Georgi Karakhanyan says he has unfinished business in Bellator. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Ex-World Series of Fighting featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan has nothing bad to say about his former employer.
After a three-fight stint with WSOF that briefly saw Karakhanyan capture 145-pound gold, the decision to part ways came about amicably between fighter and promotion.
“After my last fight I was trying to stay busy. The matchmaker, [Ali Abel-Aziz], couldn’t find me the right matches so I sat down with [WSOF President] Ray Sefo, all the staff from World Series of Fighting, and my manager. They gave me a release,” Karakhanyan told Sherdog.com.
“All my checks cashed, and I made a good amount of money with them. I have nothing bad to say about them. They gave me my release; they understood me.”
When Bellator MMA came calling, Karakhanyan jumped at the opportunity -- not only because he was impressed with the Scott Coker regime, but because he also has “unfinished business” to handle from his first stint with the organization.
Karakhanyan went 2-2 with Bellator from April 2010 to March 2011, with his two losses coming at the hands of Joe Warren and Patricio Freire. While Warren is currently the promotion’s bantamweight champion, Freire sits atop the 145-pound division, giving the Millennia MMA representative a target for his second Bellator tenure.
First, the 29-year-old Riverside, Calif., resident must get past Bubba Jenkins, a former NCAA national champion wrestler at Arizona State University who is 5-1 in the Bellator cage. The two featherweights square off in the co-main event of Bellator 132, which takes place at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, Calif., on Jan. 16.
It’s a very tough matchup for me, but me as a fighter those are the matchups that I want,” Karakhanyan said. “I want to see where I can go from here.”