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Burbank-trained Jared Papazian falters at Valley Invasion 3

Fighting: Gracie Barra fighter is submitted in first-round defeat to Brandon Bender.

May 11, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Mixed Martial arts fighter Jared Papazian, 24, at Gracie Barra Gym in Burbank on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Papazian will fight in Florida June 8.
Mixed Martial arts fighter Jared Papazian, 24, at Gracie… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

WOODLAND HILLS – Clamoring for the toughest competition he could find in his hopeful journey back into the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian found a worthy foe in Brandon “The No. 1 Contender” Bender.

On Saturday night at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, Papazian’s trip back to the big stage took a hit, as he was submitted in the first round by Bender in the main event of the National Fight Alliance MMA’s Valley Invasion 3.

Papazian, one of four fighters who train at Burbank Gracie Barra who competed on the card, was submitted via rear-naked choke in 2:01 of the opening round of the featherweight tilt.

It started out tentatively, with Papazian (15-10) throwing more strikes, while Bender (11-0) was seemingly waiting for his time to shoot for a takedown. It came after Papazian, a three-fight UFC veteran, landed a solid leg kick.

Bender shot in, Papazian defended at first, but Bender frantically went for his opponent’s back, jumped up and then wrestled Papazian down and worked in the hooks and then the choke. Papazian resisted, but eventually tapped at the 2:01 mark.

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It was the 10th victory for Bender via submission and, subsequently, Papazian’s sixth submission loss.

On the night, Gracie Barra Burbank fighters, trained and cornered by Glendale’s Alberto Crane, went 2-2.

Drawing one of the loudest ovations of the night was for Robert “Strictly Business” Gleckman, as the Burbank Gracie Barra product made his professional debut at 49 years young.

Gleckman wasted little time in giving his vocal fan base something to cheer about as he worked a rear-naked choke for a first-round submission of Jeremy Ramage at the 2:16 mark of the opening round.

Gleckman wasted no time, pressing the action and landing a big left hook and an uppercut to stagger Ramage (1-5).

A barrage followed and Ramage went to the ground, as Gleckman, a jiu-jitsu practioner, flashed his striking skills. Gleckman pounded away on the ground, first from side guard, then from full guard and finally was able to roll and work for a rear-naked choke, where he coaxed the tapout.

Former football player Damien Marzett made his second foray into the cage and earned a hard-fought three-round unanimous decision over Miguel Cosio. Scores were not announced.

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