Georgi Karakhanyan Wins Quickly and Decisively at Pechanga
By David A. Avila
TEMECULA-Georgi Karakhanyan led a small army of mixed martial arts fighters from the Inland area to victory in his return to Bellator MMA on Friday.
A packed house at Pechanga Resort and Casino saw Riverside’s Karakhanyan (24-4-1) defeat yet another former wrestling champion in Bubba Jenkins (8-2) of Corona. It was his first fight in Southern California in three years.
It didn’t take Karakhanyan long to make an impact as he attacked immediately and wrangled a guillotine choke on Jenkins. Though the former wrestling champion was able to escape, Karakhanyan was not finished with the move to wrap Jenkins neck yet again. The second time it stuck and the end came swiftly at 1:55 of the first round.
Karakhanyan had yet another victory against a former wrestling champion.
“Of course, I’m the king of all the guillotines,” said Karakhanyan of the chokehold. “The way I set up my guillotines is a little different.”
Karakhanyan will face Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (23-2) who defeated Daniel Straus (22-6) by rear naked choke in the fourth round of the Bellator featherweight championship.
“I thought he (Pitbull) showed he’s a real champion and I’m here to fight the best and get my revenge,” said Karakhanyan who lost to Pitbull several years ago. “I’m coming here to make a statement.”
Several other Inland area fighters saw victory as well.
Temecula’s Virgil Zwicker (13-4-1, 9 Kos) pulled out a win by split decision against veteran Houston Alexander (16-11-1, 11 Kos) in a three round light heavyweight clash. Alexander clearly won the first round with a take-down in the first round, but Zwicker hurt Alexander in the second and third round with combinations. Alexander hung on but only one judge scored in his favor 30-27. The other two judges saw it 29-28 for Zwicker.
Menifee’s Fernando Gonzalez (23-13) came out swinging against San Jose’s Marius Zaromskis (20-9) who willingly exchanged for all three rounds in a tight fisted battle for three rounds. The technical welterweight fight was fought mostly standing up with neither fighter giving ground. Gonzalez was the more accurate puncher and all three judges scored it for him.
In a heavyweight battle Corona’s Everett Cummings (9-0) overcame a bad start to rally for a second round submission of Victorville’s Jason Glaza (2-2). After being dominated on the ground by Glaza in the first round, Cummings caught him with a rear naked choke to end the fight at 1:55 of the second round.
Temecula’s Steve Kozola (5-0) weathered an early storm in the first round and caught Jonathan Rivera (4-1) in the second round with a counter left hook. Kozola followed with a barrage of punches that forced the referee to stop the lightweight bout at 1:25 of round two.
San Diego’s Derek Anderson (12-1, 5 Kos) was sharper and more accurate in beating Riverside’s Danny Navarro (12-5) by technical knockout at 3:51 of the third round. Both fighters punched freely and Anderson twice hurt Navarro before ending the fight with a flurry of punches.
Chris “The Crusher” Herrera (3-1, 3 Kos) of Temecula connected with a right to the chin of Luc Bondole (4-1-1) at 3:21 of the second round to win by knockout. The smaller Herrera used his fast hands to catch the taller Bondole several times in the middleweight bout.