When three-time U.S. judo champion Rick Hawn decided to take up mixed martial arts, it would be natural to make the comparisons to another judoka who has had success in the cage - Karo Parisyan.
Though the comparison would be fitting, Hawn not-so-respectfully disagrees.
“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.”
Hawn beat Parisyan in Judo twice at the U.S Open eight years ago. Hawn also has a longer list of accomplishments,including a berth to the Olympics, compared to Parisyan - one of the first judokas to make a successful transition to MMA.
Having the same type of success in the cage though as the UFC veteran is something Hawn is striving for.
The 33-year-old made a successful MMA debut in 2009 by winning his first five professional fights. The Dracut resident currently has his plate full. Not only is he training full-time with Mark DellaGrotte in the Somerville-based gym Sityodtong, but is also working fulltime in loss prevention with a retailer.
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