Monday, December 03, 2007

Inside the Cage wtih Karo Parisyan

Originally posted on Punch Drunk Gammer
Bring The Heat: Karo Parisyan {Nov. 29, 2007}
By Justin Bolduc

PDG: How is everything going after your fight with Ryo Chonan?
Karo: Pretty good, same old stuff. Nothing spectacular, just come home and relax, you know.

PDG: Your win over Ryo wasn’t very pretty – do you chalk it up to your performance, or the fact that nobody really looks good over him?
Karo: A fight is a fight, a win is a win. Who is to say if it is an ugly win or a pretty win? People don’t understand how every fight is different, you fight every guy differently and you can’t do the same things all the time with whoever you’re fighting. You’re fighting everyone differently, and it’s not that easy to beat the guy that has beaten our middleweight champion and one of our welterweight champions, Carlos Newton, you know?

PDG: Absolutely.
Karo: I took the fight pretty serious, I wanted to win. I didn’t want to lose the fight, that’s for damn sure. I didn’t want to take risks.

PDG: Definitely, I mean he’s very tough. Do you think the fight impacts your visibility with the UFC audience though since none of the casual fans know who he is?
Karo: Obviously, since seventy-five percent or eighty percent of the people don’t know who Ryo Chonan is. He’s a game fighter, he’s a tricky dude. He goes after people all the time and somehow he beats everybody. It’s not very easy to beat someone like that.

PDG: You’re in one of the most clustered divisions in the world right now. Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes are in the picture to challenge Matt Serra, and then you and Jon Fitch are right there. Do you think you could be facing Jon anytime soon while those other three sort things out?
Karo: People are talking about that, I don’t know. The deal is I think I already have a title shot if I want to wait. If I wait I can get my title shot I guess in six or seven months from now, which is a long time away, and I don’t want to mess up my plans of getting my title shot. Now I would love to fight Jon Fitch, but if I fight him and god forbid something goes wrong and I lose that fight it puts me all the way back down again and I have to work back up for a title fight. So if I am guaranteed a title fight now, I’ll take the title fight or if I don’t want to wait such a long time I’ll take another opponent who I have a more “guaranteed” win over. I still think I can beat Jon Fitch – Jon’s a very tough guy, but I think that if I am in shape that I can beat him eight out of ten times. But at this point I don’t want to jeopardize anything leading up to my title fight, so we’ll see what the UFC will offer and what I will take.

PDG: Yeah, and that puts you in a tough position because of the last time when you had a title shot; your injury forced you to work your way all the way back up.
Karo: Yeah.

PDG: With the three at the front of the pack, Serra, Hughes, and Georges; is there anyone specific you’d like to fight if given the opportunity? I know you’ve already beat Matt [Serra] and that you have a loss to Georges, so does any of that matter?
Karo: No. Well, Diego [Sanchez].

PDG: Diego?
Karo: Yeah – but he’s coming off two losses and it doesn’t make any sense for me to fight him. Sometime in the future probably.

PDG: Back to Ryo, he was known for fighting at 183-pounds in PRIDE. How did he feel to you in the fight, did he feel big and strong or more in-line with the rest of the welterweights?
Karo: As far as how I felt him, he felt very weak to me. He didn’t feel strong at all. Then again, he might do great with other welterweights, but he felt weak to me.

PDG: What do you think with a lot of the PRIDE guys coming over – do you think it was a lot of hype or do you think it’s the change of the rules and atmosphere?
Karo: Bro, rules or not rules… if you are going to punch the guy then punch the guy, or you are going to take him down or kick him. A cage here, a ring there, and no stomps isn’t going to make that big of a difference – it’s different but it’s not that big of a difference. I don’t see any of these guys beating any of our guys; every time they come over here they lose. I mean the cards are on the table. With all the guys that have been coming from PRIDE eighty percent of them have been getting their ass kicked. They have not been doing well – maybe it’s the cage that has been getting in their head. As far as physical matters, nothing should matter for them. Maybe mentally they are getting messed up for some reason, but I don’t know about that.

