November 13, 2009 By admin
King Georgi- At age 24 Georgi Karakhanyan is MMA ‘s best unsigned prospect – as published in ULTMMA
Riverside, CA- HyeFighter Georgi Karakhanyan is on the brink of greatness. For a fighter in his mid-20s he is surprisingly humble about his MMA accomplishments. Twelve wins one loss and one draw don’t jump off the stat sheet at first glance.
8 submission victories in under 5 minutes adds some depth to the story of Karakhanyan. The former professional soccer player in Russia and Spain did not have the slightest mixed martial arts aspirations until his late teens. Transitioning from the most popular sport on the planet to perhaps the most controversial, Karakhanyan has proved to be a quick study since entering the cage.
Karakhanyan made is professional MMA debut in October 2006. With a high paced grappling based attack Karakhanyan has earned a reputation as a submission machine and has used his BJJ skills to dominate the local west coast MMA circuit.
Training out of team Millennia MMA, Karakhanyan also makes the trip to Glendale, CA to get work in with Manny Gamburyan at Main Event Sports Club.
The Armenian national is the top rated prospect in the Ultmma50. Youth, athleticism and a top shelf team of fighters as well as coaches give Georgi Karakhanyan the tools to realize his potential.
The Ultmma50 is a pound for pound ranking of the top unsigned local MMA prospects.
ULTMMA (www.ultmma.com) spoke with Karakhanyan before a recent training session and discussed a number of topics including: learning from Javier Vasquez, the failed weight cut down to 135 and his pick for the Brown-Aldo title fight.
Note: This interview was conducted prior to Karakhanyan being informed that Called Out MMA II had been postponed.
ULTMMA.com: You haven’t fought since May how has the layoff been for you?
Georgi Karakhanyan: I personally think it was too long because I’m used to fighting ever one to two months. It’s been good though, after I fought I only took two off weeks. I would have liked to fight earlier, but it’s cool. Some of the fights fell apart, but it’s ok.
ULTMMA: What is like trying to secure fights at a local level, where it’s not as organized?
Karakhanyan: It’s really hard especially when you start to build up your record after seven or eight wins. It’s tough you either go find the big shows or you have to fight someone with the same record as you.
ULTMMA: For this training camp have you been working on anything in particular?
Karakhanyan: Well my original opponent Bao Quach he broke his hand. So, we worked on a lot of my stand up because Bao has great stand up. Now my new opponent was Vince Ortiz is actually a training partner of the last guy I fought Albert Rios. He comes from Antonio McKee’s camp so I’m pretty sure he’s a good wrestler. Now I want to work on my takedown defense so I can keep the fight standing.
ULTMMA: When did you find out Quach broke his hand?
Karakhanyan: I found out about 3 1/2 weeks ago.
ULTMMA: Was it a disappointment not getting a chance to fight a big name guy in your division?
Karakhanyan: Yeah, I was pretty pissed. I was the underdog and I should be. If, I would of beat Bao it would of put me in a good spot because he has a huge name. I heard a lot of talk of people saying he was going to knock me out. I was very motivated to fight him, but everything happens for a reason.
ULTMMA: What do you know about your opponent Vince Ortiz?
Karakhanyan: A big thing with him is he is an ex-marine. So, they call him the sergeant and he has been wrestling for 10-12 years. Actually one of his last fights he fought one of my training partners Chris Cully. I pretty much know what he is going to bring to the table.
ULTMMA: Your first loss came in 2008, what did you take away from that defeat?
Karakhanyan: Before I loss that fight I was doing no wrestling or anything like that. When I lost to Chris David all he did pretty much was take me down and keep me on the ground. After that loss I just started working on my wrestling a lot. Two days after that fight I bought myself some wrestling shows and told myself I’m going to wrestle.
It got me very humbled up as well. When I was 4-0 I thought nobody was going to beat me. I got beat so I dealt with it and started wrestling which made me a better fighter.
ULTMMA: Your only 24 years old, where is your future weight class going to be? 135? Stay at 145? Move up to 155?
Karakhanyan: Actually we were trying to get to 135 for the WEC. Sean Shelby (WEC matchmaker) was saying that the 45 division was so packed and I tried to make it to 35, but I just couldn’t. I’m probably going to stay at 45 and hopefully in the future move up to 55.
ULTMMA: What do you learn from some of your training partners like WEC fighters Javier Vasquez and Manny Tapia?
Karakhanyan: The first thing I get from Javi all the time is to be patient. I’m not a patient person at all.I was actually cornering him in his last fight in Texas. Even when he lost, we didn’t think he lost, but he just used that as a example of being patient.
Its good to go watch and corner them because you see how they fight at that level. It’s a good experience for me. I also train in Glendale, California with Manny Gamburyan and Karen Darabedyan.
ULTMMA: If, you were scouting yourself how would game plan for fight against Georgi Karakhanyan?
Karakhanyan: That’s a tough question. I would use more wrestling. That’s tough because most wrestlers can’t take me down. Maybe just stand with me.
ULTMMA: What do your coaches want you to improve on?
Karakhanyan: Right now I’ve been concentrating a lot on my foot work. Just trying to get my foot work down and my fakes. Jose Aldo and all those guys have very good foot work and fakes.
ULTMMA: Who do you like in the Mike Brown-Jose Aldo fight at WEC 44?
Karakhanyan: I like Mike Brown. I don’t really like Jose Aldo because he beat one of my good friends Cub Swanson. Jose Aldo is really, really tough and a very a good guy. I think if it goes past the first round Mike Brown will win by decision. If, it ends in the first round it’s because Jose Aldo knocked him out with one of those flying knees or flying kicks.
ULTMMA: Are there any sponsors who have helped you out in preparation for this fight who you would like to thank?
Karakhanyan: I like to thank all the Millennia guys, all the Millennia fighters. My coaches Romi. Javi, Betiss, Joey. Sponsor wise the same people who have been with me forever Unbreakable mouth pieces, Clinch Gear, Nurti Shop, and Original Grappler.