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Coach: "Harut is one of the top guys in the welterweight division"

Published on Mar 15, 2017
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Harut Grigorian (43-10, 32 KO's) is ready to emerge as the welterweight division's next contender, according to his coach Nick Hemmers.

Hemmers, brother of the late kickboxing icon Ramon Dekkers, is the head coach at the eponymous Hemmers Gym in Breda, Netherlands, where his stable includes Harut and Marat Grigorian (no relation to each other), Filip Verlinden, Errol Zimmerman and Jamal Ben Saddik.

Both of the Grigorians are known for a hard fighting style but Harut is particularly notable for an uncompromisingly aggressive approach. A lot of fighters talk about going in there looking for a knockout; Harut talks with his hands.

He's now ranked #5 at welterweight and was supposed to face the #3-ranked Karim Benmansour next week at GLORY 39 BRUSSELS. A win would have moved him up the rankings and into title contention. But Benmansour pulled out with an injury and now Grigorian faces unranked newcomer Pavol Garaj of Slovakia.

“We wanted Benmansour because he is higher in the rankings but honestly we are ready for anyone, everyone. Harut is one of the top five guys in the division, the others being Nieky Holzken, Cedric Doumbé, Yoann Kongolo, Murthel Groenhart,” says Hemmers.

“The welterweight division is really interesting with those five at the top. Four of them are what I would call real heavy-handed warriors, everything is thrown to hurt you, and then with Doumbé, he is more tricky.”

Doumbé has a target on his back because he is the champion, having taken the belt from Nieky Holzken at GLORY COLLISION in December, but when Hemmers is pressed to pick one fighter who he sees as the best in the division, he cites Holzken.

“It's interesting because I think all five of them could fight each other five times and get five different results, you know? It depends who has his day. But if I had to pick one who is the best overall right now, aside from Harut, I would say Holzken, he has proved the most,” he says.

“I know him well, I sparred with him a long time. I would prefer not to fight him with one of my guys because I like him and I know him well, but if we have to, we have to, that's part of our game. To be the best you must beat the best.

“In soccer you play with a ball, in our sport we hit each other on the nose.”

Doumbé is headlining the GLORY 39 BRUSSELS card next week, making his first defense of the welterweight title. His opponent will is Kongolo, who has won both of their previous encounters, one of which was under the GLORY banner. Despite the 2-0 imbalance, Hemmers thinks this third fight could go either way.

“I think it's a pretty even fight. Kongolo has two wins over Doumbé from before but I think that the Doumbé of then was not the same as the Doumbé of now. It's an open fight. And I don't care who wins, I just want to see Harut fight the champion!” he says.

GLORY 39 BRUSSELS takes place Saturday, March 25 at the Vorst National Arena in Brussels, Belgium.

Harut Grigorian fights on the GLORY 39 SUPERFIGHT SERIES section of the card, which airs live worldwide on UFC FIGHT PASS and features lightweight champion Sitthichai defending his title against Dylan Salvador in what is also their rubber match.

Tickets are on sale now at Sherpa.be


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