18 Nov 2009 09:57:38 AM
(Just relax, breathe deeply, and picture everyone in their underwear.)
It’s been a tough couple of years for Karo Parisyan. The Armenian-born judoka who once famously declared himself “too talented to train,” has been sidelined for the last nine months due to a suspension resulting from his use of painkillers prior to his split decision win (subsequently changed to a no contest) against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 94. Before that, he pulled out of UFC 88 the night before the weigh-ins with a back injury aggravated by panic attacks, and that was after his TKO loss to Thiago Alves. What I’m saying here is, the man’s been going through some trials and tribulations.
Now he returns at UFC 106 to take on submission specialist/supernerd Dustin Hazelett and the question remains, what’s the deal with Karo? Is he still a UFC caliber fighter, or just a guy with an inflated sense of self who might fly off the handle and demand to know whether you’re aware of who he is? According to what Parisyan told UFC.com, he realizes that he hasn’t been about much lately, and that’s because his most difficult struggle is just being trapped inside his own head:
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“I’m not making any excuses for my last few fights, but anxiety played a huge role in me not being properly prepared. Anxiety takes over your life. I have it under control now, but imagine having anxiety all night and not being able to sleep because you’re worrying about every little thing. How are you going to be able to train and fight when you’re dealing with something like that?”