GLENDALE — After his successful World Extreme Cagefighting debut, Karen Darabedyan is set to return to the cage on March 6 as part of WEC 47 where he is scheduled to face Bart Palaszewski.
“I’m really hungry,” said Darabedyan, who fought for the first time under the WEC banner in November, defeating former WEC lightweight (155 pounds) champion Rob McCullough via split decision. “I just want to showcase everything I’ve got.”
Darabedyan and manager Darin Harvey confirmed the fight with the News-Press on Sunday night and faxed over the signed contract to face Palaszewski on Monday. The organization released the news on Tuesday, as the fight will be part of a stellar card emanating from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Darabedyan’s been training for roughly three weeks now for a bout in March, but has only known that he would stand across the cage from Palaszewski for just over a week.
Nonetheless, after taking the fight against McCullough with less than a month to prepare, Darabedyan (9-1) is more confident his second time around, especially considering the added time to put together a solid training camp.
“I’m gonna come a lot more prepared,” said Darabedyan, who added that he’s still training with Roman Kalantaryan’s Main Event Gym in Glendale and Gokor Chivitchyan’s Team Hayastan in North Hollywood, but has added a new strength and conditioning coach. “Overall, it’s a better camp.”
He’ll be prepping for an experienced and well-rounded opponent in Palaszewski (33-13).
“He’s been around the game a long time,” Darabedyan said.
A longtime International Fight League veteran, Palaszewski holds notable victories over the likes of Ivan Menjivar, Ryan Schultz, John Gunderson and Alex Karalexis. He’s won 15 fights by knockout and 10 by submission and has gone 2-2 in the WEC, with his last fight a split-decision victory over Anthony Pettis, coming in December.
Consequently, Pettis was originally scheduled to fight Darabedyan before he was sidelined with an injury, opening the door for Darabedyan.
“And now I’m fighting him,” Darabedyan said.
The card is already top-heavy, headlined by bantamweight champion Brian Bowles’ title defense against Dominick Cruz, former bantamweight champion Miguel Torres taking on Joseph Benavidez and the return of Jens Pulver, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion.
However, according to the WEC, as it stands now, Darabedyan, whose fight against McCullough was part of the live main card, is set to once again fight on the live portion of the event, which airs on Versus.
For Darabedyan, being his second foray into the WEC, he has an added confidence, but he’s still just as excited.
“I’m more confident,” he said. “I’m still really excited.
“People are watching the WEC, people know about it.”
Get in touch GRANT GORDON is the sports editor. He can be reached at (818) 637-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.