“Insane” Georgi Karakhanyan was a newcomer to Bellator MMA in 2015. The former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion at 145 pounds had just lost the title to Rick Glenn at WSOF 10, snapping a nine-fight win streak in the process. He was looking to make a statement at Bellator 132 in Temecula, Calif., by trying to break someone else’s streak — the four wins in a row of Bubba Jenkins. It didn’t take him long to do so as their first fight was 1:49 total — Jenkins went out cold to a guillotine choke in the co-main event.
Having lost his place in line as a Featherweight contender to Karakhanyan, Jenkins had revenge on his mind for the rematch. He undoubtedly thought his opponent was ripe for the picking after back-to-back decision losses to Daniel Weichel and Pat Curran. Jenkins, on the other hand, had picked up three straight wins over Joe Wilk, Jordan Parsons and Goiti Yamauchi.
Once again, a world title shot seemed to be within his reach.
The place was Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The date was Aug. 26, 2016. More than 9,000 people packed the venue for a nearly $1 million gate as Bellator 160 was headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Patricio Pitbull. Jenkins stood 5’7” and weighed in at 145.8 pounds with a record of 11-2. Karakhanyan stood 5’8” and weighed in at 149 pounds even for a Catchweight affair with a record of 24-6-1. If Jenkins willingly agreed to those terms then Mr. “I’m a Bad Man” would come to regret that decision.
The second bout didn’t even last as long as the first. Jenkins tried to keep the slightly taller and somewhat lankier Karakhanyan at range with kicks, but that didn’t stop Karakhanyan from pressing him into the cage and uncorking a devastating right hand at the 50-second mark. Referee Blake Grice saw Jenkins fall down face first and sprinted to stop the bout, but it still took him three seconds to get between the two.
For Jenkins, that bout was not only the end of his Featherweight title hopes in the promotion, it was (at least to date) the end of his tenure with Bellator MMA.
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