiu jitsu specialist, Alberto Crane. That fight was a giant notch in his hopeful future Bellator featherweight belt. His reaction was simple: he showed his growth as a fighter.
“When I fought that fight, I didn't show lots of my standup 'cause a lot of people were telling me he's stronger than me, he's going to outwrestle me, so I was just trying to prove a point, that I could take him down. Actually, when the fight started I was just working on my takedown defense and he couldn't take me down and I was just trying to prove people wrong, from that fight. That I could defend and I could take Albert Rios down.”
He understands what that accomplishment denotes and recognizes the talent level of his former opponent, “He had a lot of hype behind him because he fought in Affliction. But now, me and Albert are friends. I was actually at the fight last weekend, rooting for him when he was fighting Alberto Crane and he looked really good. That makes me look good!” he reflected with a chuckle.
That inherent humility is further apparent in his recollection of the one loss he has sustained thus far in competition. The Albert Rios fight was the culmination of the after-effects from that loss at the hands of Chris David.
“I'm really happy I lost 'cause I learned a lot. I'm a really humble person, I like to learn. I mean, I still have so much left to learn, I'm going to learn throughout my career so it was a good experience...something that could not get out of my head told me 'okay you need to work on your wrestling' so now I've been working a lot with Olympic caliber wrestlers and division I wrestlers so it's good.”
What better way to shore up your weakness than learning from someone who is among the world's best? So he became a mainstay with a southern California wrestling gym, “I train with SK Golden Boys out of North Hollywood, that's where I train my wrestling with Martin Barberyan, that's the Olympic wrestler, Andy Darmenjyan.”
Georgi goes on to talk about how Bellator prevented him from fighting in January, a possible beef with fellow tournament fighter Bao Quach and more. Read the full interview