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Karo Parisyan: “I still have much more to prove, much more to give.”

At one point in his career welterweight Karo Parisyan was viewed as one of MMA’s brightest prospects thanks to a string of impressive performances inside the Octagon highlighted by his assertive style and judo wizardry. Now, less than six months away from turning 30, Parisyan is fighting for respect rather than anything resembling a world title.

Parisyan, who has lost four of his last five fights with a No Contest in the same period stemming from a failed drug test involving painkiller use, is hoping to right his career’s ship while simultaneously proving his doubters wrong this Saturday night against Thomas Denny at an event in Texas.

“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,” said Parisyan while stopping by The MMA Hour. “One of 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.”

While Parisyan admitted he hadn’t trained as hard as he should have for the two fights he’s had since a failed return to the UFC in November 2010, both bouts being losses, he seems to be motivated to do his best this time around.

“I was just trying to get a paycheck, basically. That’s what I was doing. Eventually, you have that bonfire in you that burns out, and then you’re just tired of it,” Parisyan explained of his mindset leading up to losses against Ryan Ford and Jordan Smith.

“(Retirement) crossed my mind, but I was like, what am I going to do? Seriously. What the hell am I going to do? I changed six jobs in one year, and beat up three of my bosses. So what the hell am I going to go do,” the Armenian-American elaborated, revealing exactly how important a win for him against Denny may be. “I’m really trying. I really am trying. I’m not saying that I’ll be succeeding and I’ll be a world champion next year or two months from now, but I’m going to be honest. I swear to God, whether it gets me somewhere or it doesn’t, I really am trying,”

“The Heat” holds a 19-8 record including wins over Matt Serra, Chris Lytle, and Nick Diaz during what appears to have been the peak of his career.