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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