Featherweight Grand Prix competitor Georgi Karakhanyan plans on having a highlight reel knockout Saturday night at Bellator 228.
After four fights in the opening round of the Bellator Featherweight Grand Prix went down three weeks ago, the tournament completes it first round this Saturday at Bellator 228 from the Forum in Inglewood, California. The evening features four more Grand Prix match-ups. One of the most anticipated battles of the event sees the undefeated standout, AJ McKee squaring off against 13-year professional MMA veteran, Georgi Karakanyan. Cageside Press caught up with Karakanyan before his big showdown.
“I feel great [about matchup with McKee],” Karakhanyan told CageSide Press. “I was asking for this fight… I wanted this match-up. I feel like I match up good against him. I feel like when I go against undefeated fighters, I do good… I just feel like I’m going to knock him the f*ck out.”
McKee enters the tournament as one of the favorites in the field. Though he is matched up with a fighter that is closing in on 30 career victorious, the confident young fighter appears to be more focused on a future matchup with reigning champion, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire. This attitude is what the Millenia MMA product views as a flaw and possibly the eventual downfall of McKee.
“I think it is a big mistake that he is looking past me,” Karakhanyan said. “When I squared off with him at the press conference, you can tell I was in there to fight. He tries to ignore me but at the end of the day, he is going to be locked in there with me… All that hype is going to be over on September 28th.”
McKee is a second generational fighter, who has fought his entire career under the Bellator banner. During this run, he has ran off 14 wins. Karakhanyan, on the other hand, only sports a 6-7 record in the Bellator cage. He also dropped his last two bouts in the promotion. Despite the recent slide, he believes he has the physical tools to give McKee the first blemish on his record.
“I feel like I’m just going to jab/cross or jab/overhand right him and if it even grazes his chin, he is going to go out… All that matters to me right now is AJ McKee. My goal is to go out to not just beat him but to get a highlight reel.”
Karakhanyan stated that he didn’t have a preference of who he gets matched with in the next round, but did give a prediction on his fight with McKee.
“I’m going to knock him out in the first two minutes of the first round,” Karakhanyan predicted. “I’m looking to go out there to make a statement.”
Bellator 228 takes place Saturday, September 28 at The Forum in Inglewood, CA.