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RSSArchive for March, 2010

HYEFIGHTER of the month: March 2010 Artyom Hovhannisyan

HYEFIGHTER of the month: March 2010 Artyom Hovhannisyan

Artyom Hovhannisyan wins the HyeFIghter of the month honors in March 2010 for his 5th round Knockout on March 6th.

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Gegard Mousasi Interview – 03/28/10

Gegard Mousasi Exclusive Interview with Hyefighters.com talking about training at Gokor’s Hayastan MMA Academy and his prediction about Manny Gamburyan’s upcoming fight against Brown.

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Gegard Mousasi, Just one of the Guys

Vania Asmerian

What a night it was for me! I had been anticipating the arrival of Gegard Mousasi, current Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion, for weeks. I finally got the opportunity to watch him train at the Glendale Fighting Club, and it was very exciting!!!
I arrived at GFC around 7:00pm on Thursday night, looking forward to watch Gegard train with a handful of Hyefighters. I walked into the gym to find Gegard putting on new training equipment called MASS. Basically, this device, similar to resistance bands, was developed for general strength training, but mainly to increase stamina since it involves training movements and not just individual muscle groups. The gear is supposed to amplify the difficulty level in an athlete’s daily workout. However, it seemed as though it made no difference to Gegard. What heavy hands this man has. WOW! Every strike, every blow, had a huge impact on not just the punching bags, but his training partners too. It was a thrill to watch such great talent right before my eyes. Some people have learned talent. Others have talent that is simply innate. Well, Mousasi, started with raw, natural talent and has combined it with a tremendous amount of skill and gets better with everyday he trains. He picks up instruction quickly and incorporates it into his daily routine. In the past year, he has excelled significantly, and also gained a variety of styles while training with GSP. Gegard Mousasi, a worldwide known mixed martial artist and kick boxer whose talent supersedes any other in his division, with a record of 29-2-1. I can’t wait to see him in action against Muhammed Lawal, on April 17th. It was very easy to see why Gegard is one of the best in his weight class. Besides being a phenomenal fighter, he is liked by those who spend as little as five minutes with him. His athletic skills and personable qualities make him an all around great guy. It was definitely my pleasure watching him train.

Manny Gamburyan, Gegard Mousasi & Sevak Magakian

Gegard Mousasi truing out the Mass Suit

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HyeFighter Arthur Abraham Loses via DQ

In SHOWTIME’s much acclaimed “Super Six” super middleweight tournament, Andre Dirrell (19-1, 13 KOs) won by DQ over previously unbeaten HyeFighter Arthur Abraham (31-1, 25 KOs) on Saturday night at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Dirrell dominated an inactive Abraham in rounds one and two. Abraham came on in round three, but Dirrell dropped an off-balance Abraham in round four. Dirrell again outworked Abraham in rounds five through seven. Abraham was cut over the right eye in round seven. An increasingly desperate Abraham tried to land a KO punch and floored Dirrell in the tenth, inexplicably waved off by referee Laurence Cole. After Dirrell slipped in the eleventh, he was punched by Abraham. Abraham was disqualified by Cole at 1:13. At the time of the DQ, Dirrell was ahead 97-92, 98-91, 97-92. Abraham later insisted that Dirrell wasn’t down when he threw the final punch. A shaken Dirrell will be taken to the hospital for tests.

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Manny Gamburyan Interview – 03/26/10

WEC Fighter Manny Gamburyan Exclusive Interview with Hyefighters.com talking about upcoming fight with Mike Brown on April 24, 2010. Also Strikeforce Champion Gegard Mousasi and Karen Darabedyan give their predictions.

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Karen Darabedyan Interview – 03/26/10

Karen Darabedyan Interview Exclusive Interview with Hyefighters.com talkiing about his recent loss and coming back stronger and smarter.

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HyeFighter Jared Papazian Wins in Rematch

Losing to Shad Smith a little over a month ago did not sit well with Jared. as a matter of fact, it made him mad. He took his anger and was able to focus it in improving himself and waiting for his chance to redeem himself. The opportunity presented itself on the night of March 25th, and Jared took every step necessary to ensure his victory. He stepped into the cage with confidence, but at the same time respectful of his opponent and his capabilities. The fight showcased Jared’s skills, desire and heart. He walked into the ring like a true Armenian Warrior draped in the Armenian Tricolors and when the bell rang, he went to work and did not stop until his opponent was unable to continue in the 3rd round. Congratulation Jared, on a great win!!

