While his 2015 started off strong, the year ended on a decidedly down note for Bellator featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan.
After picking up a win over Bubba Jenkins in January, Karakhanyan missed a good portion of the year due to an ACL injury, before closing out the year with a loss to Daniel Weichel in December.
“I started the year good with the Bubba fight and then I was supposed to fight for the belt but it didn’t go my way because I tore my ACL, then I took a fight before my knee was healed,” Karakhanyan told MMAWeekly.com.
“I did the rehab, and I knew I wanted to fight before the end of the year, even though I knew in the back of my mind it was a bad idea, but I needed the money.”
Karakhanyan believes he learned a valuable lesson in the loss to Weichel in regards to pushing himself to return too early from such a severe injury.
“I didn’t know how serious the injury was until three weeks after the surgery,” said Karakhanyan. “It was the craziest pains I went through in my whole entire life.
“You can tell yourself that you’re ready, but when you step inside the cage, coming off an injury like that, you have to be intelligent. Even though I can have the biggest heart in the game, you have to be smart in there. That’s the one thing I learned.”
”He’s a very good fighter, very well-rounded and is always looking for a finish, and I think that’ll bring out the best in me,” Karakhanyan said of Curran. “He’s going to try to take my head off, and I’m going to try to take his head off.
“There are not that many holes in his game, and he’s never been finished, so I think he and I are going to put on a good show. I’m excited to fight him.”
Now that he’s back healthy, Karakhanyan is looking to make an impact not only in MMA, but other combat sports in 2016.
“I want to mainly get wins and stay busy, if not for Bellator MMA, than for Bellator Kickboxing,” said Karakhanyan. “If there are any fighters out there who are down to fight me in kickboxing, I’m down.
“Hopefully after this fight I won’t have to get any more surgeries, because last year I had five of them. Staying busy is the only way we make money, and I have a lot of fight left in me, so I just want to put on exciting fights and get a lot of victories.”