Karo Parisyan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Karo Parisyan
BornKarapet Parisyan
(1982-08-28) August 28, 1982 (age 41)
Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union (today Armenia)
Native nameԿարո Փարիզյան
Other namesThe Heat
NationalityArmenian & American
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight169 lb (77 kg; 12 st 1 lb)
Reach75.5 in (192 cm)
Fighting out ofNorth Hollywood, California, United States
TeamTeam Hayastan
RankBlack belt in Hayastan wrestling
Black belt in Judo
Years active1999–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission11
By decision10
By knockout7
By submission1
By decision4
No contests1
Other information
Notable relativesManvel Gamburyan, cousin
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Karapet "Karo" Parisyan (Armenian: Կարապետ Փարիզյան; born August 28, 1982) is an Armenian-American mixed martial artist, who last competed in the welterweight division. A professional MMA competitor since 1999, Parisyan is a former WEC Welterweight Champion and has also competed for the UFC, Bellator, and Impact FC.


Parisyan was born in Yerevan, Armenian SSR (today Armenia). His family migrated to America when he was six years old. Parisyan started training in judo when he was nine years old under fellow Armenian Gokor Chivichyan.[1] Parisyan stated that his father began taking him to judo lessons because he beat up on his sisters and judo would be an effective outlet for Parisyan to take out his anger.[1] In a book he published, however, Parisyan wrote that his father introduced him to judo to cure his laziness.[2] By age ten, Parisyan was training his Judo under both Chivichyan and Gene LeBell.[1]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]


For more than thirteen years, Parisyan developed under the Hayastan Grappling System (aka Hayastan Wrestling), developed by Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell, which blends elements of judo, sambo, catch wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling.[3] Parisyan continued to train at the Hayastan Academy under Gokor and Gene until late 2005. In early 2012, Karo mentioned in an interview that he has returned to the Hayastan Academy.[4]


Parisyan has six junior national titles to his credit and competed in the Olympic judo trials ahead of the 2004 games in Athens. He wrote that going to the Olympics was his dream and that mixed martial arts was only an outlet for his boredom. During the trials, he received a call from UFC management and was invited to compete. He accepted because he needed money. But after the fight against Dave Strasser, his ribs needed recovery and he decided to give up on the trials.[5]

He lost his first fight to Sean Sherk by a controversial decision. In an immediate rematch, Parisyan was unable to come out of his corner, and later explained he had been suffering from a stomach virus.[6]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Parisyan made his UFC debut on September 23, 2003, beating Dave Strasser by kimura. In his next fight, Parisyan fought Georges St-Pierre and lost via unanimous decision. During the fight, Parisyan attempted two kimuras, however Parisyan failed to secure them as St-Pierre defended both attempts.[7] Parisyan became the first fighter to go the distance with St-Pierre. He then went on to win the WEC welterweight title, defeating Shonie Carter.[8] He then returned to the UFC, where he won consecutive decision victories over Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle and Matt Serra.[9]

Parisyan's next fight was to take place at UFC 56: Full Force, where he would challenge UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes. However, Parysian suffered a hamstring injury and was forced to pull out.[10] Joe Riggs took his place.[11]

He next fought Nick Thompson at UFC 59 and won via submission (strikes) in the first round.[12]

Parisyan then fought Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 6. He lost via unanimous decision. The fight was chosen as the 2006 Fight of the Year by Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[13]

Following the loss to Sanchez, Parisyan won three consecutive victories over Drew Fickett, Josh Burkman and Ryo Chonan, all via unanimous decision.[14]

Parisyan lost via TKO to Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 13 in the second round. Alves showed good resistance against Parisyan's grappling offense and finished Parisyan with a knee from the clinch, followed by strikes.[15]

Parisyan was scheduled to fight Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 88: Breakthrough, but a back injury forced him to drop out of the fight right before the weigh-ins.[16]

