Interesting story lines will be abundant, fast-paced action is promised to be at every turn and three different variations of combat sports will be showcased Saturday night as "Chaos at the Casino" ascends upon the Hollywood Park Casino at 6 p.m.
Nine fights are set for the night — four mixed-martial-arts, three muay Thai kickboxing and two boxing bouts — which will be headlined by the MMA debut of Edmond "The Diamond" Tarverdyan and feature the MMA returns of Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans Sako Chivitchian and Roman Mitichyan, as well as fellow local fighters Vito Gasparyan (boxing), Alfred Khashakyan and Ando Janoyan (muay Thai).
"I expect a great show and a lot of great fights," said George Bastrmajyan, who has been the matchmaker, event coordinator and promoter for the card, which takes place under the banner of his Lights Out Promotions. "[The card] means everything to me. I want to see the place packed.
"It's been a dream of mine to get all of these guys on the same card. These guys are my training partners, my friends."
All nine fights on the card feature Armenian fighters and Bastrmajyan, a former muay Thai fighter, has been a manager, cutman, cornerman or training partner for many of them. Of course on Saturday, he'll simply be the promoter, but it's likely he'll have a rooting interest in most of the fights.
He's known Tarverdyan for nearly 13 years, as the two have helped to build Tarverdyan's Glendale Fighting Club into a well-known training center for fighters in all three sports represented in Saturday's card.
Tarverdyan, a Glendale High graduate who has gained notoriety in recent years training the likes of undefeated boxer Vanes Martirosyan and Strikeforce female MMA champion Ronda Rousey, will fight for the first time in four years. But before he was a world champion muay Thai kickboxer. Now, Phil Nunez (2-2) will be the obstacle in the way of a successful MMA debut for Tarverdyan.
"Everybody says that I'm a natural, I learn quickly," said Tarverdyan, 30, of making the jump from kickboxing to mixed martial arts. "I'm excited."
As for the layoff, Tarverdyan won his last four fights, including three by knockout and retired as the World Boxing Council Muay Thai United States champion during his last run, which came after another lengthy absence from competition of nearly three years.
Glendale's Chivitchian (5-1) will return to action against Preston Scharf (12-12), who's currently riding a three-fight winning streak. Before that, Scharf was amid a six-fight winless skid that included a decision loss to Mitichyan in June of 2010.
"I'm not gonna take anyone lightly, but the amount of experience I got on "The Ultimate Fighter" show ... I learned a lot and everything is starting to settle in," said Chivitchian, who lost to Kyle Watson at "The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale" on Dec. 4, 2010 via decision in his last bout. "I'm ready to go with everybody and I'm looking to finish."
Chivitchian's layoff he said came with nine months of physical therapy to repair three herniated discs in his neck and was then prolonged by an ACL tear that sidelined him for three months.
"I just fully recovered and I finally got a fight," Chivitchian said. "I'm excited, I want to get back out there and make a comeback."
Mitichyan (11-3), who trains and teaches at GFC as well as SK Golden Boys in Van Nuys and Team Hayastan in Hollywood, is a two-time veteran of the UFC, but has not fought since he beat Scharf via decision in 2010. He'll take on William Sriyapai, who has an extensive muay Thai background. Sriyapai boasts a 12-6 record, but has fought just once — a knockout loss to Martin Grandmont on Oct. 7, 2011 — since June of 2009. The Rancho Cucamonga product, who has fought notables such as Chris Horodecki, Charles Bennett and Rob McCullough, was a regular on the King of the Cage circuit who prefers to stand up and has seen just four of his fights go to decision.
"I know he wants to stand up and knock me out, but I'm gonna take him down and submit him," Mitichyan said. "I think it boils down to his muay Thai against my judo and sambo."
In boxing action, Gasparyan (13-2-5, seven knockouts), a former Glendale resident who now lives in Burbank, continues a night of returns as he fights for the first time since April of last year.
"Right now, I'm willing to fight in somebody's apartment," said Gasparyan, who is riding a two-fight winning streak after an 0-1-1 skid that involved two controversial decisions. "I'm not even thinking about controversial decisions. I won my last two by stoppage and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna stop this guy, too. If not, I'm gonna beat him so bad they're gonna have no chance to rob me."
Gasparyan will take on journeyman Sergio Joel De La Torre (11-16-3, one KO), who's 0-5 in his last fights and 1-10-2 over his last 13.
Glendale muay Thai fighter Khashakyan will take on Victor Joval and Glendale-trained muay Thai fighter Ando Janoyan will face off with Daniel Hwang. The other muay Thai bout of the night will see Sergey Martirosyan take on Boddan Grechka.
In the other boxing bout of the night, MMA fighter Georgi Kharakanyan will make his pro boxing debut against Tatsuro Irie (0-2).
Also in MMA action, Ara Muradyan (2-1) will square off with Octavio Morales (5-5).
For information on tickets, call (310) 918-0999 or visit http://www.teamlightsout.com.