Georgi Karakhanyan knew he shouldn’t have cut to featherweight anymore, and his eight-second KO loss to AJ McKee cemented that.
Karakhanyan thought of moving up earlier but Bellator started the grand prix which made the 36-year-old stay at 145lbs. Unfortnately, in the opening round, he faced McKee and was knocked out in eight seconds. After the loss, he decided he would move up to lightweight and knows he is much better at that weight class.
“When I was getting ready to fight AJ, I was sparring with a lot of bigger guys and I was taking heavy punches and took them. However, when I cut to 145lbs, the recovery wasn’t there and that’s why I got knocked out,” Karakhanyan said to BJPENN.com. “To be honest, I should have made the move to lightweight a long time ago. The cut to featherweight started to be like hell, to be honest, I should have made the move probably three years ago. I’m happy I am here now as it is a new weight class and I feel good.”
When he moved up to lightweight, Karakhanyan won his first fight over Paul Redmond and then dropped a split decision to Myles Jury. He has since rallied off back-to-back wins including his submission win over Kiefer Crosbie at Bellator 263.
Now, following the win, the plan for Georgi Karakhanyan is to return as soon as possible and hopefully against a ranked opponent. The former World Series of Fighting featherweight champion knows his time to make a run for the belt is now or never.
“Bellator has a lot of shows coming up, especially in Europe,” Karakhanyan said. “I’m just going to try and stay ready, they told me they will try and put me on the Moscow card, Fedor’s fight, but for me, I’m wanting to be active and work up the rankings and fight for the belt.”
Although Patricio Pitbull is the current lightweight champ, Karakhanyan believes McKee will rematch the Brazilin for the lightweight strap. The hope for the 36-year-old is McKee wins so he can rematch the undefeated fighter and exact his revenge.
“I thought AJ would win the fight, I didn’t think he’d run through Patricio Pitbull in the first round like that. I’m guessing they will do the rematch at lightweight so AJ can try and become a champ-champ. It would be a good story if he becomes lightweight champ and I work my way up to a title shot to rematch him. Out first fight never played out, so it’s something I want,” Karakhanyan concluded.
Who do you think Georgi Karakhanyan should fight next?