The UFC is often slammed for being a monopoly, so big that no awesome cards are left in the sport outside of its roster.
It's not true.
Saturday night Canadian fans get a tremendous card on The Fight Network (there is, unfortunately, a delayed-only online PPV available for US and international fans, but no live option).
ShoFIGHT 20 features a 14-fight card, with fighters from 125 to heavyweight, including Marcus Aurelio, Lyle Beerbohm, Charles Bennett (call me Kid Kaos now, not Crazy Horse), Roli Delgado, Drew Fickett, Kendall Grove, and Karo Parisyan, among other exciting fighters.
John ‘Guns' Gunderson vs. Karo ‘the Heat' Parisyan (ShoFIGHT Welterweight Championship)
Derek Brunson vs. Kendall ‘the Spyder' Grove (ShoFIGHT Middleweight Championship)
Lyle ‘Fancy Pants' Beerbohm vs. Marcus ‘Maximus' Aurelio
Matt Kovaks vs. Mike Wessell
Jonatas Noveas vs. Drew Fickett
Chris ‘Gritz' Gruetzmacher vs. Roli Delgado
Lucas Lopes vs. ‘Smilin' Sam Alvey
Chris ‘Crazyman' McDaniel s. Charles ‘Kid Kaos' Bennett
James ‘JP' Reese vs. Sevak Magakian
Alan Gibson vs. Dustin Phillips
Mike Brazzle vs. Karen Darabedyan
Lucas ‘the Hillbilly Lightstorm' Overcast vs. Matt ‘Luke Duke' Lucas
Rabert Saborudden vs. Jacob ‘Straight Jacket' Ritchie
Jason Ignacek vs. Gary Michaels
Among the most compelling figures on the card is Karo Parisyan. 'The Heat' holds wins over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra, and was once in line to fight Matt Hughes for the UFC Welterweight championship.
The road after that got rocky like Stone Mountain.
After the UFC 94 fight with Dong Hyun-Kim on Jan. 31, 2009, Parisyan was suspended for testing positive to pain killers. 'The Heat' dropped out of fights with Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Dustin Hazelett within 24 hours of the weigh-in. Following a first-round TKO loss to Dennis Hallman at UFC 123 on Nov. 20, 2010, Parisyan was released by the UFC, with a monumentally frustrated Dana White offering harsh words as he showed him the door.
Now Parisyan is off pain killers, wants back in the UFC, and wants to silence the critics.
“I would love to shut a lot of people up. Shut a lot of f---ing mouths up because there are a lot of idiots,” Parisyan said. “A lot of people like to judge and talk. I hate to f---ing hear it, man. If you’re not in my life, in my shoes or in my sport, don’t be such an easy critic and judge me.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me, but it does add a little bit of fuel to the fire. I take that into the cage, display it and leave it in the cage. It’s an up-and-down battle, this soap-opera sport we have.”
“The whole week with the Dennis Hallman fight, only a couple guys know what I went through. I was not even supposed to walk in the f---ing cage, man. I don’t want to get into it. I’ll just tell you this: My resting heart rate was 130 - my resting heart rate.
“It’s an excuse, but it’s the reality. If I say it, it makes me look bad. If I don’t say it, it makes me feel stupid because I have to say it. It’s the truth.”
“Yes, I should be able to get the (UFC) contract. Dana felt back-stabbed by me because of the money and the contract and all that. I wasn’t trying to back-stab Dana. I love Dana White. I’ve always been good friends with Dana White and the Fertittas. These are good people.
“Saying that, of course I think I could go back and patch it up. I actually have Dana’s text, where I said, ‘I want to fight my way back, Dana.’ He said, ‘I would love that. I would love to work with you again, Karo.’ I have the text. I’m not even 30 — come on.“
“(Gunderson) should just think about the guys I’ve beaten and the guys I train with,” Parisyan said. “He should just think about it and be like: ‘Oh my God. What am I going to do in the cage with this guy?’ I want him to think that. I know he’s thinking to a point that if he loses, he loses to Karo. I have some sort of a name in this sport, I guess. If he wins, God forbid, he beats someone with recognition.
“So for him, it’s a win-win situation.”
“If I get one more win after that and they refuse me, I’ll open my f---ing mouth. Trust me. Listen, man, there’s only so much you can do. I don’t have to prove myself that much. My cards are on the table. The guys I’ve beaten and the things I’ve done — people know me.
“There are guys in the UFC that have absolutely no f---ing place to even be around the cage. I see guys fighting on f---ing FX — he’s 3-1 and he’s in the UFC fighting a main-card fight! Are you kidding me? So I cannot even come close to that?
“Me being out of shape completely, I can still bring more fight and more show than most of those guys. I don’t want to disrespect these guys. Everybody who walks in the cage, my hat’s off to them. But come on — I’m being realistic here, bro. I’m being honest. I might sit crooked, but I’ll talk straight.”
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