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Melsik Baghdasaryan of Armenia reacts after his TKO victory over Collin Anglin in a featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on July 31 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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Melsik Baghdasaryan Is Here To Impress

After An Excellent UFC Debut, Melsik Baghdasaryan Is Excited For The Chance To Build On His Success At UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2

When Melsik Baghdasaryan stepped into the cage for his first mixed martial arts fight on April 12, 2014, he didn’t even want to compete in MMA.

His opponent, Jay Bogan, was known as a talented wrestler, in addition to being skilled in jiu-jitsu. On the other hand, Baghdasaryan came into the fight with a 9-2 professional record in kickboxing, the area he felt most comfortable in.

The 29-year-old was submitted by Bogan via armbar 1:26 into the first round.

Following the fight, he took a five-year hiatus from the sport. Now, he has a greater love for all aspects of MMA.

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“I didn’t know anything about wrestling or jiu-jitsu,” Baghdasaryan told UFC.com. “I did kickboxing when I was a kid; all my life I did that. Striking is mine, but at that time I hated wrestling and jiu-jitsu because I couldn’t do it. If you’re a good fighter, you can do something that is bothering you. But now I love wrestling and jiu-jitsu.”

Baghdasaryan made his UFC debut back in July and to say it was an impressive performance would be an understatement. The second-round head kick victory over Collin Anglin left Baghdasaryan with his first victory in the UFC, as well as his first Performance of the Night bonus.

When Baghdasaryan left the Octagon, he thought his performance was just “okay.” But hearing what everyone was saying and earning the bonus solidified that he had a great UFC debut.

“Everything went as I expected it to and that just happened,” Baghdasaryan said. “That left kick always happens, so that’s why it is good for me.”

Melsik Baghdasaryan Gets A Head Kick TKO Win In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Strickland
Melsik Baghdasaryan Gets A Head Kick TKO Win In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Strickland
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His second fight at UFC 268 will take place in one of the world’s most famous arenas —Madison Square Garden.

“That’s an honor for me,” Baghdasaryan said. “I’m so happy for that. For fighting, the fight is the fight. It doesn’t matter, I don’t care where it is. But second time in Madison Square Garden is a big deal, for sure.”

MORE UFC 268: Fighters On The Rise | Fight By Fight Preview

Baghdasaryan’s viewpoint on where the fight takes place is the same for his opponent: he doesn’t care who it is against. In fact, his coaches are the ones who check out his opponent’s previous fights. The routine is the same for this weekend.

“I haven’t seen his fights. I’ll handle wherever,” Baghdasaryan said.

Melsik Baghdasaryan battles Dennis Buzukja in a featherweight bout during week five of Dana White's Contender Series season four at UFC APEX on September 01, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa LLC)
Melsik Baghdasaryan battles Dennis Buzukja in a featherweight bout during week five of Dana White's Contender Series season four at UFC APEX on September 01, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC/Zuffa LLC)

This time around, “The Gun” had a late opponent change and will be taking on Bruno Souza. Souza is the LFA featherweight champion and has stepped in on short notice. The 25-year-old fell in his debut in 2016 and has earned 10 straight victories since then.

Baghdasaryan, a Dana White’s Contender Series alum, has secured six straight victories since making his return to the cage in 2019. During that time, he only went to the judges’ scorecards once. The other five victories have come by knockout.

View Baghdasaryan's Athlete Profile

Baghdasaryan showed in his UFC debut that he knows how to put on a show and there’s no doubt that he can do it again Saturday night in New York City.

“I think my fight style is what you see from the side, wherever it happens, it’s good,” Baghdasaryan said. "Sometimes I’m thinking that my fight is not that good and then after the fight people tell me from the side that I am amazing. Wherever it is happening when I am fighting it is good and it is looking good.”

UFC 268 FREE FIGHTS:  Namajunas vs Zhang 1 | Gaethje vs Johnson | Zhang vs Jędrzejczyk | Chandler vs Hooker | Covington vs Woodley |  Usman vs Covington 1

His plans haven’t changed for what he believes his future in the UFC looks like. Earlier this year, Baghdasaryan made it clear that he’ll have the featherweight title in two or three years. When asked what his hopes are for the next year or two of his career, his response is simple.

“Couple years until that belt and then we’ll see,” he said.

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Don't miss a single strike of UFC 268: Usman vs Covington 2, live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on ESPN+ on November 6, 2021. Prelims begin at 6pm ET/3pm PT, main card starts at 10pm ET/7pm PT.