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Painkiller Dependency Spurred Karo Parisyan’s Latest Fight Withdrawal

(Melanson and Parisyan, before it all fell apart. Props:

In a new interview with Five Ounces of Pain, Karo Parisyan‘s longtime friend and training partner Neil Melanson confirmed that Parisyan’s latest last-minute fight-cancellation was directly related to the painkiller addiction that has haunted him for years. After Melanson got permission from Karo to go public with the story, he laid it all out:

“Karo’s had some problems with an addiction to pain medicine due to an injury he sustained a few years ago. Then when he started having these anxiety problems, it didn’t seem like the anxiety pills were helping him. The only thing that was helping him was the pain medication that he had been taking for his injuries. That’s when he just started down that slope. It’s just one of those situations where you have two guys that sit down to have a drink, and you have one guy that can go home and he’s fine, and the other guy has to go out and get wasted every single time because he’s an alcoholic. I think that maybe with the pills, that Karo is the second guy. Maybe he’s the guy that can’t take them here and there, or can’t use them effectively…
He told me that he was on pain medicine, but he wanted to get off. He had a plan and he was working his way to get off of it. About a month ago he was taking about half the amount that he usually does and he was pretty optimistic. He was really trying to push it. He was going through some withdrawals and he would try to push it as hard as he could to get off the stuff. He really had a plan to be off three weeks prior to the fight and he really wanted to clean up. He really wanted to do this right. It was really important to him and his family. I hadn’t spoken to him for just a little bit, and I guess he tried, but he couldn’t.

He contacted me and told me about the situation, and I said, ‘Look, just sleep on it and we’ll talk about it tomorrow’. I met with Greg Jackson and we had a little conversation about everything. From there I called Karo and I just told him, ‘Well you’re better off being honest now than piss testing and getting in trouble with the commission’. He did the right thing there and told them. He messed up, but people shouldn’t hate him for it. The guy has a legit problem right now. He did the right thing; he didn’t cheat, he didn’t lie, he didn’t do anything wrong. He just had a problem that he tried to overcome and he couldn’t do it. I think that everybody can sympathize with that. Karo has put on great shows in the past, and I think that he felt a lot of pressure to do that again…
My heart goes out to him. I know he’s suffering right now. With the UFC dropping him, he’s a mess. He’s a complete mess. Just imagine what it’s like to have an addiction problem, and to lose everything like this all in one day. But at the end of the day he still did the right thing by coming clean and not trying to test, or fight, or lie, or anything like that. So before people start hating on him I hope they realize that when push came to shove, he did the right thing.
He could have disrespected the sport by going out there and fighting. A lot of people try to beat the test somehow. He could have done a lot of things to make the sport look bad. He could have done that because he was greedy, or because he needed money, or whatever it was, but instead he did the right thing and he didn’t make the UFC look like jerks by testing dirty. I know Dana is saying some things right now because he’s really upset about it, but Dana cares about him. Dana has always been really good to him. I know he’s probably pretty upset, and I would be too. He’s pulled out of a couple of fights before, and if you’re a promoter that would piss you off pretty bad.
Once he gets cleaned up and back on his feet, he’ll probably go out there and compete. If it’s not with the UFC it will be somewhere else. If Karo got clean and worked hard he’d be back in the top five again. He was ranked in the top five for his weight class for over three years. You don’t do that by being a slouch.”

Please, Karo — no more "plans" to beat your addiction on your own. It just doesn’t work that way. What you need is a board-certified physician and addiction-medicine specialist. Get well soon. For real this time.

Related: Dustin Hazelett reacts to the news that his UFC 106 fight has been cancelled.