After recovering from his back injury, Parisyan returned at UFC 94 on January 31, 2009 in Las Vegas against Dong Hyun Kim.[17] Parisyan defeated Kim in a controversial split decision.[18] Following the fight, Parisyan tested positive for banned painkillers hydrocodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone.[19] Parisyan has stated that he has a prescription for the medications due to a severe back / hamstring injury.[20] Parisyan was suspended pending a full hearing in mid-March.[21] On March 17, 2009, the NSAC suspended Parisyan for nine months and ruled his decision victory a "no contest".[22]

Parisyan was scheduled to fight Dustin Hazelett at UFC 106,[23] but pulled out of the fight on November 19, the day before weigh-ins. UFC President Dana White responded to the situation on his Twitter stating that Parisyan will "not be fighting Saturday or ever again in the UFC!!" White also stated that he had "a laundry list of excuses."[24] Later that day, Neil Melanson, a longtime friend and training partner of Parisyan's, divulged to MMA news site Five Ounces Of Pain that Parisyan has been battling an addiction to painkillers dating back to an injury suffered while training for a fight.[25]


Parisyan entered into talks with Strikeforce, looking to continue his mixed martial arts career in the USA, but it proved unsuccessful.[26]

Parisyan's return fight took place on July 10, 2010 for Impact FC 1. He was initially scheduled to face Luis Dutra Jr.,[27] but Dutra would end up being forced off the card with a torn bicep. Parisyan's new opponent was Ben Mortimer, who Parisyan would go on to defeat via rear-naked choke at 4:18 of the second round.[28]

Return to the UFC[edit]

On September 2, 2010, it was announced that Karo would be returning to the UFC. He faced Dennis Hallman at UFC 123 in November.[29] Hallman defeated Parisyan via TKO due to punches at 1:47 in the first round. In a discussion with journalist Ariel Helwani following UFC 123, UFC President Dana White stated he believes Parisyan is through fighting in the UFC.[30]

Independent promotions[edit]

Karo fought highly touted Canadian prospect Ryan Ford on May 19, 2011 in the MMA Live 1 show in London, Ontario, Canada.[31] He was able to neutralize Ford's strength and power by applying his takedowns, as it seemed that the first and second rounds were in favor of Parisyan, but was caught in the third round by a vicious knee to the head which resulted in a cut over Karo's left eye that would end the fight via TKO due to a doctor's stoppage.[32]

Parisyan fought Jordan Smith on September 14 in Brazil, Amazon Forest Combat 1. After a long hard battle going the distance, Parisyan came up short, losing the fight by split decision.[33]

He was expected to fight Dave Menne on March 31, 2012, but Menne was forced out of the bout with an injury. Parisyan instead fought Thomas Denny.[34] He won via unanimous decision.[35]

Parisyan was scheduled to fight Shamar Bailey in the main event of ShoFIGHT 20 in Springfield, Missouri for the vacant welterweight title on June 16, 2012. However, Bailey was forced off the card due to an injury and replaced by fellow UFC veteran John Gunderson. After being stunned by a knee from Gunderson, which resulted in a broken cheek bone, Parisyan was caught in a guillotine choke and lost the fight by submission. Parisyan said after the fight that he tapped due to the pressure on his cheekbone and he wasn't being choked.[36]

Parisyan was expected to fight David Bielkheden in Malmo, Sweden on October 6, 2012 but pulled out of the fight due to personal reasons and was replaced by Marcus Davis. Parisyan said at the time: "Everyone knows that it has been a rough road for me over the past couple years. I've tried to just refocus myself and get back to throwing people on their heads, but it hasn't been the same. Not to take anything away from my opponent, but my last fight was devastating for me. My manager and I had a long talk, and he set me up with a sports psychologist. At this point, I need to listen to my doctor and refocus on my life -- not fighting. God willing, fighting will be back in my life at some point, but for now I need to only focus on Karo getting back to Karo."[37]

Parisyan defeated Tiger Bonds via first round armbar on September 29, 2012 at a Gladiator Challenge event.[38]

Parisyan then fought on October 28, 2012 against Edward Darby and won via first round armbar.[39]

Bellator MMA[edit]

Parisyan's first Bellator fight was against fellow judoka Rick Hawn at Bellator 95. Parisyan and Hawn had faced off twice in judo competitions previously, with Hawn winning both their matches at the Judo U.S. Open.[40] In their Bellator bout, Parisyan lost via TKO in the second round.[41]

