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Karo Parisyan’s road back to the UFC

Sherdog has the details on how Karo Parisyan went from being on Dana White’s blacklist to back in the UFC:

“Karo Parisyan has f—ed over the UFC, the fans and his opponent again!!!” tweeted White. “He will not be fighting Saturday or ever again in the UFC!!”
“Ever again” does not always last that long for White, a frequent advocate of second chances. Three months later, Parisyan received a call out of the blue from the UFC boss.
“How are you, kid?” White asked.
White and Parisyan spoke about what had happened and what led to Parisyan’s decision to withdraw from the Hazelett macth. Parisyan had a six-fight deal on the table from Strikeforce, but White recommended he only sign a three-fight deal with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion. Parisyan told White he was not interested in signing with Strikeforce at all and would instead take one fight in Australia for Impact FC.
“I know Dana White,” Parisyan says. “Deep down he’s a nice guy. He’s a hothead; I’m a hothead. In the heat of the moment, you say stuff you later regret. I knew eventually I’d come back. You’ll never find a judo guy with throws like me. He told me everyone deserves a second chance: ‘Karo, I’ve always liked you.’”

But forgiving is not forgetting:

Parisyan also received a warning from White: “If you screw me again, Karo, I swear to God, never talk to me again.”

So long as Karo walks into the cage this weekend against Dennis Hallman, he won’t be screwing Dana. But will he be screwing himself? Sergio Non over at USA Today mentioned our “Is Karo Parisyan Still A Mess” post when interviewing Karo, asking him if he’s really got his shit together:

When people judge, it’s very simple. It’s human nature. I’m a hypocrite myself; I can judge in a matter of seconds something too. … But the truth is, you don’t judge that simple. If anybody has had a full-blown panic attack and an anxiety attack and has had pressure to take care of your family and doing all this and doing all that, and all of a sudden everything being taken away from you — how do you react to that? How?

People have killed themselves having half of the (stuff) that I went through. I’m not being cocky. I’m not being (a jerk). I’m being honest here. In the past two years I’ve been through stuff. I’ve been through hell and I’ve been back. People don’t know what I went through. “Karo is a mess.” I might have been a mess. I might still be a mess in a certain way. But I’m trying to put that leg forward.

I went halfway around the world in Australia. Fought a local town hero. Beat him in his own house, in his own game, and then came back home. That was something to prove. I proved something. … So I took a big step.

You have to understand, people that have panic attacks, they don’t want to leave the house. They feel like they’re going to die. Whoever has been through what I’m telling you, with this disease, let’s just say, they know exactly what I’m talking about.

And I want them to imagine themselves, that when they’re having that anxiety, and they’re feeling their heart is going to pop, and their brain is racing, and they cannot sit down — I want them to think about, at the same time, you have to warm up because they’re waiting for you out there, because you’ve got to walk out and fight a guy that’s in a great gym whos going to take your head off in the cage.

Speaking of great gyms, Karo said he wishes he was still with Xtreme Couture in Vegas but it doesn’t sound like he had the money to put it together. So instead he’s settled into a smaller camp close to home with some of his Armenian buddies and old training partners. Hey, at least he’s actually training this time.

  • AZ Bored

    Until you have had a sever panic attack you just cant understand what Karo is going through. I will be amazed if he goes through with the fight without incident. I hope he is able to.

  • Elfenstein

    cannot agree with you more az, have battles anxiety and panic attacks for 15 years myself – and it is something i dont wish on my worst enemy, except for my father in law – he may have it sevenfold and burn in hell .—…


    Hope Karo doesn’t shit the bed again. I know he said he still had a bunch of anxiety issues leading up to his last fight and he almost pulled out of that one. It was so in bad Australia that he made the promoter move his fight from the televised portion of the card to the very first fight on the card. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    Anyone know what his status with the NSAC is? Last I heard he still owed them a grip. Something like $45k.

  • Tanhauser

    Im sure nothing bad will happen.

  • DukeOfEarl

    As somebody who finally vanquished panic attacks 10 years ago after living in a personnal Hell for five years, i have compassion for the guy. Considering i did not have to deal with presumably agitated relatives and a public spotlight for my meltdown, i feel for him even more.

    My advice to Karo is to imagine Hallman being responsible for all this nonsense and just plain take it out on him (No offense to Hallman, he seems like a ok guy) . The anxiety and unease will be waiting patiently in the dressing room to resume ball busting once its over with anyway…

  • AZ Bored

    wtf is that shit

  • Sean

    ^ Wow dude, did Karo run over your mom or something?

    Even if you are completely right about him as a fighter, hes a good guy and his fights and style is fun to watch.

    Ease up, christ.

  • iamphoenix

    no. karo is a pretty much boring fat fighter. i agree 100.2 percent.


    They should make him fight Nate Diaz next.

  • frickshun

    Are all you sensitive little bitches forgetting that Karo hasn’t been the guy we hoped for in FUCKING YEARS (’06)!! On top of that, he is not a fight finisher & 2/3rds of the guys he fought in the UFC aren’t even signed any more.

    The sport passed him by. I don’t have any personal feelings towards him & his big fucking schnoz. But he is not fun to watch & isn’t much more than undercard filler or a stepping stone for newcomers.

  • frickshun


    I don’t get caught up in fighters on a personal level. Either they entertain me or not. McKee may be fucking Gandhi. Doesn’t mean I want to see him fight.

    And if you think he’s “fun to watch”, then I feel bad for any chick that has to date you.

  • iamphoenix


  • Reverend Clint

    has karo even used his judo in the past 3 years?

  • iamphoenix


  • frickshun

    IamPenises is our greatest ally.

  • agentsmith

    Karo’s win over that Fosters can was the first time he’s finished anyone since 2006, and the last time before that was in 2003. His UFC record is 8-3-1, with 6 of those wins by decision. So yeah, might as well call him Karo Decisyan, amirite?