Cagepotato Comments

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UFC fan- November 21, 2009 at 2:02 pm
fuck both you boys, you don't like me, so what? I am not here to be your goddamn butthole buddy's and I don't give a fuck what you think of my opinions OK? go cry somewhere else you bitches.
And Chiggs I assure you I got more going for me than you ever will. But I don't care if you want to make yourself feel better in your fantasyland world you live in, go take your meds, and be careful you might become a junkie like Karo your hero and poster-boy for all your emo feelings.
G Funk- November 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 7:45 pm
UFC Fan, your a total waste of fucking skin, as much as you make Karo out to be. I already said I dont give a shit about him personally, but Im also not a bitter prick like yourself, probably livin in your fuckin mothers basement, who is bitter at everyone around them because of whatever reason, And I never gave any fucking excuses, just facts about shit you know apparently nothing about. FUcking Keyboard warriors like you are the type of people that still give this sport a fucking caveman perception and further bolster the feelings of people thinking MMA fans are fuckwads rednecks, then again, maybe thats what you are..white fucking trash.
UFC fan- November 20, 2009 at 7:02 pm
GO fuck yourself Chigger, you self righteous bastard, I don't give any more fuck about him than I do YOU. Go make a fucking crying emo video telling everyone to just leave poor Karo alone for shit sake.
Karo was a shitty boring fighter, and he is a pathetic excuse for a human being.
On top of that he is a disgrace to his sport, you paint this anyway you want but be assured I feel great about myself cause I don't have to watch this damaged human being in public making a fool of himself, what he does in private I could give two shakes of shit less.
For every Karo ( fucked up mental case) parisyan there are 50 normal functioning MMA fighters who have been through worse and came out fine. You just want to make excuses for losers in life, maybe cause you ARE one.
Bloodlust- November 20, 2009 at 6:54 pm
Sorry to hear about Karo's addiction issues, although this obviously clears up a lot of things. (and yes OBI you called it) I'm with you Wyatt thos Vic's can be quite a good time. 831 son, even for your own standards, you come across as a know it all elitist douchebag, who in reality doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. You must have gone to Tito's and Kos's school for the insecure asshole.
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm
Never once did I say I fucking condoned it, actually I said I didnt condone it, and I sure as fuck aint patronizing anybody. And since he suffers from fucking Depression and Anxiety as well as Addiction, he definetly didnt 'Bring it on himself" as you make it seem, disease is disease and all three are exactly that, not something someone bring on themselves. As for the sob story, anything but, but I also cant stand dicks like yourself trying to make yourself feel oh so much better by ragging on someone with serious issues. Also as I said before, street junkie and a clinical addict are two seriously fucking different bags. No doubt he himself has let it slide with the meds, an gotten help, but kicking the habit is much easier said, then done. Your just a cold prick,these dudes put their lives on the line for our entertainment, least you can do is show some fucking respect/
UFC fan- November 20, 2009 at 5:32 pm
" Chiggs-Hell werent you one of the ones tellin to Lay off Lesnar becuz it turned out to be fuckin Health Issues an not him Ducking Carwin??"

No it sure as fuck wasn't me.
As for the sob story I am tired of people condoning people who bring problems on themselves, enough with the sandy VAGINA.
It is what it is, junkie is as junkie does, and it doesn't matter if he is a street bum shooting with dirty needles or a fighter who has no self worth, fuck people like that. You wanna patronize that shit good for you, whatever.
Seoul Brother- November 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm
I'm still not so sure about this shtugotz. Could he simply be afraid of pissing hot? Yep. Could his alleged addiction be serious? Hell yes. Did he fuck over the UFC and fans that were looking forward to seeing him fight? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY. That having been said, I still have great sympathy for him IF AND ONLY IF he's genuinely serious about admitting he has a pain killer addiction. All we have right now is the word of his "friend and training partner." Could it be that this guy is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame at the expense of his friend's misfortune? Also possible.

The timing of these revelations comes close enough to the event for most to label Karo as a douchebag if not a bona fide cheat. At the very least he's a delusional moron. I've never been a big fan of his, but I've never been one of his detractors. If he can contribute to the sport. Great. If not, good luck with getting your life together, buddy. Look at the bright side, Karo. At least you're not a reactionary twatwaffle like Junie Browning.

I'm impressed that a lot of the people here have opened up and shown a lot of understanding through their own dependency issues.
Kimbos Bread- November 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Yeah I take back what I said about Karo being "the cheat" Parisyan. I hope him all the best.

zombiekilla- November 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm
"The guy has a legit problem right now. He did the right thing; he didn’t cheat, he didn’t lie, he didn’t do anything wrong. He just had a problem that he tried to overcome and he couldn’t do it. I think that everybody can sympathize with that. Karo has put on great shows in the past, and I think that he felt a lot of pressure to do that again..."

