Georgi Karakhanyan isn't your typical Armenian fighter.
While he does some background in judo, he'd much prefer to showcase his diverse kickboxing arsenal.
The talented featherweight is long, lanky and capable of hurting his opponents with a myriad of different strikes. He proved as much during his stint in Bellator and especially his most recent run, a seven fight winning streak where he's scored solid victories over top competition.
Despite his strong showings, UFC's interest wasn't piqued, so the California native took his talents to World Series of Fighting, where he's hoping to make a very big first impression.
He'll be kicking off the World Series of Fighting 5 main card this Saturday night (Sept. 14, 2013) when he battles Waylon Lowe in the opening bout of the main card in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Karakhanyan spoke to MMAmania.com about signing with WSOF, his healthy study habits and even opponent Lowe's sex gel lawsuit in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What was it like to see your teammate Cody Bolinger put on such a good performance to get into The Ultimate Fighter house?
Georgi Karakhanyan: It was great. I know he put in a lot of time and effort to get into The Ultimate Fighter and he changed divisions to move to 135. He looked strong and big and I was really excited and happy for him.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You were one of the top-ranked free agents in the featherweight division. What led to you signing with World Series of Fighting?
Georgi Karakhanyan: I've been waiting for UFC for too long. I'm a fighter, I like to fight and they would not offer me anything and as far as I know I've done everything to get into UFC. I fought the fighters, I beat them, and they just told me their division is "full." That's what Sean Shelby was saying, so I've got to fight, I've got to feed myself and my family. So when World Series of Fighting came in, it was a good offer so I took it and they have some tough 145-ers plus they're on NBC Sports so I look forward to putting on a good show. It's good exposure for me and other fighters.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like the added exposure raises the stakes for you a bit?
Georgi Karakhanyan: Of course, but I'm signed with World Series now so it's not like UFC can just come in after this next fight and pick me up. I'm signed with World Series and I'm happy with them. I knew I was fighting top fighters. I don't want to sit back and choose all my opponents, I want to fight and beat tough guys. This kid has fought in the UFC and fought a lot of good names so I'm looking to go out there and fight the best guys I can. If I can't find those guys at 145, I'd even go up and fight them at 155 for World Series of Fighting.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Waylon Lowe has a pretty strong wrestling background and I can't remember you facing a solid wrestler since Joe Warren for Bellator. What are you expecting?
Georgi Karakhanyan: Right, right. Joe Warren was a tough fight and I think Lowe might try to make it similar to that fight. Waylon doesn't mind standing but if he can't finish with that big left hand, he'll go to the ground and try to stay on top. I'm looking to do the same thing to him. I'll even be willing to try and outwrestle him, get on top and beat him mentally.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How much research do you put into your training? Some guys like to just focus on themselves, but it seems like you've done your homework here.
Georgi Karakhanyan: Yeah, I try to watch a lot of footage on my opponents just to see what they have, what they're good at, what they're not good at. Just as I'm sure they're doing on me. I usually perform good when I have all that pressure. He's coming off a good quick win, a first round knockout over Cameron Dollar, so I'm not underestimating him. I'm just going out there and in my head I'm planning to face the best Waylon Lowe there is.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Okay, now I don't know if you pay attention to the news when you're doing your research, but Waylon Lowe was involved in one of the strangest stories I've seen since I started reporting on MMA with the whole sex gel lawsuit. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that.
Georgi Karakhanyan: (giggles) I don't know. Maybe the guy's dick is not working. I don't know why he's putting lotion on his private parts. That tells me he's very insecure. (laughs) I don't know, man. I'm not gonna talk shit to him. It was his business to put that shit on his wanker but I don't know. It's not my thing. He's probably a bit embarrassed by that.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I'm sorry, I had to ask about that.
Georgi Karakhanyan: I'm gonna try not to kick him in the balls.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You've said that you want to make a statement with this upcoming fight. What kind of statement do you want to make?
Georgi Karakhanyan: The statement... just I'm gonna win this fight no matter what. I don't want to win by decision though, I want to finish. I want to finish this guy. I was saying I'd like to make a statement because I'm fighting in a new organization and I want to stay there and fight and no one can stop me, even if it's for the belt.
You can follow Georgi on Twitter @GeorgiMMA