Sevak Magakian ready for Bellator debut

Opportunity doesn't always give notice, particularly in the world of mixed martial arts.

Thus, when Sevak “Silverback” Magakian was given the opportunity to take a short-notice fight against a formidable opponent under the Bellator MMA banner, he didn’t hesitate.

“I took it right away,” said Magakian, who added he was offered the fight early last week. “I was in shape, I was training.

“It’s a big opportunity. You never know, I’m just taking chances.”

That chance will come in the form of the first bout in a three-fight Bellator deal for the Glendale fighter, when he takes on Jason “The Finisher” Fischer Thursday night at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Mich. as part of Bellator 87. The main card is set to air on SpikeTV, while Magakian and Fischer will headline a scheduled seven-fight prelim card streamed on

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know anything about him, but it’s a fight, you have to be prepared no matter what,” Magakian said.

Fischer (5-1) is a three-time Bellator veteran, who’s showcased a solid all-around game marked by diverse and dangerous stand-up skills with crisp kicks and technical boxing.

The 27-year-old Magakian (12-3-1) boasts a terrific grappling game with a judo base.

“He’s gonna be a tough fight for sure,” Fischer said, “but we’re confident we’re gonna come out with a win.”

While the combatants don’t appear too similar in their fighting styles, there’s plenty of similarities.

Both have put together resumes filled with finishes.

Hence his “Finisher” moniker, Fischer finished his first five fights, three via submission and two by knockout.

Magakian has finished 10 bouts, with nine coming via submission and all 10 of his stoppages coming inside the first round.

Though both fighters have built up staunch records in their burgeoning careers, they’re also coming off disappointing outcomes in their previous bouts. In October, Magakian fought Nick Piedmont to a draw. The result brought a five-fight winning streak to an end.

Fischer’s last bout was a close decision loss to David Rickels, one that saw Fischer memorably defend an arm bar from Rickels by stepping on his opponent’s face.

“Especially after my last fight ... you can’t let it go to the judges,” Fischer said.

And with Fischer fighting in his home state, Magakian, who trains out of Team Hayastan in Hollywood, Main Even Gym in Glendale and SK Golden Boys in Van Nuys, isn’t keen on letting the bout go the full three rounds, either.

“It’s probably his hometown — he’ll have a lot of people there,” said Magakian, who will be cornered by Glendale’s Karen Darabedyan and Roma Kalantaryan, along with Gokor Chivichyan, Alex Ariza and Ara Muradyan. “I want to go out there and finish the fight and not let it go to the judges.”

For both fighters, there’s also the added stipulation that the winner will be an alternate for the current lightweight tournament, of which the opening round makes up the main card.

For Magakian, who previously was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter,” it’s a shot at making a big splash once more in the big leagues of mixed martial arts.

Seen largely as the No. 2 MMA organization in the world behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator is making its biggest strides yet as it just began a television deal with Spike, which previously aired UFC programming, including “The Ultimate Fighter.”

Of course, a victory is the quickest course of action for Magakian to continue moving forward in his career, which saw him sidelined after “The Ultimate Fighter” with an injury.

Magakian is replacing another Southern California fighter, Saad Awad. Awad, according to Fischer, was actually his second scheduled opponent, making Magakian the third lined up to fight Fischer. Awad was a late replacement to be moved into the lightweight tournament, in which the winner earns a Bellator title shot.

“They could change my opponent tomorrow and I’d still be ready,” Fischer said.

And Fischer said he’s ready for anything going into the fight.

“We’ve been training very hard in all aspects,” Fischer said. “It’s getting to that point where at this level you have to train everything so you can find that one hole and exploit it.

“We’re just gonna try to make it a smart fight and make it an exciting fight and get the finish.”

Thus, the final shared trait between the combatants appears to be poise, as both are adamant that they’re ready to go, and ready to finish.

“I feel so great,” Magakian said. “I feel confident.”

The card begins streaming on at 4 p.m. For more information, visit or

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