Gegard Mousasi, Arman Tsarukyan cap off amazing weekend for Armenian mixed-martial arts

Three Armenians took center stage at two high-profile mixed-martial arts events in different parts of the world this weekend, and they all claimed victory.

Gegard Mousasi was the biggest name of the trio as he successfully defended the Bellator middleweight title belt with a devastating knockout of Austin Vanderford in the first round of the main event at Bellator 275 Friday night in Dublin.


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A post shared by Gegard Mousasi (@mousasi)

This was Mousasi’s second consecutive title defense and his 12th victory in his last 13 fights. Despite his dominance, the 36-year-old has flown under the radar because he competes in the Bellator promotion, which is often viewed as a notch lower than the UFC. But the Dutch-Armenian feels he is just as dangerous as the UFC’s top middleweight contenders.

“I feel like I’m the best middleweight in the world now,” Mousasi said at the post-fight press conference. “I’ve never said that because I never thought I was the best, but on this day, I’m the best.”

Mousasi also made it clear that his fighting days may be numbered. He announced he would like to defend his belt two more times this year before evaluating his future in the sport. “The Dreamcatcher” has been active in mixed-martial arts since 2003, racking up a total of 58 career professional fights. 

The following night in Las Vegas, Arman Tsarukyan showed why he is a force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s lightweight division, obliterating Joel Alvarez in a bloody second-round knockout. 


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A post shared by Arman Tsarukyan (@arm_011)

The victory was Tsarukyan’s fifth consecutive win in the UFC and second-straight via knockout. His impressive knockout win earned him the “Performance of the Night” bonus of $50,000.

“I like to surprise every one of my [opponents],” Tsarukyan said in his post-fight media availability. “I wanted to show how I have improved my striking, wrestling, I can do everything. It was my game plan to make him tired to choke him or a TKO. I did it and I’m very happy. I think I deserve a top 10 and get fights with a top fighter. I’m getting better everyday.”

Last but not least, Armen Petrosyan made his UFC debut and earned a tight split decision victory over Gregory Rodrigues. Two judges scored the fight 30-27 and 29-28 in favor of Petrosyan, while another judge thought Rodrigues won the bout with a 29-28 score.

“To be honest I was confident I could finish him at any time but he’s a very tough opponent,” Petrosyan said through a translator after the fight. “Big respect to him. I’m never ready to surrender and I’m always going to go to the end.”

Petrosyan earned a UFC contract in 2021 when he landed a knockout win in Dana White’s “Contender Series.” The middleweight fighter has now won three consecutive professional fights as he begins his UFC career on the right foot. 

Andre Khatchaturian

Andre Khatchaturian

Andre Khatchaturian is a seasoned digital content producer and the sports correspondent for The Armenian Weekly. He is the founder of Camak Media, a multimedia company specializing in drone footage, video content and photography for small businesses. Prior to this, he produced video and written content at the New England Sports Network (NESN). He has also provided coverage at three Super Bowls and more than a dozen high-profile UFC fights. Andre is from Glendale, California. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He moved to Boston in 2013, where he attended Boston University and graduated with a master's degree in broadcast journalism.

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