2012 was a big year for former Bellator featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan. Not only did he win all three of his MMA bouts, raising his winning streak to six, but he also branched out a bit into other combat sports as well.
“Last year I made (and won) my pro boxing debut, so that was something that was different,” said Karakhanyan. “Then I defended my Tachi Palace Fights belt and then I got a call to fight in Dream, which was a very cool experience to go out there and fight (and defeat) Hiroyuki Takaya.
“Overall it was a good year. I’m still not happy with it. There are a lot of mistakes I made in my fights. So that’s why I’m always training hard and hopefully this year will start off good.”
As Karakhanyan pointed out, while he had an undefeated year, he feels he could have done better, especially in his last couple MMA fights.
“Last year two of my fights went to decision and I don’t like going to decision; I like finishing fights,” he said. “Being able to grind someone out is something good to have, but I’m always looking to finish.”
Karakhanyan’s goal of finishing fights doesn’t get any easier in his first fight of 2013 when he makes his Legacy FC debut against UFC vet Din Thomas on Friday in Allen, Texas, live on AXS TV.
“Din is a tough fighter and has fought everywhere against the best opponents, and while some people may say he’s old or this or that, but I’m going in there thinking I’m going to face the Din Thomas that was in the UFC and I’m going to come prepared,” said Karakhanyan.
“I’m ready and I’m not going to underestimate anyone and if I go in there and fight my fight, I can beat anyone in the world.”
After expanding his game last year getting into boxing, Karakhanyan told MMAWeekly.com that it wouldn’t surprise him if he crossed over into other combat sports in 2013.
“I did the boxing to focus on my hands, and I’d like to do more boxing fights, but I’d like to get into more Muay Thai and kickboxing,” he said. “The K-1 style rules fights are pretty exciting and I’m a big fan of a lot of the K-1 fighters.
“If I could do both MMA and kickboxing at the same time, that’d be perfect for me.”
At the end of the day, it’s still MMA that is the driving force for Karakhanyan. And having built himself into a solid contender the past couple of years, he feels where he ends up should be a top tier promotion both in terms of opposition and pay.
“To tell you the truth, I want to go where they can pay me what I’m worth,” he said. “I’m doing this because I love fighting, but at the end of the day, it’s the paycheck that counts because I’m doing this for a living.
“I want to go somewhere I’m worth something and I get to fight top-quality opponents. Whether it’s the UFC or any other organization, it’s fighting where I’m worth the most the counts.”