Developing "Killa" Instinct with Karen Darabedyan!
"Killa" Karen Darabedyan (Born in Armenia on December 18, 1986) is an able Mixed-Martial Arts fighter who has securely positioned himself as a well-rounded athlete through highly diverse and very extensive training.
Darabedyan, 155 Lbs., began studying Karate at age five and Tae Kwon Do by the age of nine, earning his Black Belt in both by 18. He began expanding his martial arts training in Junior High School by taking up Boxing, Kick-Boxing, Judo and Wrestling. Darabedyan also earned his Black Belt in Judo.
During his high School years, Darabedyan claimed two Judo state championship Titles and placed 3rd in the nation, he has a 12-0 Amatuer Boxing record too! He also placed 1st in Intermediate Men's No-Gi Lightweight Division at the 2004 Grappler's Quest-5 and won 1st Place in the 2007 World Grappling Games at under 189.9 pounds!
Drawing on his diverse training, Karen Darabedyan competed in his first official Mixed-Martial Arts bout at age 18, earning a win in the first round by K.O. Since then, he holds a solid 9-1 record and has won his WEC Lightweight debut against former Champion "Razor" Rob McCullough, suffered a Loss to Bart Palaszewski in his second WEC matchup, and is scheduled to return to the WEC cage in the summer of 2010.
Karen Darabedyan currently trains with MMA Legend Gokor "The Armenian Assassin" Chivichyan and "Judo" Gene LeBell and at Main Event Gym in Los Angeles, California.
Being touted as one of Gokor's toughest fighters and having established a reputation as a power-house in last minute match-ups, Darabedyan is a real crowd-pleaser and is guaranteed to succeed!
Exclusive AMAM Interview with Karen Darabedyan:
1) AMAM: How were you feeling during training in anticipation of your 2009 WEC debut in Las Vegas against former champion "Razor" Rob McCullough?
KD: Feelin' good, trained hard for that one.
2) AMAM: I'd seen Rob train before, he's dedicated! Did you have any specific concerns?
KD: Rob's really good. He's got a lot of experience. I like him, but...I was ready to fight.
3) AMAM: I knew "Razor" would be sharp. I'm sure you reviewed all his WEC fight videos ahead of time. Did you derive a specific gameplan for this fight?
KD: Every fight is different, we just had to see what would happen.
4) AMAM: You impressed the fans by dominating Rob with your Boxing skills. I've watched you training at Hayastan Dojo plenty of times, but never knew you had such a strong lead Jab amid your Boxing skills before your WEC debut!
Tell us a bit about this part of your training?
KD: I started out as a striker. I started doing Karate at the age of five. I then did Tae Kwon Do. I got my Black Belts both in Karate and Tae Kwon Do. I did Kickboxing for a while, then I did four years of Boxing. Then, while I was doing Boxing, at the same time, I started doing Judo and grappling. That's when my ground-game and my Wrestling all came together and that's when I started doing MMA. So, that's where all my striking comes from.
Most people know me as a grappler, a Wrestler or a Judo guy, but my roots are pretty much striking. I started out as a striker, even though my ground-game is pretty solid.
5) AMAM: Most of us who're familiar with you surely know about your Grappling prowess. Yet, throughout the entire 1st Round you managed to competely dominate Rob McCullough, a known Muay-Thai artist, with your striking skills.
When the 1st Round ended, did you feel you had Rob hurt at all?
KD: You know what, I felt like I hurt him in the 1st Round. But, I had two cuts over both eyes going into the fight. One as recent as two weeks prior, so I was scared to go in and engage all the way because the slightest punch to my eye could've opened them up. I was worried the fight would've been stopped, so that's why I didn't really engage more. So, I felt like I hurt him more in the 1st Round than in the 2nd or 3rd.
6) AMAM: During the 2nd Round, you shot in for a successful Takedown then proceeded to pummel Rob with a few solid elbow-strikes, after a failed Submission attempt, you both returned to your feet until the bell finally sounded.
Do you think new fans were surprised to see you then continue to mainly stay on your feet, when you may have easily caused Rob even further damage on the ground, especially in the last Round?
It appears you've been actively training your Kick-boxing and footwork, what are you continually doing to develop this?
KD: I think I would have hurt him more on the ground than in stand-up. It's just the thing was, Rob has really good Takedown defense, so it's like running into a brick wall most of the time.
I'm able to keep up with my hands and my feet next to him, I'm able to take him down, but with an alert and seasoned striker like him it's really hard to shoot in without him seeing it. So, that's why I tried to keep it standing up.
I took him down once and I went for a leg-lock. I missed that and he got right back up, so I thought it'd been better if I just stood up the way I did instead of trying to take him down and tire myself out. I felt really comfortable standing up with him.
7) AMAM: Did you receive any injuries during your big fight there at the Palms in Las Vegas?
KD: Nope. Well, my cheek was scraped a little bit.
8) AMAM: What went thru your mind after your Win was announced that evening?
KD: You know what, just coming into the WEC with only a month's notice and having beaten a former champ was the greatest feeling, I mean I can't describe it. It was like all those years of hard work and that month of complete sacrifice without going out and eating and all that craziness, giving it all up and just being focused...it all paid off. It just felt really good!
9) AMAM: Unfortunately, even though you were completely controlling the pace of the fight, you suffered a Loss in your 2nd WEC appearance against veteran Bart Palaszewski. How do you reflect on the outcome of that bout?
KD: My second fight in the WEC, I was ready to go, I mean I had trained my butt off. I felt strong, I felt good everywhere. I just got really cocky, I thought I had the fight won.
I mean just being on top and the veteran he is, he wasn't that strong and I thought there's no way he could catch me. Last time I got caught in an Armbar was God-knows-when?
Not an arrogant thing, but I felt like there's no way I could be caught that way. And, even when he did go for the Armbar, I'm like, what is he thinking...there's no way I could get caught in it. Boom! Next thing I know, I felt it sink in and it was pretty much too late.
That was a really good learning experience for me. I mean, I learned a lot from that fight.
I know now not to rush, not to think that I already have it won when it's not even done yet. And, to just keep a level head and to know it's not over until it's over. Just be focused, you know, keep my attention on the fighter and not have other things on my mind.
10) AMAM: Currently, you're scheduled to fight in another upcoming WEC event in Canada this June, what else would you like to tell your fans to expect from Karen Darabedyan in 2010?
KD: They can expect the best from me. I'm coming in ready, I've been training the last two months. I have a very good chance. I'll be there to put on a really good show for all the fans. I love the sport!
AMAM: Karen, you know how much brotherly love and respect AMAM has for you, at this point I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your active training schedule to allow us to conduct this exclusive interview with you.
All of us fans of yours will be rooting for more good Wins resulting from all your future bouts!
KD: Thank you very much, take care!
In late 2010, Karen decided to take some time off from competitions for some much needed rest and to re-evaluate his approach on training and to refocus his overall game plan for his professional future. He has promised his fans to come back stronger in 2011 and beyond...