PDG: I know you’ve never accused him of any wrongdoing, but I do recall you mentioning when you fought Sean Sherk that he seemed very big for the weight class when you fought him. What do you think of the controversy surrounding him regarding possible steroid use?
Karo: Sean Sherk has always been.......well he hasn’t been very big but he’s very wide and stocky. Very, very muscular. He trains a lot, I mean I know he trains a lot, he’s sick man. But I don’t know man, if somebody said Sean Sherk did steroids I would not say “you’re wrong,” he’s one of those guys I would say “yeah, he probably did.” It wouldn’t blow my mind if someone said he’s on steroids. If you said… I don’t know what fighter to bring in to compare to say if this fighter did steroids and you’d be like “nah, there’s no way” – if you said Nick Diaz did steroids, then nah, no. No way is he on steroids, but Sean Sherk on steroids, yeah I can believe that. But, I am not accusing him of being on steroids. I don’t really know, maybe he is or maybe he isn’t. If he is on steroids then he is a cheater. Every guy on steroids is a cheater. He doesn’t deserve anything he gets because of steroids. Steroids is a very hard drug to mess with because it’s an anabolic drug that makes you grow more – it’s unbelievable. All your muscles get to a totally different point. I think that whoever does steroids is retarded. It will mess up the entire sport, because this sport is so real. It is about real fighters and real guys training and fighting in hand to hand combat, with no steroids or anything else – it’s as real as it gets, and that is what the entire sport is all about. If you are doing steroids then you are messing it up because that is not as real as it gets. That makes it a bunch of muscle-heads that do steroids and fight – it becomes the WWE. Now I don’t know if [Sean] is doing it, he might be or he might not be, but I wish him luck. That’s all I can say.

PDG: It is weird too because a lot of these guys testing positive are losing too.
Karo: Well a lot of these guys on the verge of losing their career are like “I gotta do something to save it, so I’m going to start doing steroids and see if that helps.” So they start doing steroids and sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Overall it is a very wrong thing to do. Steroids mean you’re cheating. Also, you’re messing with your growth – it’s a very wrong thing to do, it means you’re cheating on everything you do. Something like this, it’s not like playing cards it’s fighting. There aren’t many ways to cheat. Here you do steroids and you get bigger and stronger – basically you’re a lazy guy and you don’t want to put the work in. You want to get in there, put on the size and have something else do the work for you – that is what it comes down to.

PDG: So what do you think of the guys testing positive for drugs of abuse? I mean, depending on which side of the fence you are on something could be minor, like marijuana, but then some of these guys are getting busted for doing cocaine, morphine, or methamphetamines…
Karo: I’ll tell you this, weed or pain killers here or there is not that big of a deal, I don’t see what is so big about that. Again, the only thing that I see as a big deal is when you do an anabolic drug that makes your performance better. Weed doesn’t make your performance better, weed is weed. A pain killer here or there, pills, this stuff is like drug stuff – almost like over-the-counter stuff, but prescription drugs. But if you look at cocaine and steroids and stuff, those are serious drugs. What I am trying to say is weed doesn’t make your muscles bigger, it doesn’t give you more endurance, and it doesn’t make you go crazy. Weed doesn’t do that. Steroids do that for you, and that is what they should stop. I don’t care how high the guy I’m fighting is, I could care less. Get as high as you want, you’re just going to mess up your performance, not make it better. But at the same time, if you are going to do something to make your performance better like with steroids that are what should be banned and taken care of. Not weed or pain killers – a vicodin here or there, that stuff is not going to make your performance any better. That is just something someone does because they want to do, but it’s not a specific drug that makes your muscles bigger or gets your endurance to another level.

