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Glendale fighters picked for 'The Ultimate Fighter' reality show

MMA: Sevak Magakian and Sako Chivichyan are chosen to take part in 12th season of UFC show on Spike TV.

August 03, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Glendale mixed-martial-arts fighter Sevak Magakian, pictured, and training partner Sako Chivichyan have been selected to take part on "The Ultimate Fighter."
Glendale mixed-martial-arts fighter Sevak Magakian,… (File Photo )

GLENDALE — Having fought their way through the Southern California mixed-martial-arts scene, working up the ladder at shows in the likes of Long Beach, El Monte and Ontario, Sako Chivichyan and Sevak Magakian, like most in their sport, aspired to one day make it to the grand stage of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

That day has come.

The two Glendale fighters have been selected to be part of the 28-fighter cast looking to fight its way into the house for the 12th season of Spike TV's and the UFC's "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show.

"It was like a dream come true," Chivichyan said of the opportunity.

The show wrapped filming in July, but due to contractual limitations, fighters were unable to talk about their involvement until today, when an official UFC/Spike TV press release confirmed all 28 cast members. The fighters themselves, having started the process with an open casting call in April in Charlotte, N.C., received news that they were selected in early June just before filming began in Las Vegas.

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"I yelled," Magakian said of his reaction when he heard the news. "Actually, when I picked up [the phone], I said give me the good news.

"It's an unexplained feeling. … I've been watching all the seasons, it's like a dream. I've been watching thinking I could be there."

UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and his future opponent, Josh Koscheck, will be the coaches on the show, which will feature two teams of seven lightweight fighters competing in a tournament format to crown the next "Ultimate Fighter." The season premiere is set to air on Spike on Sept. 15 with the live Las Vegas finale taking place on Dec. 4.

"[We] realize this is the beginning," Chivichyan said. "We're thankful for this opportunity.

"I think it's gonna be a great show."

The Ultimate Fighter is consistently among the top-rated shows on cable among men in the 18-34 demographic and through its 11 previous seasons has averaged more than 2.2 million viewers an episode, according to Spike TV.

Beginning in 2005, the show is credited with leading the MMA and UFC boom, as its live finale after the first year featured a now celebrated brawl between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar that peaked with 2.6 million viewers, more than had ever watched a UFC event. Since then, the show has become a standard on Spike, topping out at 6.1 million viewers tuning in to see internet sensation Kimbo Slice take on Roy Nelson in the 10th season in the fall of 2009.

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