(Karo connects with Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94. Courtesy of Zuffa, LLC)
Parisyan withdrew from UFC 106 on Nov. 19 and according to UFC president Dana White, will never fight for the organization again.
by FIGHT! contributor Jon Lane
“The Heat” is fading and he’s not in denial about it. It’s impossible for Karo Parisyan to ignore his battle with panic attacks, the backlash over testing positive for painkillers and that prosaic 3-2 (1 NC) record since August 17, 2006.
“The past two years I’ve been doing crappy,” Parisyan said before his UFC 106 showdown with Dustin Hazelett. “Instead of me excelling, getting to the top and becoming a world champion, I’m actually on the verge of going down. It’s time to wake up a little bit.”
Parisyan last fought in January when he defeated Dong Hyun Kim in a controversial split decision that was overturned and ruled a no contest after the positive test for medications he said were needed to treat severe back and hamstring injuries. And those panic attacks nearly forced him to pull out of UFC Fight Night 13 before Thiago Alves finished him with strikes in round two.
These days Parisyan believes he’s in a better place emotionally. That doesn’t mean the battles for inner peace are over. Far from it.
“There’s always something going on in my life, man – crazy,” Parisyan said. “When world peace goes 100 percent, that’s when my life will settle. You just have to learn to deal with it.”
Here’s what Parisyan can’t deal with: His record stands at 18-5, three losses coming to Alves, Georges St. Pierre and Diego Sanchez. He’s walked the streets of North Hollywood and had people tell him what they’ve read over the Internet: The haters claim he’s finished and yearn to see him be put to sleep.
Medical conditions Parisyan can handle. But talk shit behind his back and he’s ready to blow.
“One of the reasons why I want to succeed – not just for myself and my family – is for everybody who wants me to lose,” Parisyan said. “Every second that I slip and fall they get happy. I want those people to feel like, ‘In your face.’ The next thing you know, they see you at a fight and are like ‘Can I have your autograph, Karo? Can I take a picture of you?’
“I don’t like these people who have two faces, man. I have so much anger built up the last year-and-a-half, two years, with the commission and everything going around [me]. I have to do what I have to do.”
That meant going back to the very beginning, studying his judo roots developed under the Hayastan Grappling System and viewing wins over Matt Serra and Chris Lytle. A victory over Hazelett vaults Parisyan back into the title picture. Even if he loses, his desire just to look good and have fans feel good about him again – while shutting up some others along the way – burns deep.
“God forbid I get hit by lightning and I lose my fight to Dustin Hazelett, I still want to come out there and show an impressive showing, and fight the way I used to fight: Balls out. A-to-Z. One hundred miles an hour trying to kick his butt, submit him, etc.,” Parisyan said.
“Even if somehow I lose, I still want people to say, ‘he gave a good performance and was better than his last fight,’” Parisyan said. “’He came out there and he fought like he used to fight, so we’re proud of him.’”