The decline of Karo Parisyan

by Chuck Mindenhall | source:

For Karo Parisyan fans, it was hard to watch "The Heat" lose a listless fight at UFC 123 to Dennis Hallman, in what was supposed to be his big second chance with the organization.

But it was pure agony -- for Karo and those around him -- to stand by as he worked up the nerve to fight in the first place.

"I feel like I'm dying," he would say to whoever would listen to him in the locker room. "How am I supposed to fight like this?"

These words at the same time annoy and break the heart of his longtime friend and training partner, Andy Dermenjian, who has seen it often enough to throw up his hands and hope for one thing -- that Parisyan simply goes through with it.

"There's nothing I can do for him mentally or physically," Dermenjian said the day before at the weigh-ins. "It's like hitting a wall for me, one that only Karo can break down … I can't get past the wall. Nobody can."

Nevertheless, even though Dermenjian was with Parisyan when he backed out of his fights with Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Dustin Hazelett at the last second -- in the process losing Dana White's trust -- he is there for Parisyan. Same goes for his other cornerman, Randy Couture, who does his best to reassure and comfort him.

Just about everyone else doesn't pay Parisyan any attention, as if he were wearing an asterisk for damaged goods. And, really, by the end of the night the sad reality becomes this: Parisyan isn't fit to be in the cage, and the next fight on the docket for him has got to be the one with himself. He didn't train well. He doesn't have a fighter's focus. In the three days leading up to the fight, Hallman was never anything more than a hypothetical situation sitting at the end of a best-case scenario.

Hallman was never the opponent for Parisyan. It was always himself.

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Recent Comments »

I KNOW THE TRUTH site profile image  

11/27/10 5:09 PM by I KNOW THE TRUTH

Karo is a drug addict plain and simple. Ask ANYONE who's tarined with him/knows him well. A friend of mine is from Australia and was involved (promotion) with the OZ fights and said Karo was popping pills left and right and freaking the fuck and the promotion were afraid the cops were gonna come busting in and arrest Karo cuz he was freaking out and popping so many pills.I have heard Karo is a nice guy but has a HUGE HUGE HUGE ego and won't listen to anyone around him. He needs rehab/therapy.

Steelersfan 24 7 site profile image  

11/27/10 3:40 PM by Steelersfan 24 7

It's time to stick a fork in him and call Dr. Drew Pinsky. He really shouldn't be fighting and he needs help.

HardHittingHeeb site profile image  

11/27/10 2:54 PM by HardHittingHeeb

Karo always gave his all. Even when exhausted he always moved forward and swung. His throws provided the UFC with some of the best highlights.Hope he's back someday.

jayflo145 site profile image  

11/26/10 7:38 PM by jayflo145

COMPLETELY TRUE! I have known Karo for almost 20 years through the SoCal Judo scene into the adult international scene and he is truly misunderstood here and in the MMA community in general. My father was the first doctor to look at his torn hamstring/quad before his scheduled Hughes title shot, he was fully aware of his options to get surgery, rehab or just try and function...this was sadly the beginning of the end for his health mind, body and soul.Love him or hate him, he has had recent problems but we should all hope the best for him....Anytime I was ever in the LA area and give him and Manny a call he'd (they'd) be down to train and get the most out of ever session. I have the utmost respect for him and can only hope all ends well in his saga.

Dojosensei site profile image  

11/26/10 7:20 PM by Dojosensei

Don't you know who he is, bro?

Mexicutioned by Mitrione site profile image  

11/26/10 7:20 PM by Mexicutioned by Mitrione

 I'm a big fan of Karo, always has been.  Hope he really gets well and come back when he's ready.  Maybe become a trainer for a bit to make ends meet for now. 

Oddessa site profile image  

11/26/10 7:10 PM by Oddessa

IMHO ...and obviously I'm no doctor.... but I believe Mark Kerr suffered from extreme anxiety in his college/international  wrestling years and it only came to light  publicly  when he started the downward spiral in mma after all the early success..

seg site profile image  

11/26/10 7:01 PM by seg

 The sport evolved past his skill level about 5 years ago.  He needs to move on to the next chapter of his life

The Sultan site profile image  

11/26/10 6:26 PM by The Sultan

 sounds like a huge mountain to climb...don't know if he'll make it back...

Dongbar site profile image  

11/26/10 6:20 PM by Dongbar

IMO, early on he could get by on supreme talent and "enough" work.....look at his early UFC resume. Then fighters got better, stakes got higher, and perhaps he didn't/wasn't able to get his training to the level it needed to be to compete under the bright lights against the best. The realization of this triggers the anxiety and he ends up where he is today.I would love nothing more than for him to get all of his ailments fixed...the back, the leg, etc, so he can start training at the high level he needs to be at, so that at some point he can compete on the highest stage.And to those criticizing Karo's personality....variety is the spice of life. Would you really prefer everyone to be all PC and respectful? Guys like Karo can be good for the sport.