In welterweight action, Karo “The Heat” Parisyan makes his return to the octagon against the veteran Dennis “Superman” Hallman in the last unaired preliminary fight of the evening.
Parisyan (19-5-0-1) made headlines after backing out of a fight against Dustin Hazelett at the last minute. UFC president Dana White event went as far as to say that Karo would “not be fighting Saturday or ever again in the UFC!” Parisyan has had a history of problems with painkiller abuse as well as pre-fight anxiety attacks. After leaving the UFC, Parisyan won his fight with Ben Mortimer at Impact FC in Australia, although concerns about his mental state remained. Parisyan had asked the promotion to move his bout to the first fight of the evening so as not to allow his anxiety to kick in by waiting.
When he’s not in his head, Parisyan is one of the most exciting fighters in the entire UFC. Some of his bouts, like his UFC Fight Night 6 match against Diego Sanchez are all time greats. Parisyan is one of the few MMA fighters who utilize Judo as their primary method of attack and his throws are a sight to see.
Dennis Hallman (42-13-2-1) is a man who has been fighting for a very long time, having begun his career way back in 1997. He is still just 34 years old and after a dominating victory over Ben Saunders at UFC 117, he’s been on a career resurgence of sorts. Hallman is primarily a wrestler, but he also uses that wrestling ability to work for submissions. Against top competition, the submissions don’t come quite as often, but Hallman is a gamer. Look for him to be aggressive with takedowns against Parisyan.
The Karo Parisyan that won the WEC welterweight title as well as became a top contender in the UFC would likely dominate Dennis Hallman, but there’s more to MMA than just fighting ability. Will he be able to hold up mentally against Hallman or will his anxiety have the better of him? We’ll just have to wait and see. Parisyan has had trouble with top level wrestlers in the past and while Hallman may not be world class, if you mix in Parisyan’s mental state, he’s definitely got a good chance here.
Prediction: Dennis Hallman via unanimous decision