Melsik Baghdasaryan Explains How Artsakh War Delayed The Start Of His UFC Career

Melsik Baghdasaryan grabbed the MMA world’s attention on Saturday night with an amazing head-kick knockout win against Collin Anglin. The second-round stoppage earned the Armenian a “performance of the night” bonus of $50,000 in his UFC debut.

But the 29-year-old’s arrival in the UFC should’ve happened months ago. The featherweight fighter earned a contract to fight in the promotion last September with a unanimous decision victory in Dana White’s Contender Series, but he declined the invitation to fight in mixed-martial arts’ biggest stage at the time because of the war in Artsakh.

“That time, you know, our nation was in the war,” Baghdasaryan told reporters following his victory. “Everything looked like something happened to your family. We are Armenians. It doesn’t matter if something happened to any Armenian, we take it personally. That time, we didn’t even train. Not sleeping, every time looking, calling Armenia to see what’s happening. That was very bad times. We can’t even eat and walk or go somewhere because we were in like — I don’t know, I swear I don’t want to repeat that phase again.”

With Armenia recovering from the dark days of the war, Baghdasaryan took his time to prepare for his UFC debut throughout 2021 and he clearly showed in his debut that he’s ready for the grand stage.

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