Jared Papazian begins road back

In three bouts inside the caged confines of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s octagon, Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian always delivered exciting and memorable fights.

Unfortunately for Papazian, who trains primarily at Burbank Gracie Barra, action-packed as his bouts were, they all ended in losses.

Papazian is looking to reverse that trend on Friday night, when he returns to battle to take on Terrion Ware in the main event of BAMMA USA’s “Badbeat 8” at the Commerce Casino.

“He’s a stand-up guy, he’s pretty decent,” Papazian said of Ware. “It’s a great fight back from the UFC.

“I wanted to get back in there.”

After his latest setback, a unanimous decision defeat against Tim Elliott in December of last year, Papazian was released from his UFC contract. Despite the loss, Papazian still earned a bonus as the bout was named fight of the night by UFC President Dana White and marked the second time Papazian received a bonus for an exciting fight. Though he’s looking to get back on the winning track, Papazian (14-9) still puts turning in an exciting fight as a priority.

“Normally when I bang with somebody they end up trying to take me down,” Papazian, 25, said. “Hopefully he doesn’t want to take me down.”

Ware, whose record is listed online on Sherdog.com at 3-1, but said it is actually 5-1, admitted keeping the fight standing is where he is most comfortable, as he has a background in karate and boxing.

“Definitely, standing is more comfortable for me, but I like all aspects of MMA,” said Ware, 26, who shared the same sentiment as Papazian in regard to putting on an entertaining fight. “I love putting on a show for the fans.”

The 135-pound, three-round main event, as it comes against a former King of the Cage champion and three-time UFC veteran, will be the highest-profile fight thus far for Ware.

“Definitely, without question,” said Ware of this being his biggest fight to date. “I know there’s a lot of guys who turned this fight down. When they called me, I immediately said yes.

“I want to fight the best guys.”

Though he admits this is his largest opportunity yet and it’s also his first MMA bout with five-minute rounds as opposed to three-minute stanzas, Ware, who said he also has 12 amateur bouts, is adamant that experience won’t be any kind of detriment to him.

“Experience and overall endurance, I have just as much as he does in combat sports,” Ware said. “There’s really nothing he could come into the fight with that I’ll be surprised with.”

After competing on MMA’s largest stage in the UFC, Papazian said he’s a different fighter, bothered in no way by the magnitude of any bout.

“No pressure at all, I feel more at home,” said Papazian, who trains under Glendale’s Alberto Crane at Gracie Barra. “Fighting at the UFC, fighting on that big stage, I feel took a lot of pressure off.”

Papazian doesn’t hesitate to say Friday night is hopefully his first step on the road back to the UFC. Still, he’s adamant that he’s not looking past Ware, instead he’s simply looking at it just as he has every fight of his career.

“From the beginning of my career, I’ve always had it in my mind is I have to get to the UFC,” Papazian said. “I’ve always had it in my mind.

“I’m really confident. I feel like my skills are improved and my experience is a factor.”

For more information on the event and tickets, visit www.bammausa.com.

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