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Interviewed by Karisa Winett The Clinch Report

Contributions by Jonathan King and John Walsh

The fire of competition is built on years of training, and is fueled by many motivations. For many fighters, these motivations change. They become infected with injury, or influenced by family and friends. Often the pure love of competition is lost in the search for a paycheck, or for recognition. Talent alone is not enough to counter life’s heavy hands, but it does serve for a starting point, should the fire begin to burn again. For Karo ‘The Heat’ Parisyan, the furnace is once again stoked, fueled, and ‘The Heat’ is back on!

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At one time, Karo Parisyan was one of the most talented fighters on the UFC roster. His judo pedigree coupled with his brazilian jujitsu back-round made him one of the deadliest ground fighters in the game. With notable wins over Josh Thompson, Nick Diaz, Matt Serra, and Chris Lytle, Parisyan earned himself a shot for the #1 contender position against Diego Sanchez. Although losing the fight via decision in a back and forth affair, Parisyan solidified his reputation as the fight earned a Fight of the Year nod.

Everything seemed to be going great, but then slowly the fire began to go out. Injuries mounted, that led to poor performances and an addiction pain killers arose in attempt to keep himself fighting. After being cut from the UFC, Parisyan continued fighting injured, and soon found himself a memory in terms of relevance in the MMA world.

Then in 2012 Parisyan began the slow process of rebuilding the fire that once fueled him. Slowly under the watchful eye of Team Hayastan leader Gokor Chivichyan, ‘The Heat’ began feeling healthy again, and with two wins in less than two months, he appeared to be in great form.

With the return to form, Parisyan was able to secure a deal with Bellator. His first fight however, would not be a tune up, he would be fighting former Judo rival Rick Hawn at Bellator 95 April 4th at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City New Jersey. The fight will air live on Spike TV. Hawn, is returning to the 170 lbs division after his loss to Michael Chandler in a 155 lbs title fight. Although the two have never fought in MMA before, they have competed against each other in Judo, and have built quite a rivalry.

“I don’t like Rick Hawn” Parisyan said. “He has said alot of bad things about me, saying he didn’t want to be compared to me!” [in reference a statement Rick Hawn made before transitioning to MMA when he was compared to Karo for his Judo back-round by a reporter Hawn Responded :”“I wouldn’t want to compare myself to him, kind of just because I can’t stand the guy,” said Hawn. “I’ll be better than he was. He had a base with judo but he wasn’t as good. My judo is a little more advanced.”] “He should be happy to compared to me, I helped put Judo on the map for guys like him.” Parisyan said

Although Parisyan does not like Hawn, he does respect his ability. “His right hand is really good, he has been knocking guys out with that, and he is a really strong athlete.” Parisyan said. “But I’m walking around heavier, and have built more strength I used to walk around at 172 and fight at 170, but now I’m closer to 190.” The new strength has shown in the gym, as he is now sparring with bigger guys, and pushing them around.

For Parisyan the future is uncertain, but his focus is clearly placed on his April 4th fight. “I have a three fight deal with Bellator, maybe I will enter a tournament, we will see what they say after this fight.” Parisyan said. For now, the fire will continue to grow. Fueled solely by the motivation too “Shut a few people up…and to kick Rick Hawns ass!”  Parisyan said.


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