CagePotato.com has learned that former UFC welterweight contender Karo “The Heat” Parisyan contacted the UFC to offer to step in for Nate Marquardt to face Rick Story on last night’s UFC Live on Versus 4 card.
According to a source close to Parisyan, the Armenian Judoka texted UFC president Dana White moments after the news broke that Marquardt was unable to compete on the card because he not met the medical testing requirements of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission and would immediately be let go from the remainder of his Zuffa contract as a result, to let him know that he was in shape, his medicals were up to date and he could make the 170-pound welterweight limit in about in an hour or two. White, who chose instead to give Charlie Brenneman the fight, simply texted back, “:).”
Much like Marquardt, Parisyan, who was dropped by the UFC for the second time following an uninspired loss to Dennis Hallman at UFC 123 in November, was released by the promotion the first time for bowing out of his main card bout with Dustin Hazelett at UFC 106 one year earlier. The fight was his first one back from a nine-month suspension he received as a result of a positive test for painkillers following his UFC 94 win over Dong Hyun Kim, which was later changed to a “no contest.’ He cited his long-running battle with anxiety for pulling out of the fight with Hazelett, but says the condition is now under control.
In his first bout since the Hallman fight, Karo lost a disappointing hard-fought battle against highly-touted Canadian Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford by TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage because of a cut that was opened by a well-timed knee by Ford. In spite of the protests of “The Heat” and his corner to let the fight (which most believe he was winning) continue, the ringside physician would not give in. He has called for a rematch, but Ford has gone on record saying that it will only happen if, “Karo gets a couple of wins first.”
According to the source we spoke to, Parisyan told White he would do whatever it takes to earn his way back to the Octagon, whether it’s winning a bunch of fights against UFC prospects or veterans or availing himself to step in on short notice if the UFC needs a fill-in. This is a good sign that Karo has turned the corner and is on his way back up his self-described, “steep climb back to the top.”
Marquardt is scheduled to appear on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to give his side of what went wrong in Pittsburgh this weekend. Rumors are swirling that the former UFC middleweight who was already within the weight requirement for his UFC welterweight debut admitted on his athlete screening form that he had used a testosterone replacement cream, but could not come up with a doctor’s explanation as to why the substance was prescribed. He was allegedly given a specified amount of time to produce the document, but failed to do so prior to the weigh-ins. We’ll all (partially) know what really happened tomorrow.
White has gone on record that Marquardt will have to be a man and admit what he did, which makes you think it was something sinister or shady, but that could be Dana’s initial anger talking again.