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Chivichyan represents Team Koscheck well

October 29, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

GLENDALE — With victories hard to come by for Team Koscheck in the preliminary round of fights in the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter," Sako Chivichyan admitted that he felt added pressure when he entered the octagon to take on Team George St. Pierre's Dane Sayers in Wednesday night's episode.

"I was more nervous for the first fight [to gain entry into the house]," said the Glendale grappler, "but the type of pressure I felt during this fight was I didn't want to let my team down. The first fight, I was fighting for myself, this time I was fighting for my whole team."

And Chivichyan didn't let anybody on Team Koscheck down, as he used his superior grappling to grind out a two-round decision victory over a game Sayers.

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"Obviously, I'm happy that I won, I'm pleased that I pulled off the win," Chivichyan said. "But I'm the type of fighter that when I fight, my No. 1 goal is to finish the fight.

"Dane was a tough guy, he was physically stronger than I thought [he would be]. I think I underestimated his wrestling, he was harder to take down than I thought."

In footage leading up to the fight, both Sayers and Chivichyan are showcased.

A conversation between Koscheck and Chivichyan is particularly revealing, as Chivichyan tells his coach about his life in his late-teens when he drank and partied too much and one particular night after, "being at the wrong place at the wrong time," was shot in the leg by "gangbangers."

"Psycho has been through a lot, you know, running the streets, drinking, partying, to being shot," Koscheck says during a confessional, referring to Chivichyan by his nickname. "He comes back and starts training and three years later he's on 'The Ultimate Fighter.' The kid has changed his life and I think it's mostly because of this sport. This sport will change you."

The show then segues into the coach's challenge, a seasonal tradition in which opposing head coaches go one on one in some sort of athletic endeavor. This time it's baseball, with the American Koscheck, although seemingly somewhat of a novice, holding a distinct advantage over the Canadian, St. Pierre, who says he's never swung a baseball bat. The two engaged in a game of over-the-line, more or less, earning different point totals for hitting pitches certain distances.

Koscheck urges his fighters to make some noise and they oblige, with Magakian being the most boisterous.

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