Melsik Baghdasaryan: Knocking out Josh Culibao at UFC 284 will make Australian fans cheer for me

Melsik Baghdasaryan plans on winning the crowd over at UFC 284.

Baghdasaryan (7-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) meets Josh Culibao (10-1-1 MMA, 2-1-1 UFC) on Saturday’s prelims at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

Baghdasaryan is heading into enemy territory when he squares off with Australia’s Culibao, but he’s confident that he’ll earn the fans’ cheers after he gets his hand raised.

“The guy is Australian, which is normal if they say ‘boo’ or something,” Baghdasaryan told MMA Junkie on Tuesday (Wednesday locally). “But I don’t care what they say. We’re going to the ring, and we have to fight. They say ‘boo’ or they say ‘bravo,’ it doesn’t matter.”

He continued, “If you knock the guy out, no one is gonna say ‘boo.’ They’re gonna clap for you.”

Baghdasaryan, who hasn’t competed since a decision win over Bruno Silva in November 2021, was forced to withdraw from two fights in 2022 due to injuries. He hopes to make up for lost time in 2023.

“This year I’m planning to fight a couple of fights as soon as possible,” Baghdasaryan said. “So I can jump a little bit because of that one-year break. So I need to fight as soon as possible to jump, going forward with long steps.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 284.


UFC 284: Make your predictions for Makhachev-Volkanovski, Rodriguez-Emmett

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie