There was a time not too long ago where the only men to have beaten Georgi Karakhanyan over a 21-fight period were Patricio Freire and Joe Warren.
Both of those fighters are former Bellator world champions and aside from those two setbacks, which occurred more than five years ago, Karakhanyan was among the best under the Bellator umbrella.
Fast forward to today and Karakhanyan is fighting for his figurative life to remain in contention for not just a title fight, but also relevance. After winning nine straight that included the capturing of the World Series of Fighting and Tachi Palace Fights featherweight belts, the Moscow native lost the WSOF strap to Rick Glenn. From there, Karakhanyan returned to the Bellator fold and submitted Bubba Jenkins in the first thanks to a textbook guillotine, but things quickly turned sour after that.
Karakhanyan suffered a torn ACL during training for a proposed rematch with Freire and by the time he had it surgically repaired, he said he rushed into a fight with Daniel Weichel at Bellator 147, losing a unanimous verdict. After finally healing up, he looked to bounce back against Pat Curran, but he lost a lopsided decision at Bellator 155 in a fight where he didn’t look like his typical “Insane” self.
“In my last fight with Curran, all I remember is the first two minutes and after I got clipped with that left hook, I was on autopilot and don’t remember anything,” Karakhanyan revealed to Sherdog.com in a recent interview. “I had a great camp in prepping for Curran and I felt at my best but I just made a mistake where I got clipped by that left. That’s never happened to me ever in my life where I got hit and then didn’t remember anything. The next thing I knew after I got clipped was when I was in my locker room and talking with my corner and I didn’t know what happened.”
Karakhanyan isn’t the first fighter to continue an entire fight while being literally out on his feet and not remembering anything. Mike Tyson famously revealed that same situation regarding his first fight with Evander Holyfield in 1996 and Georgi was shocked how he was able to continue without knowing what was going on.
“I was looking at the tape and I threw a good kick from the armbar and I was in his guard, but I didn’t try to pass or anything,” he continued. “Totally not how I fight. I didn’t do a lot of things in that fight and that’s probably because I was on autopilot for almost the entire fight. But hats off to both of those guys because they beat me fair and square and they motivated me big time for this fight coming up. I’m ready to destroy my next opponent.”
His next opponent is Jenkins, whom he will lock horns with for a second go ‘round on Friday in one of the featured main card bouts at Bellator 160. Karakhanyan quickly dispatched Jenkins when they first met, but while he doesn’t expect to get someone of Bubba’s skillset out as easily this time around, the Milennia MMA representative isn’t worried in the least as to what his foe will do.
“It really doesn’t matter what he brings to the table this time around,” he said. “I just feel bad for him that he’s going to be standing in front of me. I am the hungry beast fighter who is looking to take off your head. I know he’s on a three- or four-fight winning streak and he’s probably looking at me, who is on a two-fight losing streak. But honestly, I just feel bad for him. I’m going to do everything I can to stop him and if I can’t stop him, I’m going to torture him for three rounds.”
Karakhanyan is on the final fight of his current contract with Viacom-owned promotion and he knows that he can ill afford a loss on Friday. He said that his camp has been better than he could have imagined and he believes there is virtually no way that Jenkins can win.
“The only way to beat me right now is to kill me,” he said. “If he takes me down, I think my jiu-jitsu will neutralize his wrestling. He said he will stand with me, but I doubt that. Don’t be surprised if you see me take him down and show him what real MMA wrestling is all about. This is pretty much a do or die situation for me. I like this feeling because I am going to showcase all of my arsenal and all of my fighting skills. I just feel bad that he has to fight me.”