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'Diamond' shines bright

May 06, 2012|By Grant Gordon

INGLEWOOD – In a split second, Edmond “The Diamond” Tarverdyan delivered devastation and announced his presence to the mixed-martial-arts world with authority.

A former champion muay Thai kickboxer who has made his name as a trainer and proprietor of the Glendale Fighting Club navigating the striking careers of prominent MMA fighters and boxers, Tarverdyan used a fortuitous knee to knock out Phil Nunez in the first round of the “Chaos at the Casino” main event Saturday night at the Hollywood Park and Casino in the first round of the former’s MMA debut.

“I just wanted to be patient, sucker him into a shot,” said Tarverdyan, who delivered a fight-ending knee to Nunez at the 2:18 mark of his first MMA bout.

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Tarverdyan’s triumph was one of a cavalcade for local fighters on the night, as Roman Mitichyan, Sako Chivitchian, Vito Gasparyan and Alfred Khashakyan thrilled the partisan crowd with victories.

“[I was] confident, but not underestimating,” said Mitichyan, whose MMA bout against William Sriyapai ended the card and was billed as the featured event, concluding in just 52 seconds as the Glendale resident coaxed a tapout via straight leg lock.

Chivitchian, fighting for the first time since an Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in December of 2010 was followed by significant neck and knee injuries, earned a hard-fought split decision over Preston Scharf.

Gasparyan, a former Glendale resident who currently lives in Burbank, also made a return to boxing after a lengthy layoff and easily dispatched the overmatched Sergio De La Torre with a second-round knockout.

Glendale’s Khashakyan, reportedly competing in his final amateur muay Thai bout before turning professional, ended opponent Victor Joval’s night with a second-round stoppage, as well.

Restless after a lengthy intermission followed by myriad in-ring speeches, the heavily Armenian crowd was revved and ready for Tarverdyan from the moment “Eye of the Tiger” accompanied him to the ring. The crowd chanted “Ed-Mund” throughout much of the bout, and following the sudden and spectacular KO, it euphorically erupted. Tarverdyan turned to the crowd, raised both arms to briefly quiet them before landing a mid-ring back flip that sent the fans into a delirium once again.

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