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Chivitchian comes up short in debut

MMA: Up-and-coming fighter loses to Kyle Watson via unanimous decision in first Ultimate Fighting Championship bout.

December 06, 2010|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

LAS VEGAS — With his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut there for the taking, Sako Chivitchian simply couldn't get off first.

At least that was the assessment given by corner man Dave Camarillo after Chivitchian dropped a hard-fought three-round unanimous decision to Kyle Watson at Saturday night's "The Ultimate Fighter" finale at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

"I think he didn't open up on the feet like we wanted him to," Camarillo said. "I kept telling him in between rounds to be first. Kyle did a great job of getting off first. I think that dictated the striking and that dictated the fight."

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Watson (16-7-1) won, 30-27, on judges Cecil Peoples and Adalaide Byrd's scorecards, while Patricia Morse Jarman had it 29-28. The News-Press scored it 29-28 for Chivitchian with him narrowly taking the first two rounds — Jarman scored the second for the Armenian grappler — largely based on damage done with his striking.

"I thought it was 29-28, but I'm not surprised with the decision," Camarillo said. "I thought Sako lost.

"There's no controversy here."

The loss was the first official defeat for Chivitchian in his mixed-martial-arts career, dropping him to 5-1. Chivitchian went 1-1 during his stint on the 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter," but those bouts are exhibitions. Watson advanced to the quarterfinals in the show's tournament, going 2-1, as both fighters met their demise against Jonathan Brookins, who defeated Michael Johnson later in the night to become the season 12 "Ultimate Fighter."

Chivitchian, a judo black belt who has often chosen to take fights to the ground early in his career, elected to keep the feet standing and, largely, was able to do that. The fight featured a steady stream of clinching against the fence that went back and forth and a striking battle that featured an array of offense from both fighters.

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