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HyeFighter Gegard Mousasi Memorabilia For Sale

We have a limited number of Gegard Mousasi life size cut outs signed by Gegard (as seen below) in BOTH ENGLISH and Armenian available for sale at $300 each. The proceeds raised from the sale of these items will go towards supporting our HyeFighters. If you are interested in purchasing one, please email us at info@hyefighters.com

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Sako Chivitchian Interview – 03/24/10

Sako Chivitchian Exclusive Interview with Hyefighters.com talkiing his plans with UFC in the near future.

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Sevak Magakian Interview – 03/24/10

Sevak Magakian Exclusive Interview with Hyefighters.com talking about his future plans with UFC and a chance on getting cast on the Ultimate Fighter.

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HyeFighter’s Trainer Ulli Wegner: Delay Helped Abraham

Trainer Ulli Wegner says his protégé Arthur Abraham has done everything possible to be victorious in Saturday’s showdown with Andre Direll in his Super Six World Boxing Classic Tournament at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. “Dirrell is really a very strong boxer,” said Wegner. “I think his surprise attacks are very dangerous, so against him Arthur must consistently implement the strategy that we’ve developed in recent weeks. Then he will win.” Wegner also stated that the postponement and venue change from the original March 6 date worked in Abraham’s favor. “When we trained in Palm Springs, [Arthur] had trouble finding his form,” he revealed. “This had to do with the fact that he simply had no chance to rest. He had an incredible amount of visits from friends living there. They were all very friendly and pleasant visitors, but such things don’t easily fit into preparation for a fight. Once we shifted the training camp to Kienbaum, his concentration on the fight went up. At first, I had expressed my displeasure about the date change, but to be honest, March 27 in hindsight was a real stroke of luck for us. In the seclusion of Kienbaum, Arthur was able to focus and increase his form.”

This weekend, SHOWTIME will be available in a record 54.4 million households for an ALL ACCESS Free Preview Weekend on SHOWTIME, SHOWTIME HD™ and SHOWTIME On Demand. From Thursday, March 25 through Sunday, March 28, viewers across the country will have the opportunity to sample the premium network’s award-winning programming via linear service, On Demand and in HD, including the Super Six World Boxing Classic. On Saturday, March 27, the Group Stage 2 showdown between tournament point leader HyeFighter “King” Arthur Abraham and Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell airs live at 10:30 pm ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

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HyeFighter Vardan Mnatsakanyan Loses A Close Decision

Vardan Mnatsakanyan

Controversy fills another event foe HyeFighter Vardan Mnatsakanyan.

Watch the video below and judge for yourself.

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HyeFighter Brothers Giorgio & Armen Petrosyan Both Win

Khem faces off against Petrosyan

Full results are in for It’s Showtime Milan and there’s definitely some interesting outcomes to look at:

Giorgio Petrosyan def Khem Sitsongpeenong, DEC
Cosmo Alexandre def Dmitry Shakuta, TKO rd 2 (doctor stoppage due to cut)
Orono Vor Petchpoon def Egon Racz, TKO rd 3
Sudsakorn def Chahid Oulad El Hadj, DEC
Armen Petrosyan def Dzhabar Askerov, DEC
Brice Guidon def Hesdy Gerges, DEC (ext. round)

Julian Imeri def Fabio De Marco, DEC
Luca Panto def Wendel Roche, DEC
Yavuz Kayabasi def Hicham Bettani, DEC
Ali Cenik def Bruno Franchi, DEC
Federico Pacini def Robert Van Nimvegen, DEC
Sergeio Wilzen def Mattio Luppi, KO rd 3

The biggest news here is Guidon defeating Gerges in a pretty big upset. Guidon has been knocking on the door of the top level for some time, and this win should really propel him upwards.

I look forward to seeing footage of Giorgio Petrosyan’s victory to see if he dominated, or if Khem was able to mount any effective game.

Cosmo Alexnadre has really been on a terrific roll lately with a number of big wins. Would love to see him rematch Yod.

Finally, what else can be said about Chahid? Four straight loses, the last 3 of which came against previously unranked opponents. These aren’t cans he’s losing to by any means, but he’s really fallen apart in the last year. I hope he takes some time off to figure out how to fix his game, as whatever he’s doing right now just is not working for him.

