Georgi Karakhanyan: Photo Credit Bellator MMA
Georgi Karakhanyan: Photo Credit Bellator MMA

Following his second successive stoppage win over young upstart Bubba Jenkins, multiple-time Featherweight champion Georgi Karakhanyan looks to take a step closer to a title shot with another win at Bellator 164 on Friday night.

After securing his second consecutive  win over his former adversary Jenkins, you could forgive the 31-year-old for choosing to rub salt into his opponent’s wounds but for Karakhanyan it was just business despite Jenkins’s harsh words in the lead up to the rematch.

“I showed the world how well-rounded a fighter I am. On the night I proved to not just myself but I proved to Bellator, to the fans and it proved to Scott Coker that I’m well-rounded, I have a lot of submissions but also that I have knockout power as well.”

Now back to winning ways after back-to-back losses upon his return from an ACL injury, the Armenian plots a return to the form of old that saw him capture two world titles in two promotions as a Featherweight. Despite the success, issues making the 145lbs weight limit has resulted in Karakhanyan now believing his future could lay elsewhere.

“My eye is now on the 155lbs division as I have been having some issues making the featherweight limit, but if the fight is the right fight and if the money is right I will go back down to 145 [pounds]. I’ve won two belts already in that division but if the opportunity to fight for a title at either weight class comes up I will take it as titles bring more money and when you have that belt you automatically have a target on your back which mean you can keep busy and I like being busy.”

It is that mindset coupled with his experience as a 10-year mixed martial artist that furthers his evolution as fighter. Karakhanyan feels a win in this contest could potentially set-up a dream fight with former Strikeforce Lightweight champion Josh Thompson.

“Despite being in the game for just over a decade I am not the type of fighter who takes much time off, I normally return to the gym around a week after my fights and I like to train hard but smart so I can avoid any injuries. I’m not the type of fighter that only trains  when I have a fight coming up I train all year round so I can be ready when I’m called upon. I am not looking past my opponent at all but ideally after my upcoming fight, all being well and I get the win I want to get back in the cage as soon as possible against someone of the calibre of former Strikeforce champion Thompson [Josh] as he is someone I’ve had my eye on a potential opponent for a while now.”

In his upcoming fight the Millennia MMA trained fighter who features on the main card of the Scott Coker-led promotion’s first visit to Israel. He faces another up and comer in hometown favourite Krill Medvedovsky but Karakhanyan isn’t underestimating his opponent despite having three times as many fights as the 23-year old.

“I try to never underestimate any of my opponents and despite the obvious advantage in experience I won’t be underestimating Krill. Regardless of who the person I am facing, in the lead-up to the fight I always try to envision someone stronger then me and has more skills then me. As a result sometimes I have sleepless nights because I’m thinking to much about the fight but that’s what makes me the fighter I am and ensures that I am prepared. To me he [Medvedovsky] is very dangerous.

“I know his a brown belt in Jujitsu, but in my head his a black belt and his record might be 7-2 but in my head his 70-2 so these are the kind of things that I adapt in my head so when I enter the cage I am very shape and I am looking to destroy my opponent.”