09 December 2013, 22:06
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Georgi Karakhanyan wins first ever WSOF featherweight title

With a nine-fight winning streak to his credit, Georgi Karakhanyan (23-3-1) is the World Series of Fighting's first-ever featherweight champion.

Karakhanyan earned the belt with a slick, third-round submission of previously undefeated contender Lance Palmer (7-1) in the main event of Saturday's "World Series of Fighting 7: Karakhanyan vs. Palmer" event, which took place at PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The night's main card aired on NBCSN.

Karakhanyan came out looking to strike, firing off high kicks from range. He also showed some impressive early takedown defense. As Palmer settled in to strike, he reached out with a right hand that saw his open fingers scrape Karakhanyan's left eye. During the timeout, Karakhanyan repeatedly blinked and wiped the eye but ultimately elected to continue.

Palmer was busier on the restart, kicking the legs and mixing up his striking attacks. But Karakhanyan was happy to answer back, nearly scoring an incredible spinning high kick in the closing moments of the round.

In the second, it was Karakhanyan who accidentally poked his opponent's eye, though the stoppage was much shorter in duration. Palmer scored a takedown shortly after, but Karakhanyan was quick to nearly turn it into an armbar before eventually getting himself back to the feet. Palmer stayed with the strategy, bringing the fight again to the canvas, where he finished the frame, though Karakhanyan was active underneath.

Palmer kept his pace high in the third, and he was able to match his opponent in the striking department. Midway through the round, he pushed an off-balance Karakhanyan to the floor and moved to his opponent's back. Karakhanyan defended well and eventually turned into the hold. Then, in an impressive transition, he wrapped his arm around the neck and locked in a guillotine choke attempt, rolling over again to squeeze the hold and earn the tap with 20 seconds remaining in the round.

"Lance Palmer is a great fighter," Karakhanyan said after the win. "He comes from a good wrestling background. My coach, Romie Aram told me to keep it standing and pick him apart, but Lance was trying to drag me down. It was a very tough fight, but if I put that guillotine on you, I don't care who you are, you're tapping."

In the night's co-feature, Jesse Taylor (27-9) was dominant in a three-round decision win over Elvis Mutapcic (13-3) and will now face David Branch for World Series of Fighting's inaugural middleweight title.

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