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Karo Parisyan: “Right now, I’m in the worst time of my life.”

Longtime fans of MMA undoubtedly remember Karo Parisyan’s impressive run in the Octagon from 2004-2007 when the talented judoka picked up wins over a number of respected adversaries such as Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle, and Matt Serra. In fact, Parisyan was on the cusp of contendership before an injury sidelined him.

However, since then it has been a downward spiral for the Armenian-American competitor including a battle with addiction, an anxiety disorder, and subpar performances. Since 2008 Parisyan is 1-4 including losses in his last three fights, the most recent of which came this past September where he fell by Split Decision to rising prospect Jordan Smith.

Another chapter to the sad story of an athlete who seemingly peeked in his early 20s was written recently in an interview with Fightline where Parisyan opened up about the current state of his life where he frankly admitted his head/heart haven’t been in MMA for some time and said things in general are rough at the moment.

“I’m known for doing interviews, opening up to people and telling them what the hell’s going on, but it’s not going to change anything if I have five more people feel f–king sorry for me,” Parisyan began before continuing, “Man, it’s pretty bad. I don’t even care anymore. Right now, I’m in the worst time of my life. With Christmas and New Year’s…I’m in the worst time financially – but, you know what? It’s gonna be good. I never cry about it, I’m not gonna cry about it. I’m gonna do what I have to do to come back. I’m a grown ass man and enough is enough. For the time being, my head is just with the family. Trying to get by, trying to have a Christmas and trying to have a New Year’s and see what 2012 f***ing brings.”

“I guess enough is enough,” Parisyan said of his stalled career. “I’ve got to either come back and really give it my all, or f***ing hang up the gloves and stop embarrassing myself.”

Asked to elaborate, Parisyan explained, “For the first time in three and a half years, I would have to look at everything in a serious way again. Before, I looked at it in a very serious fashion. It was my lifestyle. This sport was my lifestyle, it wasn’t my job. When it becomes your job, that’s when you start hating it. Who the f*** likes their job? I mean, you can say, ‘I love my job,’ but when it comes down to it, eventually you’re going to be like, ‘Ugh, I don’t want to go to work today.’ When it comes down to a job, I don’t want to do this sh*t no more. I’ve just gotta turn it into a lifestyle.”

“Back in the day, this sport was a lifestyle for me,” the 19-8 Parisyan reflected. “I’d wake up in the morning and it’s, ‘Hey, do you wanna go run for seven miles?’ ‘Yeah, let’s go.’ And we’d go run for seven f**kin’ miles. Why? Because that’s all we knew how to do, is to train. It was bred into us since we were kids, eight years old – bred. Everyday, training, hurting your opponent, dismantle, hit, hit, break – it was all we did, it was a lifestyle. We did all this stuff because we wanted to, not because we had to. When it started to get to the point where I have to, is when I started not liking it.”

Parisyan concluded things by stating he hoped to fight in February or March with the possibility of his involvement in a yet-to-be-announced tournament but stated nothing official had been signed while also praising Ronda Rousey for bringing judo back to the forefront of fans’ collective conscience.


  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    He has been irrelevant longer than he was relevant. Sad to hear someone is having a hard time but, life sucks and you deal with it. All I hear from him is “Boo hoo, my life sucks. I got problems”

    Do something about it or STFU.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I don’t think you read what he said. That was exactly his point.

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    Probably time to hang up the gloves and focus on becoming an awesome trainer and help bring up the next generation-nothing wrong with that-I credit Karo with some of the best fights in UFC history(Diego and Diaz)

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  • climbarock says:

    I’m with Gike. Even the lower tier guys in the UFC make shit money when you consider how long they train for these fights and the cut their camp/manager/trainers take, so I don’t see how fighting in dinky regional promotions is going to help Karo out financially. He should open a gym or become a trainer. Matt Serra had the right idea…never a great MMA fighter (greatest upset in MMA notwithstanding), but the dude has set up quite the nice business for himself.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I am pretty sure Karo is “done”, myself. Which is a shame; he was definitely a serious contender, many moons ago.

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  • MCM says:

    I agree he should set up his own training facility, but who’s gonna come to it? Most people getting hooked on MMA now or in the past three years have no real idea who Karo is. It’s not like Serra where he won TUF then won the title, then went on to coach on TUF and really showed how good he is as a trainer.
    Karo is a great trainer, but if he wants to open his own gym, it would be easier if he won a couple of smaller fights then landed a SF contract like Jardine did. Or Zuffa should be hiring guys like him to teach at their UFC gyms.
    What ever happens, I do wish him the best as I used to really enjoy watching him fight.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    I question whether he can come back to what he was before his nasty hamstring injury, which was the beginning of the end for him. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but if that hadn’t happened, he might actually have won the title from Hughes and before GSP hit his stride. His comments about lifestyle vs. job were pretty insightful, and not just for fighters.

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