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Chaos draws near

Local boxers, MMA fighters and kick boxers ascend head to Hollywood Park Casino on Saturday.

May 02, 2012|By Grant Gordon

Interesting story lines will be abundant, fast-paced action is promised to be at every turn and three different variations of combat sports will be showcased Saturday night as "Chaos at the Casino" ascends upon the Hollywood Park Casino at 6 p.m.

Nine fights are set for the night — four mixed-martial-arts, three muay Thai kickboxing and two boxing bouts — which will be headlined by the MMA debut of Edmond "The Diamond" Tarverdyan and feature the MMA returns of Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Sako Chivitchian and Roman Mitichyan, as well as fellow local fighters Vito Gasparyan (boxing), Alfred Khashakyan and Ando Janoyan (muay Thai).

"I expect a great show and a lot of great fights," said George Bastrmajyan, who has been the matchmaker, event coordinator and promoter for the card, which takes place under the banner of his Lights Out Promotions. "[The card] means everything to me. I want to see the place packed.

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"It's been a dream of mine to get all of these guys on the same card. These guys are my training partners, my friends."

All nine fights on the card feature Armenian fighters and Bastrmajyan, a former muay Thai fighter, has been a manager, cutman, cornerman or training partner for many of them. Of course on Saturday, he'll simply be the promoter, but it's likely he'll have a rooting interest in most of the fights.

He's known Tarverdyan for nearly 13 years, as the two have helped to build Tarverdyan's Glendale Fighting Club into a well-known training center for fighters in all three sports represented in Saturday's card.

Tarverdyan, a Glendale High graduate who has gained notoriety in recent years training the likes of undefeated boxer Vanes Martirosyan and Strikeforce female MMA champion Ronda Rousey, will fight for the first time in four years. But before he was a world champion muay Thai kickboxer. Now, Phil Nunez (2-2) will be the obstacle in the way of a successful MMA debut for Tarverdyan.

"Everybody says that I'm a natural, I learn quickly," said Tarverdyan, 30, of making the jump from kickboxing to mixed martial arts. "I'm excited."

As for the layoff, Tarverdyan won his last four fights, including three by knockout and retired as the World Boxing Council Muay Thai United States champion during his last run, which came after another lengthy absence from competition of nearly three years.

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