Georgi Karakhanyan Steps In Against Saul Rogers at Bellator 266

By: Jay Pettry
Sep 9, 2021

A longtime Bellator MMA vet will try to avoid a dubious record in his next appearance.

On Monday, Georgi Karakhanyan (31-11-1, 1 NC) announced that he would joining Bellator 266 as the replacement fighter against Saul Rogers (14-4). Karakhanyan will be replacing an injured Adam Piccolotti. The organization confirmed this new matchup on its official site.

The Russian-born Armenian Karakhanyan relocated to lightweight in early 2020, and it has largely worked in his favor, winning three with a lone defeat a split decision setback against Myles Jury. “Insane Georgi” does hold the second-most defeats in company history with nine, and he and Derek Campos both trail the recordholder of Saad Awad with 10. A win for the 18-fight Bellator vet would lift his record with the company over .500.

Rogers, a highly acclaimed prospect that surged through his season of “The Ultimate Fighter” only to be forced out of the finale with visa issues, has alternated wins and losses since making his Bellator debut in 2019. A decision win over Aiden Lee was followed by a decision loss to Daniel Weichel, while a rear-naked choke of Arbi Mezhidov saw a subsequent rear-naked choke loss to Mads Burnell occur for the Brit. “Tha Hangman” posts a majority of his wins by submission, but all of his stoppage defeats have also come by sub.

Additionally, the promotion has added a pair of preliminary contests between MMA newcomers. Both fights will take place a bantamweight, as Robert Seronio III (0-0) faces Erin Hunter (0-0), while Socrates Hernandez (0-0) comes to blows with Pedro Juarez (0-0). The bouts are currently the first two on the 10-fight lineup.

Bellator 266 will be held at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. on Sept. 18. Light heavyweights will lead the bill when Yoel Romero squares off against Phil Davis in a three-round affair. Serving as the co-main event is a welterweight scrap putting Neiman Gracie against Mark Lemminger. The other currently slated main card billing sees Alejandra Lara take on DeAnna Bennett at flyweight.

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