hahahahah...really...he DID cheat and got popped for it back in january. He DID lie and say that he pulled out because he couldnt get licensed when he already had the go ahead to fight on saturday. he DID NOT try to get over his addiction, because he lies like every other junkie and says " i can do this on my own" instead of getting into rehab. and when the fuck was the last time karo in an exciting fight or a top five w.w. ? dana should be pissed and ban his ass from the ufc. at least until he does get his head on straight.
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm
Wow, Harsh words UFC Fan, hard,harsh words indeed, entitiled to your own opionion an such though, to bad is stinks :/ Hate to know how you'd react if it was someone closer to you perhaps, Thinking probably the same mindset. Guess to you sadly, a Junkie is a Junkie right?...Too bad its farther from the truth then you know/realize, HUGE difference between a Clinical Addict and a goddamn streetjunkie pumpin shit in thier arm., By No means do I condone what the hell he is doing or done, but you can't be a total cunt too people, whether you know them or not about these serious health issues. Hell werent you one of the ones tellin to Lay off Lesnar becuz it turned out to be fuckin Health Issues an not him Ducking Carwin?? All for Dana sending HIm to the MAyo clinic?? EIther way Im done with this shit, I just cant believe how cold fucking people are inregards to the Fighters and their Health, same ignorant shit was said bout Lesnar being a Ducker/Pussy...
UFC fan- November 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm
"Old_Bald_and_Irish Says:
Fri, 11/20/2009 - 08:20

Did I totally call this, or what?"

Yes you did, BUT come on really, isn't calling this kinda like predicting the sun will come up tomorrow?

Fuck Karo he is nothing more than another junkie with no future.
Put the barrel in your mouth and tilt toward what little brain you have left Karo and give us all a great Christmas gift.

NateGetsIrate- November 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm
Too bad he's come off as such a cocky douchebag in the past, otherwise Dana and others would be bit more sympathetic. If he were a more humble and honest person (or a freak-show, heavyweight champ), he'd still be part of the UFC and would be getting help from them with his addiction/anxiety issues.
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 11:38 am
Ya I shouldnt have went off like I did either, but unfort. I know exactly what he is going thru and Tubby summed it up pretty much Perfectly, Apparently he is(Karo) on Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone and Oxymorphone,or at least that is what he got busted with in his system. the Hydrocodone is probably Vics or Norcos?percs(different brands as Im In canada) an the Morphones are seriously strong Morphine synths, very very strong, stonger then normal/generic morphine, withdrawls from one, let alone 3 could/can shut down a nervous system pretty quickly 2-4days an WD's can last a couple weeks, Granted he knew and should have comeout about it sooner or went to Dana for help perhaps, but it is a bitch to deal wiht,fuck Panic and Depression alone makes you feel like your in an outofbody experience. As I said too,not a fan of Karo, just wouldnt wish Addiction, CLinical otherwise on anyone. If anything Dana should be instilling a Wellness Policy or somesuch, much like the WWE as Ican almost Guarantee that at LEAST 60-% or higher of fighters have an Addiction problem,wether it be drugs or alcholol. Cheers all..
831 Son- November 20, 2009 at 11:31 am
Maybe I jumped the gun a little early, and I get all your points, but I never said shit that is stronger isnt harder to get off. I know that Morphine and oxy are no joke but it doesnt even say what he was on and he had plenty of time to get off of it regardless of what it was. I was under the impression he is just taking some norco or some shit like that but the point is, he could have been off of them in time for this fight.
TubbyMcFats- November 20, 2009 at 10:58 am
chigss you got it exactly right.

unless you have gone through anxiety/panic/depression before in the CLINICAL SENSE you have no idea what this guy is going through. one of the things that people don't realize is that those words don't really describe what it's like. it's not like 'oh i feel nervous' or 'oh i'm sad' it's more like you're mind and body have basically said fuck you we're going to go apeshit nuts no matter what you want/think so you better sit back and enjoy the ride....want INEXPLICABLE pain? check. INEXPLICABLE nausea. check. INEXPLICABLE fatigue. check. racing heart. check. inexplicable mood swings. check. the list goes on...having gone through it for over a year i can definitely say i'd rather be waterboarded. at least that would be a PREDICTABLE cause/effect.

throw in withdrawal from some heavy narcotics and you're bound to be in for an even rougher ride; and i don't care how strong you think your will is, there is no way anyone muscle through with both those monkeys on your back. fact is that some things are bigger than us and that we need help to get through it. and that's exactly what Karo needs and what Dana and co should have provided from the outset.

i'd also point out that SSRI/SNRIs and other meds are nowhere near effective in 100% of cases so it's no suprise to me that Karo found something and stuck with it. this is one of those things where any cure, no matter how destructive it ultimately is, is so alluring for someone who is going through panic attacks.

no shame, no blame. just get better.
eelcozy- November 20, 2009 at 10:49 am
Yeah 831 Son, you're kind of being a dumbass. There is a difference between taking your prescription for a while (of a weaker opiate, mind you) and being very addicted to opiates.

