Melsik Baghdasaryan is preparing for the upcoming K-1 World GP on September 18th in Japan.
The Armenian born fighter will be looking to put the Kickboxing world on notice. He has been involved with martial arts since a young age, and has fought internationally since being an amateur. Now training out of the Glendale Fight Club, he has his eyes set on joining other Armenian greats such as Giorgio Petrosyan and Gegard Mousasi. He has enlisted the help of David Huey and Kru Santi Sakkomkai of Muay Thai America Gym in North Hollywood, CA.
We were able to catch up with Melsik to talk about his career and the upcoming K-1 GP.
MTA: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Melsik: I’m 25, born and raised in Armenia. I moved to the United States in 2013 but my family lives in Armenia and I visit home few times a year.
MTA: What’s your background in martial arts?
Melsik: Ever since I was 6, I have had great fascination with martial arts. Karate was my favorite style but I also trained Tai Kwon Do. About 12 years old, I joined Armenian Kickboxing Federation where I received most of my training in kickboxing.
From 2010 to 2012, I served in Armenian National Army, at Armenian Central Sports Club, professional athlete regiment. In 2011, I was among top 10 professional athletes serving in Armenian Army for which I was awarded a Medal of Honor.
As an amateur fighter, I fought in numerous amateur kickboxing tournaments in Europe (Ukraine, Russia, Spain, Armenia) and won number of titles and championships.
Since I moved to the US, I had number of professional fights with world class promotions, like WCK, WLF (2014 Champion), Kunlun Fights and Golden Boy Promotions.
MTA: How would you describe your fighting style?
Melsik: If I were to define my fighting style, I would probably define it as combination of Western kickboxing and certain boxing styles peculiar to the ones existing in former Soviet republics. You know, there are many great fighters from that part of world who rightfully received global recognition in their respective styles.
You know, my home country Armenia is very small, but we also have great world class athletes: Georgio Petrosyan, Gegard Musassi, Arthur Abraham, Gago Drago and etc. I am proud to be in this list.
MTA: Can you give me an example of one such unique style fight by a fighter from that part of world?
Melsik: Of course, Khayal Dzhaniev vs. Buakaw Banchamek. One of the greatest fights in recent years.
MTA: Why did you move to the United States and what is your main gym in the US? Did your style improve after you moved here?
Melsik: I moved to United States in 2013 to pursue a professional career. Of course, my style improved a great deal did because I was honored to train with great fighters and coaches. You know, this is the case when “East meets West” it may produce explosive results, I mean, combination of styles…
Glendale Fighting Club has been my main gym since I moved to US. In GFC, I trained with Travis Brown and Ronda Rousey and my experience at GFC was instrumental in my fighting career. I was very fortunate to have been offered by Freddy Roach to train with Miguel Cotto at Wild Card – I learned great deal from
Freddy and Miguel. Indeed, no matter how much skills or experience you think you have, there is always more you can learn.
MTA: What does fighting at GP K-1 Japan mean for you?
Melsik: Japan has a unique history and fighter culture. I should say, also a unique fan base. When I was a kid, I watched some of Kurosawa movies about samurais – people with fascinating warrior spirit. Becoming champion at K-1 is a dream for any professional kickboxer, no matter what accomplishments he or she already has. So, I’m going to win the tournament and the rematch!
MTA: Who are your trainers?
Melsik: At GFC, Edmond Tarverdyan and Jesse Forbes have been my trainers.
Just few months ago, my good friends introduced me to David Huey and Kru Santi Sakkomkai of Muay Thai America Gym in North Hollywood. They are currently training me for GP K-1. MTAG is a great gym and many great fighters trained here: Mailapet Sasiprapa, Baxter Humby, Victor Saravia and others. I would like to thank MTAG’s coaches and fighters who are preparing me for GP K-1 Japan.
MTA: Your strengths?
Melsik: I am confident in my technic. I also respect all my opponents.
MTA: Your weaknesses?
Melsik: (Laughs) Lack of showmanship.