Parisyan was expected to face Fight Master competitor Cristiano Souza at Bellator 106, but pulled out due to injury.[42]

Parisyan faced Ron Keslar on April 11, 2014 at Bellator 116. He won the fight via knockout in the second round, marking the first KO victory of his MMA career.[43]

Parisyan faced Bellator newcomer and former sparring partner Phil Baroni on July 25, 2014 at Bellator 122.[44] He won the fight by TKO in the first round.[45]

Parisyan was expected to face Marius Žaromskis at Bellator 127 on October 3, 2014.[46] However, Žaromskis was pulled from the bout to fight at another date. Fernando Gonzalez stepped in as a replacement.[47] Parisyan lost the fight via TKO in the first round. However, Gonzalez later failed a drug test and was subsequently fined and given a one-month suspension.[48]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
37 matches 24 wins 12 losses
By knockout 3 7
By submission 11 1
By decision 10 4
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 24–12 (1) Jose Diaz TKO (retirement) Extreme Fighters MMA: Ready for War October 7, 2017 1 5:00 Long Beach, California, United States
Loss 24–11 (1) Fernando Gonzalez TKO (punches) Bellator 127 October 3, 2014 1 1:43 Temecula, California, United States Gonzalez tested positive for banned substance. However result was not changed to "No Contest."
Win 24–10 (1) Phil Baroni TKO (punches) Bellator 122 July 25, 2014 1 2:06 Temecula, California, United States
Win 23–10 (1) Ron Keslar TKO (punches) Bellator 116 April 11, 2014 2 4:05 Temecula, California, United States
Loss 22–10 (1) Rick Hawn KO (punches) Bellator 95 April 4, 2013 2 1:55 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 22–9 (1) Edward Darby Submission (armbar) Gladiator Challenge: Heat Returns October 28, 2012 1 2:10 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 21–9 (1) Tiger Bonds Submission (armbar) Gladiator Challenge: King Of The Mountain September 29, 2012 1 1:03 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 20–9 (1) John Gunderson Submission (guillotine choke) ShoFight 20 June 16, 2012 1 2:47 Springfield, Missouri, United States For vacant ShoFIGHT Welterweight Championship.
Win 20–8 (1) Thomas Denny Decision (unanimous) WMMA 1 - Fighting for a Better World March 31, 2012 3 5:00 El Paso, Texas, United States
Loss 19–8 (1) Jordan Smith Decision (split) Amazon Forest Combat 1 September 14, 2011 3 5:00 Manaus, Brazil
Loss 19–7 (1) Ryan Ford TKO (doctor stoppage) JEG - MMA Live 1 May 19, 2011 3 1:26 London, Ontario, Canada
Loss 19–6 (1) Dennis Hallman TKO (punches) UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida November 20, 2010 1 1:47 Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 19–5 (1) Ben Mortimer Submission (rear-naked choke) Impact FC 1: The Uprising July 10, 2010 2 4:18 Brisbane, Australia
NC 18–5 (1) Dong Hyun Kim NC (overturned by NSAC) UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2 January 31, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Original split decision win; failed post-fight drug test for banned painkillers.
Loss 18–5 Thiago Alves TKO (knee and punches) UFC Fight Night 13 April 2, 2008 2 0:34 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 18–4 Ryo Chonan Decision (unanimous) UFC 78: Validation November 17, 2007 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 17–4 Josh Burkman Decision (unanimous) UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson May 26, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16–4 Drew Fickett Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Sanchez vs. Riggs December 13, 2006 3 5:00 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 15–4 Diego Sanchez Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night 6 August 17, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States 2006 Fight of the Year. Fight of the Night.
