clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Georgi Karakhanyan recounts ‘f*cking crazy’ meeting with ACB officials before firing

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

ACB

In 12 years of fighting, Georgi Karakhanyan insists he has never witnessed anything like he did during the ACB 90 fight week.

The Bellator veteran claimed a disqualification win at the Moscow event, but two weeks later ACB reversed the decision to a no-contest, per a social media post on its official channels.

His opponent, Timur Nagibin, was initially disqualified for blatantly hitting Karakhanyan after the bell had sounded to bring the first round to an end, handing “Insane” the victory. ACB’s post claims that a panel made up of promotion’s staff made the decision to change the outcome of the contest.

According to ACB’s post, Karakhanyan’s dismissal was due to his “unprecedented unsportsmanlike behavior prior to the fight and during the fight, for simulating and trying to cheat the referee, which lead to conflicts and brawls in the cage and on the arena.”

The former WSOF champion refuted the claims made by ACB with a post of his own.

In an appearance on the latest episode of Eurobash, Karakhanyan recounted the end of the fight, which initially led to his opponent’s disqualification.

“It was a good fight and I was finding his weakness,” recalled Karakhanyan.

“I was starting to take him down and of course, he landed a few good punches. In the last 10 seconds, when I’m going for a guillotine…I had the guillotine and if you pay attention to his right arm, it didn’t move at all. I said to Herb [Dean], ‘Take a look at his hands, I feel like he’s tapping.’ Then, what Herb does, he puts his hands on [Nagibin’s] back and on me and then I let go. When I let go I looked at Herb and I said, ‘Okay, what happened?’”

Karakhanyan remembered fighting with his corner, such was his confusion, after Nagibin hit him after the bell. RT.com’s Denis Geyko shot video of Karakhanyan trying to wrestle his corner man at the event after the illegal punch had landed.

“When I got hit it was like a flash knockout. It went dark and I remember wrestling with my corner and then they said, ‘The fight is over, relax. They stopped the fight.’ I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the replay and saw him f*cking hit me and then all the fans started fighting.”

“What [Nagibin] did wasn’t right,” he added. “I don’t know how they’re going to disqualify me and turn it into a no contest. The bell rang, he hit me and then I woke up. Them not paying me my win bonus and talking sh*t to me, it’s just not right.”

It wasn’t until Karakhanyan was called to an office in the middle of the night that he realized that he would not be getting his win bonus. In what sounds like a bizarre scene, the veteran also remembered ACB officials telling him that they would have fought on if they had suffered the illegal shot from Nagibin.

“After the fight, it was 1:30 in the morning and I got a call to go to the top floor to go get paid. I felt bad for my corner because he didn’t understand Russian and all the [ACB] guy was doing was yelling and yelling and telling me I was fake and how if it was him he would have kept fighting,” said Karakhanyan.

“I tried to explain to them that I have had over 40 fights and that I didn’t fly 12 hours to f*cking fake anything. It was just very disrespectful how they treated me. As I said, I have never had a fight week as bad as that, it was f*cking crazy. I’m glad I’m back home.”

After speaking to the ACB brass, Karakhanyan believes the promotion’s move to overturn the decision was motivated by his pre-fight trash talk.

“My opponent was talking a little sh*t and I took it to a different level,” he explained. “In Russia, the mindset hasn’t changed. They have nice buildings and all kinds of things, but the MMA world over there is…I guess you could say it’s a bit stiff. They don’t know how to talk sh*t and they don’t know how to take sh*t. This is part of the fight game and if I can get under my opponent’s skin in anyway before a fight, that’s an advantage for me. I was just enjoying it.”

Karakhanyan said he checked with ACB staff on a number of occasions as to how he should present himself during the fight week.

“I tried to interact with the fans and bring as many fans to the arena as I could. I thought I was doing my job. I was also talking to ACB people to see if I was crossing any boundaries and they told me, ‘Hey, just don’t [swear] too much’ and that’s what I made sure I didn’t do. They also said, ‘Don’t fight in the hotel’, and we didn’t fight in the hotel. When they were yelling at me, they were really disappointed, they thought I was cussing his mother, which I never did.”

He believes that his opponent and his team’s version of events reshaped ACB’s view on the matter.

“If you pay attention, as soon as [Nagibin] hits me, [Alexander] Shlemenko runs to Mairbek [Khasiev] and starts kissing his ass and telling him all these lies that they came up with like I cussed out his mother. I feel like they were in that room before me because when I walked in they were already heated. As soon as I walked in they said, ‘Why the f*ck did you cuss his Mom, that’s not right,’ and if I said that to any of their people they’d kill me. I was just like, ‘Listen, it’s a whole load of bullsh*t.’”

Back home in the U.S., Karakhanyan wants to put his stint with ACB behind him and focus on his future.

“I’m just trying to look for the next chapter,” he said. “What happened, happened over there; it was probably one of the worst fight weeks of my whole career and it was just getting worse and worse. I’m looking to find a new home and I’m glad I’m no longer part of their organization.”

“Either UFC, One Championship or PFL. We’ll see what comes,” he replied when asked where he would like to fight next.

ACB issued a statement in reply to Karakhanyan’s version of events after being contacted by MMAFighting:

“We were hesitant to respond to any further statements from Georgi on this subject as we believe that our actions and our statement said enough on our thoughts on this matter or any matter that would see an athlete bring ACB or the sport of MMA in to disrepute as it did on the night of ACB 90 during the bout between Georgi and Timur.

As Georgi has made the allegation that ‘ACB officials’ threatened that they would kill him if he had insulted their mothers we feel that we are forced to respond as this is categorically untrue. No ACB officials threatened Georgi that if he had said that about their mothers that ‘they would kill him’. What they did warn him about was that a person has to be careful about the word he uses and how he chooses to use them and that if he had said such things to another man outside the cage, in the streets, then there would be no referee to protect him and the result of those words could be a lot worse than happened on that night.

Of course we know Georgi is upset though, so it sounds a lot better for him to say that we ‘threatened to kill him’ but again, this is categorically untrue.

If Georgi is totally denying that he ever said anything about the things he would do to Timurs mother during the fight at ACB 90 then that is also a lie. We had a number of Russian speaking officials and ACB Staff around the cage who have verified that he used such insults. We also had Herb Dean as the referee during that fight and also during Georgi’s previous fight against Alexey Polpudnikov who verified that during both fights Georgi was constantly talking too and verbally abusing his opponent. He also separately, outside of these discussions, made his thoughts and feelings on Georgi’s behaviour during both fights clear as unsportsmanlike and unnecessary.

As an athlete and mixed martial artist Georgi is extremely talented and gifted but he has a history of this type of behaviour not just with us but with previous promotions he has fought for. Our actions and our statement on this matter is something we stand by not just as a punishment to Georgi but as a statement of ACB’s stance on any actions like these that could bring the sport and the promotion into disrepute.

Thank you for bringing these allegations to our attention and for giving us the opportunity to respond.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Georgi Karakhanyan interview begins at 11:45.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting