The first ImpactFC event happened in Australia over the weekend and unlike many other star-studded events in far away places, this one actually went off without half the roster pulling out last second. Even Karo Parisyan – who’s early awesome wars with Nick Diaz and Diego Sanchez were followed with an endless not-so-awesome war with anxiety – managed to show up, fight, and win. It sounded kinda iffy though:
Originally set to face tough Brazilian Luis Dutra Jr., Parisyan’s opponent was replaced early in the week after Dutra separated his bicep in preparation. Parisyan was then paired up against Ben Mortimer, a local with less than a year of pro experience. However, the switch to a seemingly less challenging opponent only seemed to agitate “The Heat,” who paced the fighter hotel nervously for much of the week. It became commonplace to hear people ask promoter Tom Huggins, “How’s Karo?”
“When you have an anxiety problem, everything gets to you,” Parisyan told Sherdog.com after his second-round submission over Mortimer. “Why’s the door closed? Why are the curtains open? You have to learn to control it. If anyone is ever in my shoes, they’ll never judge me over what happened with the UFC.”
Parisyan’s anxiety came to a head just less than an hour before fight time, when he asked Huggins to move his fight from the seventh to first in the bout order.
“I got my family back home and they were going crazy. It was the first time they couldn’t watch me fight live. They were going ballistic,” Parisyan said. “I said, ‘Dad, the best I can do is tell them to bump my fight up.’ I told Tom, ‘I don’t care about the co-main event crap. Just let me fight first.'”
Parisyan’s connection to his family back in California was easily the biggest stresser for him. Not only did he worry about them, he worried about them worrying about him, which only exacerbated his anxiety.
Maybe Karo will come back like a quirky TBS show character and use his anxiety to make him a better fighter. Or more likely he’ll end up locked in his basement filling jars with urine and only coming out when his mom says it’s safe. As for when we get to see his ImpactFC fight, apparently next week’s event will be on PPV and the best fights from the first show will be stuffed between live fights like the UFC does.