Opiate withdrawal is pretty awful. No energy, pissing out your ass, depressed, puking, etc. You just want the day to be over to start the next one but each minute feels like an eternity.
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 10:21 am
Umm Son,you do know that Mscontin/morphine sulphate and/or Oxycontin are about 20x the sttrentgth of normal percocets right?> A normal percocet has around 5mg's of actual oxycodone whereas a Oxycontin has anywheres from 20mgs to 80mgs and Morphine sulphate about double or triple of the contins. One thing to come off of a few percs in a fewmonths then it is a Very very strong Opiate, some of the strongest after a few years of use. Dude If I come off/dont take the 100mg+ of Oxycontin Imprescribed, I end up in the hospital from severe withdrawls than can seriously fuckup your nervous system at the very least. Give the dude a fuckin break, Morphine and other opiates and no joke, and nothing like takin a few percs to recover from a fucked up foot. So until youve walked in someones shoes or not what the fuck your talking about, I wouldnt be thowing stones at glass houses to too much. Out of curiousty, how many percs were u taking a day??? Unless it was well over 20 or so(100mg's) it aint shit....
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 10:10 am
I agree, its something that Dana should maybe help spearhead since he likes to think of All his fighters as Family....oh wait. On serious note, Sub/Bupe works fucking wonders for addicts but does nothing for chronic pain sufferers unfort. Then again if Karo is in taht much pain, hes better to hang em up anyways,beats dying young....
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 10:05 am
There with ya Medium, well said and agee 1000%.
At the very least maybe its time that Dana brings aboard the Wellness Policy and get the fighters the help the deserve and Need, much like the WWE (as much as I hate to say it.)
Chiggs- November 20, 2009 at 10:03 am
@ Wyatt,

Through personal experienece, I can verify that that is very true. Ive suffered with Panic and Depression for many years , and also have been on Painkillers for the last 7 or so years due to disk degenerative disease and Spondlytis, and after taking pain meds for a certain time, they do work better or seem to then most anti anxiety meds, my doc. has mentioned it before that he agrees with that assement but doesnt necessarly agree with it either.
All I know is, fighting a Drug addiction ESPECIALLY Opiates, is one of hte fucking hardest things to deal with, on top of having anxiety, it can be a killer. Dana better hope that it doesnt send Karo off the deep end and should have at least tried to get him some pro help,f uck he was ready to send Lesnar to Mayo, why not provide Treatement for his fighters, much like the WWE and TNA Wrestling do.
Addictionis a lifelong fuckin disease and a nasty one at that. Hell I wouldnt wish that on anyone tbh as it takes its tole, mentally phsyically and emotionally. Hope Karo is alright even though Im not a fan and cant really stand the dude, I know exactly what an where he;s going thru and been to. Nasty place.
MediumRare- November 20, 2009 at 9:45 am
Shit is weak. I'm sick to death of Athletic Commisions and all their lame rules. The Japanese have got it right. Why the fuck do we even test these people for drugs and hormones and shit?

If it wasn't for these AC losers we'd be watching Karo fight tomorrow night. It's no advantage for him to be pounding Vicodin and Jack Daniels right before he walks out. So leave him the fuck alone.

They're grown men. Let them take whatever they will. As long as they stay out of trouble with the law, it should be all good.

We pretend to be all concerned for the fighters well being and then we cheer and clap when dudes get knocked out cold. Some disingenuous shit if you ask me.

Athletic commisions give us:
drug testing
incompetent referees
mentally retarded judges

Athletic commisions fuck up or cancel way too many fights.

I'm going to start a website:
Payday- November 20, 2009 at 9:33 am
Is it just me or does that guy standing next to Karo have freakishly small fists? Looks like that guy from the Burger King commercial with the tiny hands.
831 Son- November 20, 2009 at 9:27 am
Okay everyone, I dont feel any sympathy towards Karo whatsoever. I dont give a shit what anyone says, painkillers arent that hard to get off unless you have a weak ass pussy mind. I was on fucking percocet for 5 months and got off of them in a week. So stupid, people with weakling minds are the ones that need all the rehabs and whatnot. He needs to get punched in the chin for being a dumb ass.
ijustcreatedanaccounttocrackwise- November 20, 2009 at 9:16 am
I don't know what script or code is fucking you up for this lame-ass old Internet Exploder that's the only browser I can use at work, CP, but it's getting awfully boring having to hit the stop button before the 'cannot be displayed' message pops up. It's probably that shitty ad that's at fault, is my totally baseless guess. Fortunately Chrome at home is fine. BUT I'M AT WORK NOW! WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

PS - I'm pissed at the cancellation (it was my most anticipated fight on the card, even when it was still Lesnar/Carwin), hope he cleans up good, figured Haze would pretzel his egomaniac ass with some wild piece of Arm-Bar Mad-Scientistry anyway, etc.