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Behind the scenes with George Bastmajyan

Vania Asmerian

For those that don’t know, being the person in charge of ensuring arenas are packed with paying fight fans is no easy task. The man I had an exclusive interview with, George Bastmajyan, is not only a promoter for Called Out MMA (one of the more popular, according to recent polls, top notch organizations that has promoted former UFC fighters, such as Vladamir Matyushenko, Alberto Crane, Roman Mitichyan, and Jason Lambert), but also a very talented matchmaker, former professional Muay Thai fighter, and manager to a handful of fighters, including UFC lightweight Roman “The Emperor” Mitichyan. Aside from those titles, he is also a well-known cut man to worldwide recognized fighters, including Olympian Demetrius Andrede, as well as a popular coach at the Glendale Fighting Club. But, wait, there is more….he also owns Lights Out Promotions, a company promoting many Armenian mixed martial arts fighters and professional boxers. All this in just a matter of 10 years, pretty impressive I’d say!

Q: After discussing the wide variety of titles you hold, how does your level of success and notoriety make you feel? Do you get more pleasure from working with other fighters, as opposed to when you were a fighter and training with some of the best in Thailand?

A: As a fighter, I started training pretty late, at the age of 20. However, I set a goal for myself to win a Muay Thai championship in California, and did that in 3 years. I went around to Thailand and saw the business end of it. I met some important people down there, WBA super featherweight champion of the world, at the time, In fact, I helped him sign with an American promoter, came over to the United States, won, and defended his title. In fact, he was the only fighter from Thailand to come to America, defend his title and be successful. I want to see people succeed in their own career. So I take any steps necessary to help them become champions or whatever their goals may be. I go to the extent of getting in the cage and helping my fighters prepare for their fights, holding mitts, grappling, whatever it takes.

Q: You have such a jam packed schedule, yet it hasn’t stopped you from adding more to your plate. I understand you are a manager to longtime professional veterans, as well as up-and-coming fighters. Who are some of these fighters whose careers you look after?

A: I have managed the career of former WBA lightweight champion, Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai, for three of his world championship fights: one was in Japan and the second in the United States. For two and a half years now, I have managed UFC lightweight, Roman “The Emperor” Mitichyan’s career, who is fighting on April 29th. Artyom Hovhannisyan, Gabriel Tolmajyan, and Arthur Bernetsyan’s careers are also managed by me. I look out for their fights. I make sure I pick the right opponent and venue for them. I also promoted and helped Karen Darabedyan get his first fights going, when he fought for Called Out, before he went into contract with WEC.

Q: How did you get started with Called Out MMA and what made you decide to begin Lights Out Promotions?

A: Well, I’ve always been in touch with most local organizations that involved in MMA and boxing, including CXF (with Mike Rush as co-owner and promoter), Respect in the Cage, and other organizations that simply want to put on fights and fighters until they are recognized and called on by WEC, UFC or Strikeforce. Pretty much if anybody is in need of a fighter, I’m one of the people they go to. I’ve got a database of over 700-800 fighters and I am currently preparing the fight card for Called Out 3, which should take place sometime at the end of May.

My partner, Edmond Tarverdyan, president and owner of Glendale Fighting Club, and I, first started as fighters, then decided that we might as well promote our own shows. The first show we did was at the Hollywood Park Casino in May 2004. It was a co-promotion with Dennis Warner and InSyn Productions which was headlined by Edmond fight. We had a sell-out card, so in December we decided to do another one. Even though it was held three days before Christmas, we put five Armenian fighters on the card, (Edmond Tarverdyan, Shawn Yacoubian, Artak Karapetyan, Ando Janoyan, Tina Zakarian), and we sold the place out. Our Armenian Hyefighters are one of our main support groups. They all have Lights Out Promotions logos on their shorts. There is another company, MMA Pro Sports, that I am involved with right now doing really big things. I help them market their product. For example, they are the glove sponsors for Called Out MMA. I am also helping to bring up King of the West, which is an Armenian owned (Roman Kalanteryan, of Main Event Gym, in Glendale) promotional company, as a coordinator and matchmaker for their events. Their next event will be held on May 6th at the Circus in Hollywood and on our card will be three of our Armenian MMA fighters, Sevak Magakian, Haiko Zacoubian (a young, new Hyefighter), and Vacho Avagian. By the way, laugh out loud, I am also in charge of hiring the ring girls. Oh, also, we are having an event on April 23rd, when we will have seven Armenian fighters matched up in the cage, and part of the proceeds will be donated to help Armenia.

