Parisyan: “The Heat” Burns for Lost Chance

By Mike Sloan Aug 16, 2006
You all know that old cliché, the one you’ve not only heard a thousand times but also said it as much yourself: good things come to those who wait. Most of the time that crummy shibboleth is nothing more than mere smoke up one’s rear end.

But in the case of welterweight contender Karo Parisyan (Pictures), that sort of drivel might actually be his fate … it might actually come true.

Parisyan is scheduled to face mixed martial arts sensation Diego Sanchez (Pictures) Thursday in the main event of the UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas, which will be aired live on the popular Spike TV network.

Much more is at stake than just a simple victory. The winner of the bout will be deemed the number-one contender to welterweight monarch Matt Hughes (Pictures)’ title, a position Parisyan covets more than a good night’s sleep.

Parisyan, as most already know, was supposed to lock horns with Hughes last November on the UFC 56 card, but “The Heat” suffered an injury to his quadriceps during training and had to withdraw from the card.

Since then, Parisyan had to fully recover and resume his fighting career at a rung much lower than he had liked. He toppled Nick Thompson (Pictures) on the UFC 59 card and has been patiently awaiting an opportunity to once again be matched with Hughes.

“It was tough, to be honest with you,” Parisyan told Sherdog.com. “It was very frustrating for me to have the fight with Matt Hughes (Pictures) right there and then to get injured in training. It was so frustrating for me because I knew that was a chance of a lifetime that got past me because I got hurt. I had a hard time accepting it at first, but then I realized that everybody has to overcome some sort of obstacles in life and it could have been worse. I then focused on fixing my injury and then starting over, basically. I guess everything happens for a reason because I am even more focused now than before.”

Parisyan knew that in order to become UFC champion, the road ahead would never be easy. All sorts of forks and obstacles could jump out at you at any time. But true champions overcome adversity and Karo realized that.

Now, after due time and much resignation, the Armenian-American is close yet again to a chance of a lifetime.

First he has to get past the highly touted Sanchez.

“I know Diego is a very good fighter,” Parisyan said of his foe. “He’s a good guy, too. He never did anything to me and he seems to be very respectful. I know he is focused and he is a very spiritual person, which is good. I am prepared for him and I know that he isn’t a perfect fighter. I know he has some weakness that I would like to (exploit), but I won’t reveal them to you for obvious reasons. It’ll be a good fight, a fight that will be very tough, but I am confident that I will beat him.”

The fight itself should be a memorable one. It’s arguably the best main event the UFC has scrounged together for their successful Spike shows since Sanchez fought Nick Diaz (Pictures).

Both Karo and Diego are gifted fighters and either can end a battle within mere seconds, usually via some sort of submission. Yet, there’s a chance the outcome will rest upon Parisyan’s judo-infused MMA or Sanchez’ lethal ground-and-pound.

“I am very confident that my style will be better than Diego’s,” Parisyan said. “Like I said before, I know that he has a few weaknesses and my plan is to use them to my advantage and win the fight.”

Throughout a UFC career that has seen Parisyan go 5-1, the Los Angeles-based welterweight has fought primarily on star-studded pay-per-view cards. With the likelihood that millions of viewers would tune in to watch Parisyan and Sanchez duke it out — as opposed to the few hundred thousand who drop coinage for the pay-per-views — Karo is stoked.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to fight live on the Spike TV network,” he gleefully admitted.

“There will be so many more people watching my fight this time, many more than usual for me,” Karo continued. “It’s a big challenge and there is a lot of pressure on not just me but Diego as well. I know that I have to not only win, but I have to look exciting so the fans want to see me. Hopefully I don’t mess up.”

Like they say in MMA: it’s not always if you win but how you look that matters most.

“Oh yes, I understand that thought very much so,” Parisyan said. “For me personally I would much rather prefer not to lose because I don’t like to lose. Who does? So, of course, most important to me, personally, is to just win. But from a business standpoint, I know that I have to look awesome out there. I know that even if I lose a fight but the fans go crazy over my fight that I’ll be back. I understand that so it’s kind of a win-win situation. I think I am exciting fighter and I win, so hopefully Diego and I can put on a great show for the fans and hopefully I can come out on top.”

If he does, Sanchez will have won an elimination bout to name the next challenger to the UFC welterweight crown.

“I know that I am guaranteed a title shot if I beat Diego,” Parisyan said with intensity. “I know that regardless of what happens, as long as I win, that I will be next to fight Matt Hughes (Pictures). Well, maybe it will be Georges St. Pierre (Pictures) because he is fighting Matt next. But all I know is that I will be the No. 1 contender.

“There is so much pressure on me, not only because it’s on Spike in front of millions of fans but also because my destiny lays with this fight. I have waited so long, got injured and I know I can’t blow it.”

Come Thursday night, the MMA world will see if good things truly do come to those who wait.
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