By Jason Kelly
Anytime a grown man is on his knees screaming “NO!” over and over again, that usually suggests he lost something he cherished dearly. That resembled Karo Parisyan following his UFC 123 loss to Dennis Hallman and possibly the fans final image of Karo in the UFC octagon. Parisyan knew this fight was a one shot deal, a must win situation to retain employment with the UFC and when the opportunity was taken from Karo, Karo sat on his knees in disbelief pleading to a higher power.
Karo had roller coaster career in the UFC and a rickety rapport with UFC head honcho Dana White yet, White gave Karo one more opportunity to verify he belongs in the UFC, and Karo failed. Parisyan has had mental evils disrupting him for quite some time and it affected his talent immensely. Karo’s most publicized issues were his battles with panic attacks and anyone who knows anything about panic attacks, will know the terrifying experiences affiliated with a panic attack. When the onset occurs and a person’s mind endures episodes of intense fear for no apparent reason, it affects their day-to-day life drastically. Now, imagine a fighter experiencing those fits, a person who is deemed as a tough guy suddenly feels inadequate to their peers. It is one of the worst mental issues for a fighter to deal with. Karo stated that his symptoms were under control and he was ready to get back in the cage and prove himself.
Karo “The Heat” Parisyan showed enormous potential in his early UFC career. He beat some great fighters and let us witness mind blowing judo throws, while sporting a toughness all men respect but, when Karo’s personal demons entered his life, his career suffered terribly. “The Heat” is young, physically healthy, and he has a want to fight at a high level but, the personal issues he embodies may route his career to a sudden halt. It is official that Parisyan has been released from the UFC but, that does not mean he will stop fighting, it also does not mean Karo lost to Hallman due to Karo’s previous issues. However, Karo did not appear to be the same fighter he used to be. That could be simply because Karo had a bad night, a result of the mental taxing he underwent, or perhaps Karo is still affected by his illness and cannot focus on his training and battle the monsters inside his head simultaneously.
Parisyan insists his panic attacks are behind him and he is ready to fight but, we all know fighters will rarely admit that their going through health issues of any sort. As bad as Karo wants to display his skills to the world, he needs to make sure that he is mentally healthy first. It is well known that the biggest part of the fight game is mental toughness and Karo has an illness that cripples his mental abilities in day-to-day life, let alone fighting inside a cage. Wherever Karo intends to venture with his career, I wish him the best of luck. When an illness of any kind, mental or physical, takes over a person’s body or mind it is a sad thing to watch, and Karo’s lasting image inside the octagon as it stands now, is oh so sad.