Sevak “Silverback” Magakian had to be carried out of the Hollywood Park and Casino late Saturday night after his mixed-martial-arts fight.
But as cornermen Karen Darabedyan and Roma Kalentaryan carried him out, Magakian had a victorious smile across his face.
Very much a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, Magakian prevailed in Lights Out Promotions’ “Chaos at the Casino 3” main event, earning a very hard-fought unanimous decision over Chris Saunders in their three-round lightweight bout.
Glendale’s Magakian concluded a night filled with highlights for fighters with local ties, as boxers Vache Martirosyan and Vahe Vadanyan, muay Thai kickboxer Melsik Bagdasaryan and MMA fighters Alfred Kashakyan and Vardan Shilolyan all claimed victory.
“I don’t know where it happened,” said Magakian of the injury, which was believed by his corner to be a dislocated left foot. “I couldn’t even step forward.”
In a matchup of former “The Ultimate Fighter” combatants from separate seasons, Magakian (14-5-1) won the first two rounds to take the decision over Saunders (10-6), 29-28 on all three cards.
“I knew [after] the first two, I had it,” Magakian said.
Less than a minute into the opening round, Magakian looked to have merely planted his foot wrong and pulled his left leg back. Limping noticeably, he backed himself into his corner. From there, he would land a slew of head shots to Saunders, a one-time Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, who zeroed in on Magakian’s left leg with leg kicks. A big left hook stunned Saunders and later on, after Magakian took another leg kick, he exploded for a takedown. Saunders was opened up over his left eye and Magakian landed some ground and pound before Saunders worked the fight back up to the feet. Just before the round ended, Magakian delivered a right uppercut that sent Saunders to a knee before he bounced up.
In between rounds, the ringside doctor took a look at the foot of Magakian, who trains at Glendale’s Main Event Boxing Club and Team Hayastan. Given the option of stopping the fight, Magakian soldiered on.
“I said, ‘No,’ I was not gonna stop,” Magakian said. “Whatever happens, happens.”
What happened was another round in favor of Magakian. Off another Saunders leg kick, Magakian landed a straight right, then later a left hook that buckled Saunders. Magakian worked another takedown and took Saunders’ back. Saunders stood up in the middle of the ring with Magakian on his back going for a choke. Saunders wiggled him off, but was then on the receiving end of a judo throw.
The third was Saunders’ round, as he floored Magakian with a left hook and took top position. The two exchanged with Saunders landing rights to the body and left elbows, while Magakian answered with right hands from the bottom.
At the fight’s conclusion, Saunders jumped onto the middle rope of the turnbuckle and threw his hands in the air, while Kalentaryan put Magakian on his shoulders.
Moments later, Magakian was announced the winner. Minutes after, he was in the back, being attended to by paramedics, who put a makeshift splint on his left leg and on his left hand, which he also injured. He was later taken to the hospital.
While Magakian toughed out a hard-fought win, the night’s most devastating and impressive performance may well have come from Martirosyan, who improved to 2-0 in his burgeoning boxing career and demolished Carlos Meraz (1-1) in the process.
Martirosyan knocked down Meraz three times on the way to a first-round knockout at the 1:42 mark.
“I’m really happy. I give it a ‘B,’” said the 21-year-old Martirosyan, the younger brother of former Olympian and current top-10 junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan. “I rushed a little bit, got anxious, but we got it done.”
Martirosyan came out calm and cool before landing a right to the body and following with a perfect left hook to the chin that floored Meraz.
“I saw him jumping in,” said Martirosyan, who also had Kalentaryan in his corner and his older brother rooting him on not far behind. “We really time the right to the stomach and then the left up top. … It worked out.”
Meraz got to his feet, but Martirosyan knew he had him.
“After I saw his eyes, I knew there was nothing he was gonna do,” Martirosyan said. “I took his heart right there.”
Not long after, a pinpoint straight right put Meraz to the canvas once more. He got up again, but the first punch Martirosyan threw was another straight right, so powerful it took Martirosyan down as well. But Martirosyan got up to celebrate his victory, while Meraz stayed down in defeat.
Formerly an excellent muay Thai kickboxer, Kashakyan (1-1) made his second foray into MMA and collected his first win against Doug Miller via second-round TKO.
Kashakyan, training out of the Glendale Fighting Club under Edmond Tarverdyan, weathered a first round in which he was smothered by a couple of takedowns.
Miller (0-2) notched another takedown in the second, but Kashakyan was able to reverse position and began raining down right hands, which eventually led to the referee calling a halt to the bout at the 2:50 mark of the second.
Another GFC prospect in Shilolyan (1-1) also made his MMA return after dropping his debut, albeit in a fight that was stopped due to him dislocating his toe. Shilolyan was able to grind out a three-round unanimous decision over Chris Reyes, 30-27 twice and 30-28, in their welterweight scrap.
Shilolyan, showing a stellar wrestling game, opened the bout with an almost immediate takedown. Shilolyan expertly rode Reyes’ back, landing sporadic right hands. Reyes would eventually work it back standing, but Shilolyan would deliver another takedown to easily take the period.
In the second round, Reyes was more effective standing, bloodying Shilolyan’s nose, and defending relentless takedown attempts, but Shilolyan still was able to secure four takedowns to take the round.
Shilolyan landed his second solid right cross of the fight in the third round, leading to a takedown and taking Reyes’ back once again. A big right hand by Reyes (0-1), the best of the bout, buckled Shilolyan coming in, but he kept his bearings and landed an immediate takedown.
In the night’s lone muay Thai bout, Glendale’s Bagdasaryan decimated former MMA fighter Anthony McDavitt with a first-round knockout at just 1:17. Bagdasaryan, whose win rivaled the dominance of Martirosyan’s, came out aggressive, throwing front kicks and spinning back kicks, but it was from the muay Thai clinch in which he delivered the blow that was the beginning of the end, uncorking a savage left elbow to the temple that felled McDavitt with a thud.
McDavitt just made the count and took a left high kick for his troubles that wobbled him. In machine gun-like fashion, Badasaryan followed with another high kick that floored McDavitt for good.
Fighting out of GFC, Vadanyan made his pro boxing debut and battered Gabriel Lopez en route to a second-round stoppage at the 47-second mark of their light heavyweight bout.
Vadanyan’s left hook and overhand right brutalized Lopez (1-2) in the opening round, but just about everything was working. As the round came to a close with Lopez pouring blood from his nose it very well could’ve been stopped. In the second round, it soon was, as Vadanyan was teeing off and Lopez covered up and the ref stepped in.
The night opened with a lightweight MMA bout between Armen Bakanyan, who trains at GFC and Main Event, taking on Emilio Chavez.
Chavez (6-5) got a unanimous decision, 30-27, on all three cards over Bakanyan (0-2). Bakanyan landed the most telling blow of the fight with a right cross in the second round, but it led to a Chavez clinch and a takedown which was the story in every round. Chavez landed six takedowns throughout the bout, doing little but moderate ground and pound, but enough to grind out a decision.
In the evening’s lone heavyweight bout, Glendale’s Arsen Galastyan was TKO’d by Jonathan Wilson in the first round. He survived an initial barrage that floored him and a subsequent ground and pound to get back up and would return to go on the offensive. But Wilson (2-0) landed a high kick, Galastyan (1-2), still standing, turned his head, Wilson landed a few more punches and the official stepped in to stop the bout at 1:45 of the first round.