Win 15–3 Nick Thompson TKO (submission to punches) UFC 59: Reality Check April 15, 2006 1 4:44 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 14–3 Matt Serra Decision (unanimous) UFC 53: Heavy Hitters June 4, 2005 3 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 13–3 Chris Lytle Decision (unanimous) UFC 51: Super Saturday February 5, 2005 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–3 Nick Diaz Decision (split) UFC 49: Unfinished Business August 21, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 11–3 Shonie Carter Decision (unanimous) WEC 10 - Bragging Rights May 21, 2004 3 5:00 Lemoore, California, United States Won WEC Welterweight Championship.
Loss 10–3 Georges St-Pierre Decision (unanimous) UFC 46: Supernatural January 31, 2004 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–2 Dave Strasser Submission (kimura) UFC 44: Undisputed September 26, 2003 1 3:52 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 9–2 Fernando Vasconcelos Decision (unanimous) King of the Cage 22 March 23, 2003 3 5:00 San Jacinto, California, United States
Win 8–2 Antonio McKee Decision (unanimous) Ultimate Cage Fighting 3 February 15, 2003 3 5:00 Hollywood, California, United States
Win 7–2 Darrell Smith Submission (armbar) Reality Submission Fighting 3 March 30, 2001 1 0:59 Belleville, Illinois, United States
Loss 6–2 Sean Sherk TKO (corner stoppage) Reality Submission Fighting 2 January 5, 2001 1 16:20 Belleville, Illinois, United States
Loss 6–1 Sean Sherk Decision (unanimous) Reality Submission Fighting 1 October 10, 2000 1 18:00 Belleville, Illinois, United States
Win 6–0 Guido Jennings Submission (choke) Kage Kombat 16 June 7, 1999 1 6:33 California, United States
Win 5–0 Justin Bumphus Submission (choke) ESF: Empire One May 15, 1999 1 N/A Corona, California, United States
Win 4–0 Scott Davis Submission (armbar) Kage Kombat 14 April 5, 1999 1 2:16 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 3–0 Jason Rittgers Submission (armbar) Kage Kombat 14 April 5, 1999 1 1:58 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 2–0 Zach McKinney Submission (armbar) Kage Kombat 12 February 1, 1999 1 0:23 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 1–0 Brian Warren Submission (ankle lock) Kage Kombat 12 February 1, 1999 1 0:44 Los Angeles, California, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Karo "The Heat" Parisyan". Little Armenia.com. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  2. ^ Karo Parisyan, Erich Krauss and Glen Cordoza (2008). Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques. Victory Belt Publishing. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Hayastan Grappling Challenge – Rules". Hayastan Grappling Challenge.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11.
  4. ^ "Exclusive Interview With HyeFighter Karo Parisyan On His Upcoming Fight". HyeFighters. March 19, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Karo Parisyan, Erich Krauss and Glen Cordoza (2008). Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques. Victory Belt Publishing. p. 21.
  6. ^ "Q & A W/ UFC's Karo "The Heat" Parisyan: severe punishment Pt. 1". thaFormula.com. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  7. ^ "UFC 46 Supernatural Photos Karo Parisyan vs Georges St. Pierre". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  8. ^ Mills, Keith (May 21, 2004). "WEC X Results: Melendez, Parisyan shine in the desert". Full Contact Fighter. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Saunders, Andrew (December 20, 2012). "The 20 All-Time Fan Favorite MMA Welterweights". Bleacher Report. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Matt Hughes vs. Karo Parisyan, UFC 56". Tapology. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  11. ^ "UFC 56 - Full Force". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Karo Parisyan vs. Nick Thompson, UFC 59". Tapology. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  13. ^ "Karo Parisyan: Matt Hughes "Can't Touch" Georges St. Pierre". MMAjunkie.com. May 4, 2007. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Butler, Rhett (March 26, 2008). "Karo Parisyan's life has been a fight tale". MilitaryNews.com. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Morgan, John (April 9, 2008). "Thiago Alves gets title shot after Jon Fitch". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "Karo Parisyan injured, UFC 88 bout scrapped". MMAjunkie.com. September 5, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  17. ^ mmasurvival.com Archived 2008-11-09 at the Wayback Machine. mmasurvival.com. Retrieved on 2011-06-07.
