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UFC featherweight Melsik Baghdasaryan poses for a photo in the UFC APEX. (Photo by Ralston Miller / Zuffa LLC)
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Melsik Baghdasaryan: ‘I Don’t Care Who’s In Front Of Me’

Featherweight Melsik Baghdasaryan Is Hyper-Focused On Getting Back In The Win Column Against Tucker Lutz At UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Bueno Silva

Making a splash on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, Melsik Baghdasaryan arrived to the UFC in style, winning his debut with a Performance of the Night-earning head kick knockout against Collin Anglin.

Baghdasaryan extended his win streak to seven later in 2021, defeating Bruno Souza at UFC 268. Injuries sidelined “The Gun” until 2023, when Baghdasaryan entered enemy territory in Perth to face Australian Josh Culibao in Perth at UFC 284: Makhachev vs Volkanovski.

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Baghdasaryan’s stretch of misfortunes continued that night after Culibao handed “The Gun” his first loss since his pro debut in 2014. After the first five minutes, Baghdasaryan felt in control and won the first round on all three judges’ scorecards. During that round, however, Baghdasaryan lost focus, which he believes inevitably led to his downfall in the second round.

Towards the end of the first round, Baghdasaryan landed an illegal groin strike, forcing a pause in the action and allowing Culibao the chance to recover before continuing the fight. Despite apologizing and showing respect for the apparent mistake, Baghdasaryan believed he made contact with the abdomen and that Culibao was looking for a way out of the fight. Baghdasaryan’s disapproval of the stoppage, paired with the overwhelming displeasure and booing from the crowd, caused “The Gun” to lose focus and want to recklessly finish the fight as quickly as possible.

Melsik Baghdasaryan poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
Melsik Baghdasaryan poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

“I was doing good but, in the waiting, something happened,” Baghdasaryan said referring to the timeout. “I should’ve broken his chin during that waiting time. I was thinking, ‘I don’t give a f*** about the fight, I should just break his chin,’ because I don’t care if I’m in Australia or somewhere, you have to show respect.

“If you respect me, I’ll give you 10 times [the amount of] respect back. But if you are talking some s*** or saying something, that’s when I say I don’t give a f***. They’re all haters sitting at the house. They haven’t done something in their life, and they’re waiting for you to lose or fail, or to throw something on you. If you’re smart or understand the fight game, you’ll never talk s*** about someone.”

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In the second round, Baghdasaryan slipped after throwing a leg kick, and on his way up from the mat, Culibao jumped on his back and sunk in a rear naked choke, forcing the tap. Despite the result, Baghdasaryan continued training as he always has, evolving his grappling game while maintaining his elite kickboxing skills.

“It gives me a lot of things to think about,” Baghdasaryan said of his first loss in the Octagon. “Sometimes, some bad things happen to restart everything new. That just happened, I don’t care about that. My mind and body, everything’s the same. We did the same good training as always.

Melsik Baghdasaryan Gets A Head Kick TKO Win In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Strickland
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Melsik Baghdasaryan Gets A Head Kick TKO Win In His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hall vs Strickland
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“Melsik is the same always. I never change with the weather; I never change with anything. I always train hard. I need, of course, a lot of adjustments on my ground game, wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Since I’m a striker, I don’t care who’s in front of me, but I need adjustments with grappling and jiu-jitsu, which we do. We’re improving and we’re moving froward.”

Whether it’s during competition or months of vigorous training, Baghdasaryan relies heavily on his independent nature, and feels that he doesn’t need any external motivation to help him pursue his goal. In 2022, however, Baghdasaryan’s daughter Malena was born, providing “The Gun” with daily love and support to enhance his drive to become a UFC champion.

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“Just talking about my daughter makes me want to cry,” Baghdasaryan said. “She’s given me so many good things. I swear, even when I’m at home talking about my daughter with my wife I start to cry. She’s so cute and she pushes me to do this.”

As confident and happy as ever, Baghdasaryan returns to the Octagon this Saturday to challenge Tucker Lutz at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Bueno Silva. Despite Lutz having two fights on Dana White’s Contender Series and three fights in the UFC, all in the last four years, Baghdasaryan claims he doesn’t know who Lutz is and is prepared to adjust to whatever style of fight Lutz brings to the Octagon.

“To be honest with you, with all of my opponents, I don’t watch or see any of his fights,” Baghdasaryan said. “I just see his face; I don’t even know his name. Tucker or something. I swear I’m ready to go wherever; what the f*** are they going to do? In my mind, it’s not disrespect. In my mind, I know who I am, I know what I have to do, so whatever they do, I will handle.”

UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Bueno Silva took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!