Q: What exactly do you look for in fighters and their opponents? Do you choose strictly by weight class, age, height, and fight record, or do you incorporate fighting styles, personality, and what people want to see?

A: In order to put on a show, you need to know how to set the tone. Every single event that I’ve promoted, was the matchmaker or event coordinator for, I knew that my first fight had to be two guys that stood up and beat the living daylights out of each other. You want to get the crowd up. When we have set the right tone at the start of the event, it has always finished a success. My job is to make sure that the audience comes back and watches our show again. Since I deal with the commission directly, I have to ensure things run smoothly.

Q: Finally to my favorite part: You are a cut man. What exactly do you do to a fighter inside the cage?

A: Laughing, I put Vaseline on a fighter’s face and let them go to the fight. In between rounds, if a fighter has a small cut, the doctor doesn’t say much. The fighter comes, sits down, and I get in there. I take my medications, my Vaseline, and get to work. I have to stop the blood and make sure the cut doesn’t get any bigger so the doctor doesn’t come in and say, “I have to stop the fight.” If I don’t stop the cut, it goes to the cards, and the fighter loses by T.K.O. Knock on wood, fortunately, I have been able to stop every cut so far.

Fighters spend weeks, if not months, training with their camp. To many people’s surprise, matchmakers and promoters also spend weeks, if not months, setting up the logistics for the events to actually happen. There is so much more that goes into a fight than what the fans see when they are in attendance at an event. George Bastmajyan is one of those guys that runs around behind the scenes and makes sure all the details that define a shows success are addressed. Next time you are watching a well matched fight, you can thank George for having such a great eye in finding talent and always matching up fighters, pound for pound, to go up against each other in the cage or the ring.

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Gokor Opens New Gym

Grand Opening of Gokor’s New Gym Open to the public at 2PM Many professional fighters will be in attendance for a meet & greet.

7229 Atoll Ave.
North Hollywood, CA 91605

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HyeFighter Darabedyan Loses via Submission

Darabedyan vs Palaszewski WEC

Kevin Mulhall is the referee for the main card opener. Thirty seconds pass without the fighters touching. Both feinting. Palaszewski lands a kick to the leg. HyeFighter Darabedyan backs him into the cage and lights him up with lefts and rights before dumping him to the canvas. Palaszewski moves to his closed guard. Palaszewski climbs up with legs. Darabedyan postures out and punches. Palaszewski circles away from the cage. Darabedyan in his opponent’s half guard. 2:40 to go. Darabedyan delivers some short hammerfists and bigger punches before Palaszewski gets his closed guard back. Darabedyan breaks Palaszewski’s guard open and lands more punches. Palaszewski not close to a submission, only getting hit, and getting hit hard when he opens his guard. A minute to go. Palaszewski opens his guard and tries to hook an arm. Then Palaszewski sinks a straight armbar, and Darabedyan tries to fight it off, but Palaszewski taps him for the win. Official time is 4:40.

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HyeFighter Darchinyan Destroys Guerrero

Popular, hard-hitting HyeFighter Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (34-2-1, 27 KOs) successfully defended his WBC/WBA super flyweight crowns with a hard fought twelve round unanimous decision over Rodrigo “Gato” Guerrero (13-2-1, 9 KOs) on Saturday night in the main event on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Aqua Caliente, California. Guerrero was competitive early, but after that it was a brutal display by Darchinyan, who battered Guerrero at will. Scores were 118-110, 117-111, 120-108.

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Lion Heart Wins Again

HyeFighter Art Hovanessian stopped Hensley Stratchan in the fifth round of a scheduled six-round bout.

Hovanessian dropped Stratchan with a counter right hand to the head in the first round. Stratchan recovered and tried to fight back, but had no answer in fighting the more polished Hovanessian.

As the bout progressed, Hovanessian landed the harder punches, slowly breaking Stratchan down. Stratchan’s punch output dropped with each passing round as Hovanessian’s increased.

Things went further south for Stratchan as a cut opened over the right eye from a Hovanessian punch in the fourth round. Stratchan only threw one punch at a time and those were few and far between.

In the fifth round, Hovanessian went on the attack, landing more hard shots to the head and body. After Hovanessian landed a combination, Stratchan motioned to referee Jack Reiss that he was not able to continue, prompting Reiss to stop the fight at 1:45.