  18. ^ UFC 94 Archived 2009-02-07 at the Wayback Machine. Matt-hughes.com (2009-02-03). Retrieved on 2011-06-07.
  19. ^ "Parisyan Tests Positive; Revealed Meds Pre-fight". MMAWeekly.com. February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  20. ^ [1][dead link]
  21. ^ "UFC's Parisyan suspended until formal hearing". CNN. 2009-02-18. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
  22. ^ Brian Knapp. "Parisyan Suspended Nine Months". Sherdog.
  23. ^ "Parisyan vs. Hazelett agreed to for UFC 106". August 24, 2009.
  24. ^ "Update: Parisyan Out of UFC 106". November 19, 2009.
  25. ^ "Neil Melanson: 'Karo is suffering right now'". FiveOuncesOfPain.com. November 20, 2009.
  26. ^ "Karo "The Heat" Parisyan may sign for Strikeforce'". LowKick.com. May 5, 2010. Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
  27. ^ Marrocco, Steven (May 13, 2010). "Karo Parisyan headed to Australia for Impact FC, fights Luis Dutra Jr". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  28. ^ Marrocco, Steven (July 14, 2010). "After a trying Impact FC win, Karo Parisyan not counting out a UFC return". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  29. ^ Ariel Helwani (2 September 2010). "Karo Parisyan Welcomed Back to UFC, Offered Dennis Hallman at UFC 123". MMA Fighting.
  30. ^ Matt Erickson (21 November 2010). "Dana White: BJ Penn Gets Jon Fitch Next". MMA Fighting.
  31. ^ Mma Live Canada Archived 2011-02-03 at the Wayback Machine. Mma Live Canada. Retrieved on 2011-06-07.
  32. ^ "Exclusive: Left With a Bitter Taste in His Mouth From Controversial TKO Loss to Ryan Ford, Karo Parisyan Calls For Rematch". CagePotato. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  33. ^ "Karo Parisyan vs. Jordan Smith, Amazon Forest Combat 1". Tapology. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  34. ^ "Karo Parisyan and Lyle Beerbohm Get New Opponents at Worldwide MMA". MMAWeekly.com. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  35. ^ "Karo Parisyan vs. Thomas Denny, WMMA 1". Tapology. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  36. ^ Burke, Tim (June 17, 2012). "ShoFight 20 Results: Karo Loses Again, Brunson Victim Of Questionable Judging". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  37. ^ "Monson, Parisyan Scratched from Superior Challenge 8; Linderman, Marcus Davis to Fill Spots". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
  38. ^ "Gladiator Challenge-King Of The Mountain". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Gladiator Challenge-Knock Out At Soboba". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  40. ^ "Olympic Judoka Rick Hawn takes to the cage". Boston Herald. 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  41. ^ "BELLATOR 95 RESULTS: LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY & UPDATES". April 4, 2013.
  42. ^ "Karo Parisyan vs. Cristiano Souza is 14th addition to Bellator 106's PPV event". mmajunkie.com. October 15, 2013.
  43. ^ "Karo Parisyan: I Wanted to Make a Statement Against Ron Keslar". Sherdog. April 15, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  44. ^ "Phil Baroni vs. Karo Parisyan added to Bellator 122". mmafighting.com. June 17, 2014.
  45. ^ Brookhouse, Brent (July 25, 2014). "Bellator 122 results and gifs: Parisyan, McGeary, Halsey and Koreshkov win". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  46. ^ "Karo Parisyan vs. Marius Zaromskis booked for Bellator 127 in California". mmajunkie.com. August 21, 2014.
  47. ^ "Bellator 127 lineup again complete as Gonzalez replaces Zaromskis, Duran meets Bunch". mmajunkie.com. September 24, 2014.
  48. ^ Tuttle, C.J. (October 30, 2014). "4 Fighters Fail Post-Fight Drug Screenings Following Bellator 127 in California". Sherdog. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  49. ^ Thomas Gerbasi (January 7, 2013). "TEN BEST - 2012 FIGHTS OF THE YEAR and previous years". Ultimate Fighting Championship.

External links[edit]

Preceded by 3rd WEC Welterweight Champion
May 21, 2004 – October, 2005
Parisyan signs with UFC
Title next held by
Mike Pyle