Georgi Karakhanyan Speaks on ACB 90 Incident

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To many hardcore fans in the MMA world, Georgi “Insane” Karakhanyan is certainly a fan favorite. Throughout his 12 plus year professional career, Georgi has earned 29 wins as a result. His victories have come by a strong mixture of submission and knockout victories. MMA and combat sports have been in Georgi’s blood from birth. His father is a black belt third dan in Shotokan Karate and skilled in the art of Sambo.

ACB brass accused Georgi of several unsportsmanlike acts at ACB 90. The event took place November 10, 2018. Above all, the actions are not in Georgi’s character and led to his recent release from ACB.

Brief History on Karakhanyan

For those not familiar with Georgi, as previously noted, he has been a professional over 12 years with 29 victories. He has competed all over the world in organizations such as Bellator, World Series of Fighting, Dream and Legacy FC. He has defeated the likes of Din Thomas, Lance Palmer (to win the WSOF featherweight title), Bubba Jenkins twice, and Daniel Pineda. At one point he also held the Tachi Palace Fights featherweight championship.

Living in many places across the globe has well-cultured Georgi. He was born to Armenian parents in Moscow, Russia. Later in his life his family moved to Spain before eventually relocating to the United States. Georgi has fought throughout the world in such counties as The USA, Israel, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and Russia. He originally had asperations of being a professional soccer player even playing with professional teams in Russia and Spain.

ACB 90 Incident

On November 10, 2018 ACB 90 took place in the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. Georgi’s opponent for the night was Russian Timur Nagibin. Timur was 14-3 going into the matchup and had won several victories by grinding to decision. At the very end of the 1st round, Georgi had a guillotine choke locked in. Referee Herb Dean approached to check on Timur as the submission was in locked in and Timur’s hands moved to Georgi’s back. Georgie had the submission locked in tight and can be heard in the video stating, “he tapped.” Dean is then heard replying, “He tapped?” The bell rang as Dean separated the two.

After several second delay Timur throw a cheap shot at Georgi. The shot sent Georgie reeling back to ground as he was in the seated position already.  It was obvious the shot rocked Georgi as he was seen in the video trying to takedown his cornermen as they were checking on his well-being. The referee had no other choice but to disqualify Timur for his action, awarding Georgi the victory.

As Timur was leaving the cageside area to go back stage, he was attacked by a group of people believed to be fans of Georgi. As a result, it spread into multiple fights breaking out across the venue leading to riot police having to enter the building to reassure peace.

ACB 90 Athletic Commission Hearing and Aftermath

Recently ACB held a disciplinary hearing for the incident between Georgi and Timur. The initial disqualification victory for Georgi was changed to a no contest. Georgi was actually terminated from his ACB contract with ACB stating in their release he was at the hearing for “unprecedented sportsmanlike behavior” prior to and during the fight, and “for simulating and trying to cheat the referee which led to brawls in the cage and on the arena” ACB also stated in the release that per paragraph 5g of the contract, Georgi would be terminated.

“I was winning the fight. No need for me to stimulate anything,” Georgie told MMA Sucka. “Second round I would destroy him. He knew that that’s why he punched me like a little bitch! I been in so many fights I found his weakness. He punched me after the bell. No way I should get a No Contest. it should be DQ and they raised my hand at the end so I don’t know how they are coming up with all this BS!”

“I promoted the organization [ACB] in the best way and I make sure I invite every single fan to the weigh-ins and to the fight. They don’t understand that because they still think in the 90’s but we are in 2018 now. Things evolve. The MMA business is changing and you need to know how to promote yourself, your fight, and the organization you represent,” Georgi stated to MMA Sucka.

Georgi’s Social Media Response

In his Instagram post, Georgi talks about the leadup and aftermath meeting with the powers that be at ACB. “As for my actions at the weigh-ins and leading up to the bout with the media, I was instructed by ACB officials to continuously talk trash about my opponent. I was informed that our fight was gaining a lot of recognition and to keep adding fuel to the fire. I said things that were on par with other fighters in other promotions and in those situations, not one person has been ‘fired’.” Georgi went on to state Timur told ACB officials lies about what was actually said, which he [Georgi] believed were things that crossed a line. Being well-traveled, Georgi understands where cultural lines are located. “I grew up in Russia and know certain boundaries exist,” he also stated in his post.

Hotel Incident with ACB Brass

Georgi speaks about an incident with ACB officials after the event. He was called in to collect his paycheck at a hotel. While there, Georgi stated the President of ACB, Yaragi Gitaev, consequently began to insult and belittle him in front of other officials. He went on to claim Georgi was “acting” and had no heart for not wanting to continue the bout. Due to winning the bout, Georgi demanded his win bonus through his management company or they would hold ACB in breach of contract. “The only reason they had the hearing was because I requested either pay me my win bonus or terminate my contract due to breach,” Georgi stated to MMASucka.

Hopefully, the MMA community will support Georgi through this and he finds a good MMA home. Rather than being a low point in his career, this may be a momentum swing for Georgi. Many organizations would love to have someone of Georgi’s skill and fan appeal. KSW would be a very interesting landing spot with potential matchups. For instance, bouts with Kleber Koike Erbst or The Polish Zombie are likely to steal any KSW card.


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Matt's love and passion for martial arts began at the age of four with Taekwondo. Matt later trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while serving nearly ten years in law enforcement. Matt has just recently discovered his passion of writing on mixed martial arts.

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