"It started as a labor of love and it still is a labor of love," Araradian says. "We're at a stage right now where it's got a pretty decent foothold in the fighting community and it's started to grow."
The Armenian influence on the fight game is bigger and broader than at any time in history and HyeFighters has grown right along with it — from a no-frills website with little more than a message board and schedule of upcoming events, to a bustling interactive community of fans and fighters with a wealth of information and visual media to bring it all to life.
"I even go on there just to see what all the fighters are doing, look at the pictures," says World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight Karen Darabedyan, who lives and trains in Glendale. "When Armenian fighters want to know about other Armenian fighters, they just go to HyeFighters and they know. It's really cool."
Just in the last year, Araradian has revamped the website's interface, enlisted contributing writers and now, along with new partner Andre Haftvani, is hard at work on HyeFighters' most groundbreaking endeavor to date, a foray into documentary-style filmmaking.
The project, which has a to-the-point working title of "Hye Fighter," will feature extensive fight and training footage, but centers primarily around interviews with its MMA and boxing subjects aimed at conveying their personal stories and struggles.
Filming has wrapped and Araradian and Haftvani are preparing to shop around their 25-minute "sizzle reel" to prospective financiers with the notion of adapting it into either a full-length feature or a television series.