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Ronda Rousey, Art Hovhannisyan lead Glendale Fighting Club into main-event week

Edmond Tarverdyan leads fighters into monumental main events in coming week.

February 16, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • UFC Champion Ronda Rousey gets her hands wrapped by her trainer Edmond Tarverdyan before a training session at the Glendale Fighting Club.
UFC Champion Ronda Rousey gets her hands wrapped by her… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

GLENDALE — On a sunny, sleepy Saturday morning, all looks calm outside the Glendale Fighting Club.

But a closer look inside the windowed walls of the Brand Blvd. training center reveals a bustling gym housing a pair of fighters putting in the final preparations for what are arguably the most monumental bouts in their burgeoning careers.

Taking center stage is Ronda Rousey, the first-ever and newly crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight champion. Rousey, an undefeated phenom inside the cage and fast-rising superstar outside of it, will headline Saturday’s UFC 157 “Rousey vs. Carmouche” pay-per-view on Saturday at the Honda Center in Anaheim in the organization’s first-ever women’s bout.

Just a night earlier live on Showtime’s “Shobox” series, Art “Lionheart” Hovhannisyan will challenge Alejandro Perez in the main event for the interim North American Boxing Assn. super featherweight interim title.

Indeed, these are busy days at the Glendale Fighting Club, as media and fan attention is at a high and, at the center of it all, trainer Edmond Tarverdyan is steadfast in his preparation for his charge’s title fights — and what will be the two biggest nights thus far for the corner gym.

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“What I love to do is panning out,” Tarverdyan said. “I’m happy with what’s happening.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Friday and Saturday’s big nights could’ve actually been bigger for the GFC. Originally, UFC featherweight Manny Gamburyan was scheduled to fight Chad Mendes on the pay-per-view undercard of Rousey’s bout, but Gamburyan suffered fractures in his elbow and thumb and was forced to pull out of his fight. On the “Shobox” undercard, GFC boxer Gapo Tolmajyan was also a possibility to fight, but it “just didn’t happen,” said George Bastmajyan, Hovhannisyan and Tolmajyan’s manager.

“Funny thing is we were gonna have two [fights] on each card,” Bastmajyan said. “I think there’s a little less pressure now.”

Still, the buzz and the frenzy at the GFC has hardly subsided.

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