Almost 10 years ago a young Armenian named Karo Parisyan made his UFC debut. It was at UFC 44: Undisputed against Dave Strasser. With only two losses in his career to that point the UFC brought him in to take on some of the top welterweights. He went up against many of the contenders during his run but quickly fell off the map. Now at Bellator 95 this Thursday he returns to the spotlight.
Parisyan has been released from the UFC on more than one occasion. At UFC 94 he won a split decision against Dong Hyun Kim but it was quickly over turned to a no contest as he failed the post-fight drug test for banned painkillers. He had lost his previous fight to Thiago Alves so that test was the last straw and he was let go.
Parisyan’s next fight outside of the promotion was a year and a half later. He earned a submission win and was brought back to fight Dennis Hallman at UFC 123. He lost by TKO early in the first round and once again his UFC career was over.
During his time in the world’s top promotion Parisyan took on the likes of current champion Georges St-Pierre, Diego Sanchez, Josh Burkman, Ryo Chonan, Chris Lytle, Nick Diaz and Matt Serra.
Parisyan’s post-UFC career has not featured the level of talent he once faced. When he left the UFC the last time he ended up losing his next two fights. Since that time he was put together a streak of two wins in a row and three of his last four. Bellator has seen something in the former elite fighter and are bringing him in on the main card of Bellator 95 this week.
Parisyan will have a very difficult opponent in former Olympian Rick Hawn. Hawn won the Season 6 Bellator lightweight tournament but ultimately fell to champion Michael Chandler when the title was on the line. A win by either man will undoubtedly earn them a spot in an upcoming tournament.
His UFC career was very rocky at times. Prior to UFC 106 where he was slated to face Dustin Hazelett, Parisyan pulled out of his fight the day before. UFC President Dana White indicated Parisyan would never fight for the UFC again. White stated he had “a laundry list of excuses.” Later that day a longtime friend of the fighter divulged to the MMA media that Parisyan was battling an addiction to painkillers. Dana White over reacted with his public statements as he has been known to do and Parisyan was ultimately given another opportunity.
Seemingly past that point in his life now the former UFC fighter is trying to revive his career in the number two promotion in the world. Bellator has been successful at developing new stars and bringing new talent along. They also work with veterans of the sport and give them an opportunity at glory one more time. Parisyan will be looking to work his way up to a title fight likely through the tournament format. A win this Thursday is a must if he wants to take that route.
It is always great to see someone overcome their demons and be successful in life. Pariysan is on his way to doing that now. Whether his MMA career lasts much longer or not the fact he can train and compete in the sport he loves is something that may not have been possible in his own mind not too long ago.
He will be featured on the main card on Spike Thursday night at 10pm. Being on nationally broadcast television one more time is a big step for Parisyan. Winning that fight and taking his career further is next on the agenda.