Hovanessian, from Glendale, CA by way of Yerevan, Armenia, improves to 11-0-1, 6 KOs. Stratchan, Nassau, Bahamas, drops to 5-7-1, 3 KOs.

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Darchinyan-Guerrero on ShoBox

Fan favorite Vic “The Raging Bull” Darchinyan (33-2-1, 27 KOs) will make his fifth consecutive appearance on SHOWTIME® and 11th overall when he defends his WBC/WBA super flyweight crowns against streaking, world-ranked Rodrigo “Gato” Guerrero (13-1-1, 9 KOs) in the main event on a special edition of ShoBox: The New Generation Saturday, March 6, at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The 12-round world title fight has been elevated to the main event since the Arthur Abraham vs. Andre Dirrell bout, originally set as the main event, has been rescheduled.

The March 6 telecast is promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, and will begin at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with a 12-round lightweight bout between the fast-rising, undefeated Lenny Zappavigna (22-0, 15 KOs) of Australia and Fernando “La Fiera” Angulo (22-6, 14 KOs) of Venezuela for the IBO title.

Darchinyan, a brash Australian-based Armenian, standing five-foot-five-and-one-half-inch, at the age of 34-years-old, has scored knockouts in 14 of his last 15 victories.

In his last outing, Darchinyan retained his belts with an impressive second-round knockout over Tomas Rojas at Agua Caliente on Dec. 12, 2009, on SHOWTIME. One of Darchinyan’s most devastating performances came when he unified the 115-pound titles with a ninth-round knockout over Cristian Mijares on Nov. 1, 2008, on SHOWTIME.

“I have a lot of possible big fights in the future, but I need to beat this guy up decisively first,” Darchinyan said. “He’s in way over his head. I’m going to sand-blast Guerrero into an early retirement. Viva Darchinyan!”

Guerrero, of Ciudad Neza, Mexico, is a switch-hitter who has won 11 in a row, including impressive performances against Luis Maldonado and No. 1-ranked Alberto Rosas. A natural right-hander, the five-foot-five, 22-year-old Guerrero has campaigned exclusively in Mexico since turning professional on July 28, 2005. He is coming off a third-round knockout over Rey Lopez on Dec. 18, 2009, in Tijuana, Mex.

“This opportunity is what you live for, it’s what you dream about and I feel I’m ready for it,” Guerrero said. “I’m a brawler. I come to fight. You’re not going to see me box too much. Darchinyan is a big, strong guy with terrific power, so we know what he’s about and what he likes to do.

“I think the biggest key for a fight like this is not to be intimidated. You go in the first round and show him that you can bang with him, but you have to fight smart. I’ve prepared very well and feel that I can win this fight. I know it’s a difficult fight – it’s a difficult task, but it’s not an impossible one. I’m ready.”

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HyeFighter King Arthur back in Germany

King Arthur Abraham (31-0, 25 KOs) has returned to Germany following the postponement of his Super Six World Boxing Classic second-round clash with Andre Dirrell (18-1, 13 KOs). The fight has been moved back to March 27 after Dirrell injured his back in training. It will now take place at Detroit’s famous Joe Louis Arena and will air live on SHOWTIME, Saturday, March 27, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. “I am not at all concerned about the change of the date,” King Arthur said. “We had a great time in Palm Springs. I love America and I enjoyed staging my training camp in the Californian sun. Postponements happen all the time in boxing. I don’t mind when and where I will take on Dirrell – I will defeat him everywhere, even in his backyard. I am in the Super Six tournament to become a star in America and all over the world. After the KO win over Jermain Taylor, another spectacular victory over Dirrell in front of his home fans will further raise my international profile.”

Added promoter Kalle Sauerland: “Arthur showed the US fans his KO power in both hands when he dispatched of Miranda in four on his last US visit. Andre Dirrell is the next in line to find out about the King’s incredible punching power – Andre will need home comforts after King Arthur has paid a visit. But we will not talk too much – we just look forward.” Abraham, the tournament point leader, will continue his preparation in Kienbaum, 20 miles east of Berlin.

Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 6 at 10:00 a.m. and may be purchased at www.OlympiaEntertainment.com, the Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, at all Ticketmaster locations and www.Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. For information on all SHOWTIME Sports telecasts, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries from its events and complete information on the Super Six World Boxing Classic, please visit the website at http://www.sports.sho.com.

