Harut Grigorian is one of the rising stars of the welterweight division. His incredibly aggressive fighting style and “do-or-die” mentality has made him popular with fans and at the same time carried him to a top five position in the rankings, within touching distance of that all-important title shot.
“I fight this way because it's better for the audience who are spending their money to watch me. They want to see fights where two guys go to war, not dance around each other playing for points,” he explains.
“That's what I want to see when I watch a fight: two guys giving everything they have, power in everything they throw, trying to knock each other out. Total war, that's what a good fight looks like.”
At next week's GLORY 39 BRUSSELS he was originally set to face Karim Benmansour, but the French karate stylist was forced to pull out with an injury. Instead he will face Slovakian newcomer Pavol Garaj.
“I was supposed to face Benmansour but he pulled out. It's disappointing because I wanted to fight him, he's #3 in the rankings so a win would have moved me up there. But it is what it is. My mission is still to go out there and knock this guy out,” says Grigorian.
His eyes are firmly on the overall prize, the golden title belt which currently adorns the waist of Cedric Doumbé. Former owner Nieky Holzken lost it to Doumbé at GLORY COLLISION in December and now Doumbé will make his first defense of it on next week's card.
Doumbé faces Yoann Kongolo, a fighter he is 0-2 against. The winner of the Doumbé/Kongolo fight will be a popular man: Murthel Groenhart has called for the winner and so has Holzken. Now Grigorian has added his name to the list.
“I think that's really a 50-50 fight. Kongolo has got really good conditioning and he is stronger but Doumbé is clever and he moves a lot. Either way I don't care, I just want to fight the winner,” says Grigorian.
“The strongest guy in the division right now is me. Apart from me? I think it's Nieky Holzken. I like how he fights. He is smart and he has a good style – but I will beat him if we fight.”
But first things first: the fight at GLORY 39 BRUSSELS next week. It's a special moment for Grigorian. He is Armenian by birth but his family relocated to Belgium when he was ten years old – 17 years ago – and so this fight is on home soil for him.
It is only GLORY's second visit to Brussels and Grigorian says he will have “my whole family there and all my friends” to see him perform. He's looking forward to the extra boost that it will give him when he's in the ring.
“It makes me want to prove myself. I am in my home country and in front of my home fans. It's not that it makes for extra pressure or anything, only that it makes me even more determined to prove myself!” he says.
GLORY 39 BRUSSELS takes place Saturday, March 25 at the Vorst National Arena in Brussels, Belgium.
Harut Grigorian fights on the GLORY 39 SUPERFIGHT SERIES section of the card, which airs live worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS and features lightweight champion Sitthichai defending his title against Dylan Salvador in what is also their rubber match.
Tickets are on sale now at Sherpa.be