(Karo is looking to reintroduce "The Heat"to UFC fans at UFC 123 Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle)
Exiled UFC welterweight Karo Parisyan is breathing a sigh of relief today now that he has re-signed with the promotion he became famous fighting for.
We spoke to Karo this afternoon and he says he’s going to make the best of this second chance with the UFC.
"I thank God that I’m getting another opportunity. I talked to Dana a couple times and we went back and forth on a couple things. Basically he said they’d give me another shot. He texted me and said, ‘I’ll give you another shot. Just don’t screw me,’ and I said, ‘No problem."
After pulling out of a scheduled UFC 106 bout with Dustin Hazelett on the eve of the weigh-ins last November, "THe Heat" was unceremoniously dropped by the promotion and UFC president Dana White went on record saying that talented the Armenian-born judoka would never fight in the Octagon again.
But Parisyan held steadfast the past 10 months to the belief that "God willing" he would one day fight in the UFC again and now his prayers had been answered.
He says that he’s glad that White kept an open mind and considered the nature of the issues he was having when he suffered what Parisyan has termed as, "a breakdown."
"I didn’t kill nobody" he says. "I had problems and they were basically out of my control. It happens."
Although the Internet messageboards and MMA websites have been rife with speculation about Parisyan’s alleged prescription painkiller addiction, Parisyan says that drugs weren’t the major issue that led to his breakdown, but rather the straw that broke the camel’s back. He has been accused of being a drug addict and a junkie ever since his former student Neil Melanson did an interview on the heels of his UFC release and basically threw him under the bus with comments he made about Karo’s alleged serious drug dependency.
He has since spoken publicly about the problems that led to him pulling out of UFC 106, which included what he calls "occasional abuse of medication" he was prescribed for a torn hamstring he suffered, which has never completely healed and a recent back injury he incurred in training, but he says that the main issue was his well publicized diagnosed anxiety and panic disorder.
Parisyan was put on oxymorphone and hydromorphone by his physician — the combination of painkillers that he tested positive for following his UFC 94 win with Dong Hyun Kim that was later ruled a "no-contest" — to help alleviate the pain his hamstring and back were causing him and he relied on them to be able to train at the level he was accustomed to, but he says his dependancy on them turned unhealthy at times.
Relishing this new opportunity to climb back up the UFC’s welterweight ladder and to "make things up to the fans and the UFC," Parisyan, who has been apologetic to both groups throughout his ordeal, says things are nearly back to normal for him both physically and mentally.
"Everything’s falling into place. I should be ready for the fight, God willing. I’ll have an 11-week camp to get ready. Monday I start camp and I’ll hopefully be able to make everything right," Karo says. "I’m going to Vegas and I’ll be going back and forthe between there and [California] to train and get in shape to take on Hallman."
We’ll have an exclusive interview with Karo on next week’s episode of Cage Potato’s The Bum Rush Radio Show podcast.