PDG: How do you feel about The Ultimate Fighter show in general – I mean obviously it helped catapult the sport, but at this point they are bringing in guys that have had one or two fights… do you think that will become a problem, and do you think they should bring in more polished guys – like Joe Lauzon and your cousin (Manvel Gamburyan)?
Karo: They should bring in more guys like that. These guys they are bringing in, no disrespect to them, but as far as the sport goes they suck. They have nothing going for them. These guys you’re like “how did this guy get on the show?” Go back to season one, with Forrest Griffin, Diego Sanchez, Chris Leben, Josh Koscheck – go back to these guys… now come back to this last season, can you compare anything together? No. It’s ridiculous, these guys have nothing going for them. They are horrible. The only guy with something going for him, I’ve trained with him a couple times and he’s one of my buddies, is Mac. Mac Danzig is the only decent guy on the show. Otherwise I don’t see any of these guys doing anything. Yeah a lot have heart and that drive which is something to begin with, that will help them get their career to another level. But as far as the quality and talent they bring in, it’s pathetic. And these guys become stars over night. We didn’t have this stuff when I was coming up. Like I said, my hat is off to all of them and all it does is help the sport and that is what we need. But as far as talent-wise, they aren’t bringing in anybody talent. It’s ridiculous sometimes.

PDG: Do you think from this point on if they keep bringing in these guys it will start to hurt the sport?
Karo: I don’t know. I hope not. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out, but every guy that comes off the show they give them guys they can beat. That’s just the way it is. It is good for ratings and it is for the popularity of the show, they have to do that and that is what they have to do. Eventually they give them tough guys, but in the beginning the UFC gives them guys they think they can beat – they build up a career for them. That is a good thing, but whoever gets on that show is a lucky bastard. I know having to be locked in that house for six weeks is not easy, trust me, I know there is no TV or anything, you just train in a house with a bunch of dudes you don’t know – it’s unbelievably hard. But at the same time it has its pros and its cons and you are becoming a star overnight. Just six weeks, grind your teeth and you can pull it out.

PDG: How about the fourth season (The Ultimate Fighter 4: The Comeback) where they brought back veterans like Din Thomas, Matt Serra, Chris Lytle…?
Karo: I liked that. I liked it a lot, we actually saw real fights. It was real fights and real guys getting in there, man. Veterans. These guys didn’t do stupid stuff either, like throw mattresses in the pool or write shit on the walls, because they are veterans. The age wasn’t that young, they are mature people. Some of the kids on these shows are crazy, they don’t know what they are doing and they start doing crazy shit. But that’s the difference between men and boys.

PDG: And for that season you put about half the guys on that show too [laughs].
Karo: [Laughs] yeah, hey thank me.

PDG: So what do you see happening for yourself in 2008?
Karo: I don’t know man; I hope I get that title in 2008. I want that title around my waist and I want to be the world champion. I know I can beat any of these guys.

PDG: There is a pretty big card coming up at the end of this year in UFC 79. Do you have any thoughts on any of the fights?
Karo: Nope.

PDG: Nothing?
Karo: No. I want to see them though.

PDG: Something interesting about the card is that Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou is making his UFC debut. I remember when I previously interviewed you and you said that you beat him in judo. Pretty big news right there.
Karo: Yeah, and if nobody believes what I did with Sokoudjou they can find it under “Karo Parisyan” on YouTube. It’s a video of me beating Sokoudjou.

PDG: Yeah, I had a chance to see the video. And man, he looked a lot bigger than you too [laughs].
Karo: Tell me about it [laughs].

PDG: Speaking of judo; I know you have turned down some big grappling competitions to focus on MMA. Is competing in some of these grappling events something you would like to do, or do you feel you just want to stick with MMA at this point?
Karo: I’d like to go back sometime to do the Abu-Dhabi stuff. I think the weight categories are a bit jacked up, that’s what I don’t like about that, but other than that maybe if I don’t have a fight coming up. I’m grappling all the time, so if a competition is coming up and the timing is right I’ll take it. I like to grapple and compete all the time.

PDG: What about Olympic judo; would you like to break into that before the end of your career?
Karo: I don’t know, probably not. Judo is so weak in this country, its not even funny.

PDG: Well we can wrap things up here Karo. Anything you’d like to add?
Karo: I want to thank AutoMax Sales & Leasing. They are the best car broker – AutoMax Sales & Leasing. And thanks to my fans for the support.

Special thanks to for the interview


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