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'In the house'

MMA: Chivichyan, Magakian win first fights on first episode of 'TUF' to get in house.

September 16, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • "The Ultimate Fighter" cast members Sevak Magakian, center, and Sako Chivichyan hosted a show premiere party on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
"The Ultimate Fighter" cast members Sevak… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/News-Press )

LOS ANGELES — With a live crowd and a taped show at an energetic Capitol City Bar in Los Angeles, Sako Chivichyan and Sevak Magakian knew all the results before they aired for all the world to see.

That certainly didn't prevent any nerves, though, as the aspiring Glendale mixed-martial-arts fighters looked on along with a gathering of friends, family and media late Wednesday night as the season premiere of "The Ultimate Fighter: Season 12" aired on Spike TV.

"I'm very nervous," said the 26-year-old Chivichyan in the hours leading up to the show. "I've got butterflies like I'm gonna be going in there to fight.

"I'm just hoping [the Spike TV editors and producers] represent me the right way. Hopefully I didn't embarrass myself too much."

Not long after, the world learned what Magakian and Chivichyan already knew, that the Jewel City tandem won their respective fights as the "TUF" field was whittled down from 28 fighters to 14 on the first episode, as has become a tradition in seasons as of late, where the fighters must win to earn their way into "The Ultimate Fighter" house in Las Vegas, where the majority of the six-week reality show is filmed.

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"As long as I got my win, that's all I cared about," said Chivichyan (5-0), who defeated Toby Grear (7-4-1) via decision on the first episode. "The one thing on my mind was to get that win and get in the house."

Magakian (8-3) likewise earned a decision victory, defeating JJ Ambrose (12-2) in his exhibition bout.

Leading into the show's airing, Magakian was also concerned with just how everything would come to be on the reality show.

"Crazy's OK, but not stupid," joked Magakian of how he was hoping to come off. "I can't wait to see what they make me [look like] for the whole show."

Both of the fighter's bouts were heavily edited down to brief highlights, though full bouts were available after the episode on ufc.com. The entire season aside from the live December finale wrapped taping approximately two months ago, but all involved are bound to secrecy by their contracts.

"Sako Chivichyan against Toby Greer was pretty much a grappling match," said Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion George St. Pierre, one of the show's coaches opposite Josh Koscheck, during the bout's highlight package. "Sako most of the time managed to use his judo superior skill to bring the fight on the ground and stay on top for most of the fight."

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