A first-round eye poke nearly prevented Georgi Karakhanyan from competing in a fight that would eventually crown him World Series of Fighting’s inaugural featherweight champion.
Karakhanyan (23-3-1) suffered an ugly poke to the eye from Lance Palmer (7-1) in the main event of their WSOF 7 showdown Saturday in Vancouver. The poke was so nasty the fighter was close to accepting he could no longer go to battle.
“I was really close to saying I couldn’t continue,” Karakhanyan told MMAjunkie. “I didn’t even start to see clear until the beginning of the third round.”
While the thought of taking himself out of the fight briefly crossed Karakhanyan’s mind, he ultimately continued despite his impaired vision.
The decision to not give up proved to be a wise one for the 28-year-old as he rallied back from the scary moment to submit Palmer in the third round and take home the 145-pound belt.
“I’m really happy with my performance,” Karakhanyan said. “My fight was going into deep waters, and it was all about the heart and the mental – how tough I could stay. I felt I could find the finish. I knew I could get the finish and I’m extremely happy I did it.”