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Karo Parisyan


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Karapet Parisyan born August 28, 1982 in Yerevan, Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic) is an Armenian American mixed martial artist. His fighting style is primarily Judo but has been modified to fight without the use of a judogi (sometimes called no-gi style).

His cousin, Manvel Gamburyan, is also a MMA fighter.


Parisyan's family migrated to America when he was two years old. Parisyan started training in Judo when he was nine years old under fellow Armenian Gokor Chivichyan. 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." By age 10, Parisyan was training his Judo under both Chivichyan and "Judo" Gene LeBell. Parisyan later added Muay Thai training and managed to adapt his Judo skills to work in the absence of a judogi. He claims to be the first judo fighter to successfully do so for mixed martial arts. He was recently married in August of 2009.

Hayastan Grappling System

For more than thirteen years, Parisyan developed under the Hayastan Grappling System, a style blended by Gokor Chivichyan and "Judo" Gene LeBell, which includes adapted elements of Judo, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling. Parisyan continued to train at the Hayastan Academy under Gokor and Gene until late 2005.


Parisyan is considered to be the best UFC fighter to have successfully adapted his Judo style to the no-gi rules of the Octagon (that is without the additional leverage offered by an opponent's gi). He has six Junior National belts to his credit, and competed in the Olympic Judo trials ahead of the 2004 games in Athens.

MMA career

Parisyan competes as a welterweight and made his UFC debut on September 23, 2003, beating Dave Strasser by kimura. He then went on to win the WEC welterweight title, defeating Shonie Carter. He was widely considered as the top contender for the UFC welterweight title before a loss to Diego Sanchez.

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.

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.

After recovering from his back injury, the Armenian welterweight returned at UFC 94 on January 31 in Las Vegas against Kim Dong-hyun. Parisyan defeated Kim in a controversial split decision. Following the fight, Parisyan tested positive for banned painkillers hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone. Parisyan has stated that he has a prescription for the medications due to a severe back / hamstring injury

Parisyan was suspended pending a full hearing in mid-March. On March 17, 2009, the NSAC suspended Parisyan for nine months and ruled his decision victory a "no contest".

Parisyan was scheduled to fight Dustin Hazelett at UFC 106, 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". 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.

Karo Parisyan is currently in talks with Strikeforce, looking to continue his Mixed Martial Arts career in the USA.





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Submitted Brian Warren and Zach McKinney at KK12

Submitted Jason Rittgers and Scott Davis at KK14

Submitted Justin Bumphus at ESF

Submitted Guido Jennings at KK16

Lost a decision to Sean Sherk at RSF1

Was knocked out by Sean Sherk at RSF2

Submitted Darrell Smith at RSF3

Won a decision over Antonio McKee at UAGF 3

Won a decision over Fernando Vasconcelos at NOTC 22



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