GLENDALE - [Updated: 3:20 p.m.] Sevak Magakian entered the octagon determined, focused and ready.
But as is the game of mixed martial arts, anything can happen. And opponent Jonathan Brookins' slick display of jiu jitsu left the Glendale fighter unconscious in the first round, as Brookins defeated Magakian in the latest episode of "The Ultimate Fighter" on Wednesday night.
"It kills me, it eats me inside, I was supposed to be one of the guys in the finals," said Magakian, who also added that roughly 10 days before the fight he sustained a broken rib and rib cartilage damage in training. "It didn't turn how I wanted it to turn."
It was the second fight of the episode, both of them ending with Team Koscheck fighters - Magakian and Marc Stevens - choked out by Team Georges St. Pierre fighters - Brookins and Cody McKenzie.
The two bouts left only one remaining in the first round of the "TUF" tournament - Glendale's Sako Chivichyan against Dane Sayers.
"In a way, it kind of built a little bit of pressure on me, especially after Stevens and Sevak lost," Chivichyan said. "I felt a little bit of pressure, but I think I've always performed better under pressure. We'll see next week."
Throughout the latest episode, tensions continued to rise as Team GSP took exception to Team Koscheck's attitude following the latter's first win of the season with Nam Phan's decision victory the previous week.
Magakian took exception to McKenzie flipping his finger up into Koscheck's chin during the first fight announcement of the show and told McKenzie as much.
"We can't even understand you," McKenzie tells Magakian.
McKenzie and Koscheck, throughout the season, traded barbs and after the fight announcement it went to another level.
Hence, Koscheck was left speechless after McKenzie used his patented guillotine choke to defeat Stevens inside of 30 seconds in their fight.
It's a performances and an outcome that left the entire Koscheck squad in utter shock.
"Everybody was in shock," Chivichyan said. "We were just stunned."
After the fight, Koscheck addressed Magakian and Chivichyan.
"Let that experience motivate you guys," he says.
When the fight announcement was made, Brookins made it clear that he had his hands full in his confessional.
"I'm fighting Sevak, I think he's tough, I think he's one of the tougher people in the house, you know, one of the more feared opponents and whatnot," Brookins says. "So, I'm really excited to get matched up with him."
"Oh, it's going to be exciting man," Magakian says in his confessional. "I know he's going to come hard and I'm going to go hard. I'm not gonna stop and I'm gonna be [in] his face [for] 10 minutes."
The episode transitioned into exposing more about the two fighters and viewers learned the quiet Brookins is a spiritual fighter, into meditation and yoga. Meanwhile, in training, St. Pierre says he's a sponge, picking up everything he's taught.
Magakian is much the opposite, a very physical and vocal fighter and a, "crazy Armenian," as Koscheck calls him.
"Sevak, as a person, he's definitely a wildman," Koscheck says. "He's definitely an alpha male, he definitely is a guy that is outspoken and outgoing."
Footage of Magakian continued to run and eventually got to Chivichyan briefly talking about his longtime friend - the two fighters having trained for years across Southern California at the likes of Team Hayastan in Hollywood, SK Golden Boys in Van Nuys and Main Event Sports Club and Glendale Fighting Club in Glendale.
"My boy Sevak, we're training partners for almost eight years," Chivichyan says on the show. "Sevak's not gonna quit, you gotta take his head off for him to quit."
It moves into Magakian telling his history of moving to California from Armenia as a teenager, taking up judo and sambo at an early age, when he also dealt with the death of his father and how much he takes "The Ultimate Fighter" opportunity seriously.
"Sevak, as a fighter, I believe has a tremendous amount of talent," Koscheck says. "Definitely has good power in his punches. Has great wrestling and great judo. And good jiu jitsu and he's strong as hell. And I think that he has definitely a big heart. When you look at a fighter it's not about how trained they are, it's not about how athletic they are, it's about their heart."
The two briefly circled before Magakian threw a heavy right that missed and did the same with a right high kick. Shortly after, Brookins faked a shot, tried a kick to the body that Magakian caught and as the two came together, Brookins worked a beautiful belly-to-belly throw that took Magakian to the ground with Brookins on top.
"That just broke me mentally," said Magakian of the throw, which he said aggravated the injury. "I just felt it right there."
Brookins worked for a kimura, while Magakian tried to work up off the canvas. As the latter happened, Brookins took his back while Magakian stood. Eventually, Brookins worked for a rear-naked choke with Magakian standing the entire time. The two hand fought for a while before the opening came and Brookins choked Magakian unconscious.
Leading in, due to the injury, the game plan was for Magakian to keep the fight standing, something largely different for the local grappler, whose strengths have always been his judo and submission skills used in the clinch and on the ground.
"That was the plan was to stand up," Magakian said. "But he didn't want to stand up with me because I have heavy hands."
The aforementioned injury occurred when Magakian took a kick to the body from Phan.
"After that, I couldn't breathe, I'd never been in that much pain in my life," said Magakian, who added that he reaggravated the injury during training with teammate Manny Gamburyan before the latter's recent title fight, but it has since healed again and he will get back to training soon, leaving next week for San Jose to train with Koscheck. "They took me to the hospital.
"I thought they were gonna send me home."
Perhaps surprisingly, the entire ordeal was left off the show.
"I was surprised they didn't show it," Magakian said.
But it was an aspect that clearly altered Magakian throughout filming, training and fighting.
"It was really bugging him and he couldn't go all-out during practice," Chivichyan said. "Obviously, when you go into a fight and you're not 100% or you're not even 90% or whatever, there's that doubt in your mind that you can't give your 'A' game.
"He still went out there and did his best, [Brookins] was good."
After the fight, Magakian was noticeably stunned and dejected.
"It sucks," he says in a confessional. "I came all the way here and just to make one, little mistake and it's all gone."
Another aspect a bit altered by the editing was the appearance of the Stevens and Magakian bouts happening one after another. In reality, they were separated by two days. Chivichyan's and Sayers' fight, though, happened the same day as Magakian's loss.
Said Chivichyan: "As soon as Sevak lost, I walked in for my fight."