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Opportunity To Sponsor a HyeFighter

HyeFighter Georgi Karakhanyan has signed an exclusive contract with BELLATOR FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIPS: Season 2 which kicks off April 8th, 2010.
Bellator Fighting Championships will broadcast its second and third seasons on FOX Sports Net, NBC, Telemundo and The Score Net TV in Canada through a unique and landscape-altering alliance. Bellator’s first-of-its-kind, tournament-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion will be available nationwide for 24 weeks in 2010 to 112 million homes through NBC, 82 million homes through FOX Sports Net (FSN) and its regional sports network affiliates, 62 million homes through Telemundo, as well as to 40 million homes in Canada through The Score Net TV.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for your company, if you would like to reach OVER 250 MILLION VIEWERS, and help our HyeFighters, sponsoring Georgi would be ideal. If interested, please contact us using the form below:

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HyeFighter Gegard Mousasi To Defend His StrikeForce Light Heavyweight Title Against Muhammed “Mo” Lawal

It’s official: Strikeforce will make its return to CBS on April 17 with three title fights, but no Fedor Emelianenko.

Strikeforce and CBS today confirmed earlier reports of a Nashville card with Dan Henderson vs. Jake Shields as the main event, preceded by HyeFighter Gegard Mousasi and reigning LHW Champion vs. Muhammed Lawal and Shinya Aoki vs. Gilbert Melendez. Shields, Mousasi and Melendez hold Strikeforce’s title belts for the middleweight, light heavyweight and lightweight divisions.

Except for Lawal, all the fighters in those championship bouts are in the top 10 for their weight classes in the USA TODAY/SB Nation consensus rankings. Henderson and Aoki occupy the No. 2 slots for middleweights and lightweights. Lawal is No. 21 among light heavyweights.

The card, scheduled to air live on CBS, will not feature top-ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, whose management has said he will not be fighting until May, despite Strikeforce’s wish to have him on the broadcast. Sherdog.com previously reported that Emelianenko’s main promoter, M-1 Global, wants to renegotiate its contract with Strikeforce.

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HyeFighter Arthur Abraham Fight Moved to Detroit MI

SHOWTIME’s Super Six super middleweight tournament clash between King Arthur Abraham (31-0, 25 KOs) and Andre Dirrell (18-1, 13 KOs) has landed in Detroit. The bout, originally slated for March 6 in Rancho Mirage, California, will instead take place March 27 at the Joe Louis Arena. Dirrell will definitely have the home advantage as he hails from nearby Flint, Michigan. The Armenia-born German Abraham, would have been the likely fan favorite in Southern California with the support of the large Armenian population there.

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HyeFighter Gennady Martirosyan Successfully Defends his WBO European Title

WBO #6 middleweight HyeFighter Gennady Martirosyan (20-2, 9 KOs) retained his WBO Europe title for the first time after a hard-fought stoppage of comebacking French veteran Aziz Daari (24-13-4, 20 KOs) on Saturday night at the Atmosphere Night Club in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Martirosyan didn’t show his usual aggressiveness but preferred to fight in Abraham-like style by boxing in spurts and covering in a shell-like defense for the rest of the time. Bigger and stronger Daari gave Martirosyan some scary moments in the midst of the fight when it seemed Gennady was gassing out quickly. He, however, found some intrinsic resources and increased his tempo after the seventh round. Round eight was all Martirosyan; in the ninth stanza Daari charged forward and had some mild success which proved to be his last stand in the bout. In round ten, Martirosyan marched forward and finally landed a huge left uppercut, which forced the Frenchman down after a few more blows on accumulation of punches. Heavily bleeding, Daari wobblingly stood up and survived the round only to retire on his stool during the break.

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Serenity Anchors HyeFighter Darabedyan’s Rise

A fighter’s essence can often be summarized in one word. For Karen Darabedyan, “chill” seems most fitting.

No mental switch needs flipping when this maven of mellow steps into the cage. The Californian’s flat-line demeanor stands out because he wears it equally both inside and outside of competition. Unlike many of his peers, the 155-pound WEC fighter can steamroll an opponent with the same nonchalance that he displays while grocery shopping or talking on the phone with a reporter.

