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08-25-2008, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
| | Parisyan Feels No Need to Panic
UFC® : Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Parisyan Feels No Need to Panic
By Dave Sholler
Karo Parisyan couldn’t put a finger on it, but he knew something was wrong in the months leading up to his bout with Thiago Alves last April. Despite coming off a unanimous decision victory over Ryo Chonan at UFC 78 in November, Parisyan was struggling to maintain his focus while preparing for his next fight. If waning focus wasn’t enough to raise concerns, Parisyan couldn’t sleep. And even though he was in training mode, he barely had an appetite.
After dealing with these symptoms for a few weeks, Parisyan decided to see a doctor. He was surprised by the diagnosis. The doctor told the Armenian judo expert that he was suffering from panic attacks.
According to the American Psychological Association, one out of every 75 people suffers from the disorder and symptoms range from difficulty breathing to fear of dying. The diagnosis was a humbling experience for Parisyan, especially since he gives off a calm and calculated presence inside the Octagon.
“Basically, eight months ago, I was diagnosed with panic attacks,” Parisyan said, admitting that he felt ‘girly’ when the doctor first broke the news. “It’s something I have been trying to deal with. I am trying to keep my head clear.”
While it is unclear what brought on the panic attacks, Parisyan knew the disorder played a part in his loss to Alves in April. When the 25-year-old arrived in Broomfield, Colorado to face Alves on the undercard of the April 2 Ultimate Fight Night show, he immediately fought the urge to return to his home state of California. In fact, just moments before he was set to face the dangerous Brazilian Alves, Parisyan turned to a close friend and proclaimed “I want to go home.”
Despite the urge to leave, Parisyan managed to put his uneasiness aside and enter the Octagon. However, he begrudgingly admits that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to fight that night. For Parisyan, the result was unnerving. For the first time in his UFC career, Parisyan fell victim to a TKO loss at the hands of Alves. He was stopped in under a minute of the second round.
“When I first got there (to Colorado), I couldn’t eat or sleep,” Parisyan said. “I just didn’t want to be there. I struggled during camp (with panic attacks) and my conditioning wasn’t there. That Karo that used to come out tenacious was not there.”
Nearly five months removed from the stoppage loss, Parisyan (26-5) has since made small strides in coping with panic attack disorder. The welterweight contender has spent much of the past few months working on his conditioning in an attempt to reclaim the confident, borderline arrogant swagger he once held. He realizes that he will need every ounce of the aforementioned confidence and conditioning in preparing for his next opponent, Yoshiyuki Yoshida. The two will battle at UFC 88 on Sept. 6 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Universally known for his world-class judo, Yoshida boasts heavy hands and a competent submission game. In his first UFC appearance at UFC 84 in May, Yoshida (10-2) made short work of Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver, submitting the Ultimate Fighter alum by anaconda choke in the first round. A member of the 2002 Japanese National Judo team, the 34-year-old Yoshida trains with the Tokyo Yellow Mans, a team consisting of notable mixed martial artists such as Ryo Chonan, Shungo Oyama, Ryan Bow, and Hidehiko Yoshida.
While Yoshida is considered a rising force in the 170-pound division, Parisyan did not hesitate to let UFC brass know that he wanted to fight “Zenko.” Given that his background is also in judo, Parisyan believes that a bout between him and Yoshida is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
“I asked to fight him (Yoshida) because he is a judo guy,” Parisyan, a judo black belt who has been fighting professionally in MMA for nine years, said. “I saw how he threw ‘War Machine.’ He toyed with him before putting him to sleep. I knew I wanted to fight Yoshida after seeing that.
“I don’t mean this disrespectfully toward my past opponents, but it’s the first time I am fighting a guy with a national
sports background,” Parisyan continued. “I have a lot of respect for him.”
If styles make fights, the bout between Yoshida and Parisyan on Sept. 6 should be a war of attrition. Much like Yoshida, Parisyan relies on leverage and technique inside the cage, often frustrating opponents with judo throws and takedowns. Given that both are well-versed in the stand-up and submission categories, one can only assume that the 170-pound match between the two will be the ultimate chess match. Still, Parisyan feels he has the edge.
“I don’t know if I can throw him or if he can throw me,” Parisyan said. “But MMA is a whole new ballgame for him (Yoshida). The whole game changes when you can throw punches and kicks.
“I know that I want to close the gap and go into the clinch. I want him to respect my standup. I want to do a brilliant judo throw and put him on his head. From there, I want to land punches, ground and pound, or even submit him. I just want to prove that I am the judo guy in the UFC, not him.”
As fight night nears, Parisyan will continue to work on his conditioning and fine-tune his mixed martial arts tool kit. He’ll also look to minimize stress levels in an attempt to prevent the return of panic attacks. Even though he has a much better handle on the ailment since the Alves fight, Parisyan has been sidetracked a bit during his current training camp. Originally set to spend one week training with renowned trainer Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Parisyan was forced to leave the Jackson camp after just two days due to the onset of panic attacks.
Luckily, Jackson made arrangements to fly to California and train near Parisyan’s comfort zone. Despite the hiccups during camp, “The Heat” is convinced he will prevail come Sept. 6. With a win over Yoshida at UFC 88, Parisyan hopes to cement himself firmly in the welterweight title picture.
“I am not going to stress myself out,” Parisyan said, adding that he feels like the old Karo again. “This fight is very, very important in so many aspects and in so many ways.
“It’s very simple. If I beat three bums, I get nowhere. If I beat Yoshida, I’m back in title contention. I’ve always said that if I come in shape, I can be the best at 170. Hopefully, if I can annihilate Yoshida, I can avenge some of my old losses to Thiago (Alves) and Diego Sanchez. Then I can annihilate those guys. I’m ready to show that I’m the best.”
08-25-2008, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: victoria, british columbia
how long ago did this fight happen, and this is just coming out now? i know people who have panic attacks, not fun, i am just not sure i fully believe him, that being said if it is 100% legit, man i do feel fo him.
TO EVAN R.I.P.
08-25-2008, 09:40 AM
Status: GSP Hut-Nugger
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This is going to be a sweet fight.
Karo's gunna bend Yoshida over and panic all over him!
The only time it's acceptable to not make weight...
08-25-2008, 09:47 AM
Status: IM THE CHAMP!
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Miami FL
ahh the irony.. Karo stating that MMA is different when you throw punches and kicks..
I still say Yoshida's stronger, and Karos right about the judo not swaying in anyones advantage, but overall Yoshida is a better wrestler.. I say he takes this fight.. and he probably finishes Karo..
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