Parisyan opens up on career struggles

Sunday, March 25, 2012

If he was 35 and at the end of his rope, maybe. But not at 29. Not now, Parisyan said.

“I still have much more to prove, much more to give. It’s like, I got to the top. I was the number one contender. I did a lot of stuff in the sport, but nothing where I could say, yeah, I could retire today. … One my reasons — and you’re going to say this is a stupid reason, Karo, but to me it’s a big reason — but one of the reasons I want to come back is to shut people up. To shut a lot of fricking people up.”

And the pain meds? He’s not on those anymore, not that he ever thought he had a genuine problem with them. What he had was searing pain in the back of his thigh, where a chunk of muscle is missing, he said. What he had was the constant sensation of being stabbed in the leg. He didn’t have a problem with pain pills.

“For the record, I was never addicted to pain meds. I abused pain medications without knowing. When it hurt me, it was too late already. I had done too much damage to myself, mentally and physically.”

Before the fight with Dong Hyun Kim, he popped a few the morning of the fight, he said. And before his fight with Thiago Alves, he pushed through the crippling panic and anxiety that would later force him to pull out of his UFC 106 fight with Dustin Hazelett.

“Anxiety will be there. Anxiety you can control. The physical panic attack is the one that hits and brings you to your knees. And whoever’s had a panic attack, I want them to, for a second, realize that when they were having a panic attack, the worst one, when they thought they were going to die, I had to walk out in front of 20,000 people and fight. When my friends were pushing me, [saying] ‘Get out there, Karo. Thiago Alves is waiting in the cage. You’ve got to go fight.’ I did that.”

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