“I’m never fired up,” conceded Darabedyan, who will fight veteran Bart Palaszewski on March 6 in Columbus, Ohio. “I never say, ‘Time to smash,’ ‘Time to destroy.’ I’m calm in the cage and I’m never wild. Whenever you get mad you get tired pretty fast, your body tenses up. So I try to keep really calm.”

For the uninitiated, Darabedyan is a dangerous, Karo Parisyan-style grappler who curiously prefers to settle matters with his fists, as he did during his WEC debut when he exhibited some seriously polished boxing skills while outclassing “Razor” Rob McCullough. Making the split decision victory all the more impressive, Darabedyan was a replacement fighter who had only one month to prepare for the former WEC lightweight champion.

As he braces for yet another seasoned veteran – Palaszewski has 32 wins and 45 fights – the soft-spoken Darabedyan is promising fans a much improved version of himself. By the time he arrives in Columbus, he will have endured nine weeks of grueling two-a-day practice sessions, including regular sparring sessions at renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym.

“I spar with pro boxers a couple days a week,” said Darabedyan, who owns the distinction of holding black belts in three martial arts: judo, tae kwon do and karate. “I mostly go over there to get the rush of being in a different place and not knowing the people so it feels like a fight.”

Darabedyan has a 9-1 record (three knockouts, one submission), but doesn’t feel the gap in experience will be a factor against Palaszewski, who is coming off a big win over rising lightweight prospect Anthony Pettis. Palaszewski is a talented striker, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and owns a sturdy chin.

“He’s a tough guy and he’s got 15 knockouts and 9 submissions, so he’s pretty well-rounded,” Darabedyan said flatly. “But I truly believe I have the edge anywhere the fight goes. I have the better wrestling game, ground game and my striking is better.”

Palaszewski also has a fondness for standup exchanges, but Darabedyan refuses to make any presumptions about how the fight will likely play out.

“I have a pretty strong ground game but I feel like I need to keep it a secret for now,” he said. “I would love to keep it standing and if I need to take him down then I will. But it’s a fight and things can change at any second. One punch could change the entire fight. But I want to keep it standing. For this fight I’ve had a full training camp … I believe I could stand with a striker, I could grapple a grappler and wrestle a wrestler.”

Fighting out of Glendale, Calif., Darabedyan is a training partner of Manny Gamburyan and protégé of WEC 11/18 Karen Darabedyan vs Rob McCulloughhighly-regarded coaches Gokor Chivichyan and Roman Kalantaryan (who were instrumental in making Karo Parisyan a UFC star). Though he won his last fight, Darabedyan said he came away regretting how he played it safe in the third round against McCullough. It didn’t hit him until it was time for the judges’ decisions to be announced and one judge scored it 30-27 in favor of McCullough.

“I was kind of shocked and thought, ‘Holy crap, I’m about to lose here,’” Darabedyan recalled. “There were a lot of leg kicks that he landed that I probably should have checked. But most of the kicks he landed there was not too much power behind them … I felt kind of tired toward the end of the second round. I felt like I could have exploded more and done more. I came into the fights with two cuts on my eyes that I suffered in training and I was afraid of them re-opening. I got cut during the fight and that messed me up mentally.

“The reason why I held back is because I thought I had clearly won the first and the second round. That’s why I held back in the third round and played it safe. I thought I had the fight already won. But then once I started hearing the judges’ decision …”

To bolster his stamina, and to try and produce a less suspenseful outcome against Palaszewski, Darabedyan is working with a new strength and conditioning coach.

“I’m going through hell,” he said. “I’m coming in prepared. I’ve never trained this hard for a fight. In this fight I really want to push the pace, I don’t want it to go to a decision. If it is a decision I want it to be unanimous. It’s always good to have a short night.”

“This time around I have enough time to get my weight down. This will enable me to push the pace more and not hesitate. I’ve never done strength and conditioning but now I’ve incorporated it into my workouts. I feel a lot better. Now I don’t have to hold back when I’m fighting, I don’t have to worry about the third round. My gas tank will be really good.”

That is as close as Darabedyan gets to talking smack, and he doesn’t plan on changing his chilled-out ways.

“I have a lot of expectations for myself but I never let out stuff, I always stay pretty humble,” he said. “I never say, ‘I’m going to go and destroy somebody.’ I keep it nice and quiet and let my talking happen in the ring. Because no matter how hard you train anything can happen in a fight so I never try to talk big. But I’m coming into this fight so confident and prepared.”

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