by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The Goat Gets Ready To Turn Up the Heat
Nick Thompson takes on Karo Parysian at UFC 59 and has a few words for some other fighters as well.
Interview by Damon Martin, MMAWeekly
When Nick Thompson steps into the octagon on Saturday night it will be his second foray into the UFC, and his competition is the returning Karo “The Heat” Parysian, and while they differ in UFC experience, Thompson is actually the bigger veteran coming into the fight. One of the most active fighters at 170lbs, Thompson will look to impress as he steps up for possibly the biggest fight of his professional career. Thompson, who is never afraid to speak his mind, talks with MMAWeekly about his upcoming fight with Karo Parysian, his thoughts on an internet fueled feud with Joe Riggs and yet more thoughts about his favorite fighter, Diego Sanchez.
MMAWeekly: What kind of training are you focusing on for this fight? Who are you training with to get you ready?
Nick Thompson: I am just training all around MMA. People focus on Karo’s judo but Karo is slick everywhere. Everyone at this level is. I am aware of his throws but I can’t focus on that because then I will be missing something else. I am training at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy with Sean Sherk and Brock Larson. They are both studs so if I can get to a point where I can hang with them I will be okay.
MMAWeekly: Did you ever have any interest in entering the Ultimate Fighter competition? Many of those fighters have gained the kind of fame and monetary compensation that I’m sure you’d enjoy, so is there any tension to get in there with those guys and show why you’re a better fighter?
Nick Thompson: Yeah, I was actually flown out as a back-up for last season. When they were unsure whether Gurgel could compete because of his knee, I was at the hotel ready to be brought in. It didn’t happen and I got called into the UFC a couple of months later. Right after taking the UFC 56 fight, The Ultimate Fighter called me and asked if I wanted to be on season 3. I had already signed with the UFC so I couldn’t do it. As far as wanting to show you are better than the TUF guys. At first it is hard to see them getting so much attention because you feel like you have worked harder than them and gotten less in return. In the end though, the guys who turn out being successful from the show, are guys who would have made it anyways. I realized that when I saw Leben KO Rivera and Diego beat Diaz.
MMAWeekly: You were having quite of war of words on the internet with Joe Riggs before his fight with Nick Diaz. Do you still have a desire to fight him and how did that all start?
Nick Thompson: We met at UFC 56 when he was getting ready for Hughes. He said that he heard I had turned down a fight with him. I was begging the UFC to let me in and would have fought Tim Sylvia if it got me in, so there was no way I turned down a fight with Riggs. I told him as much and that was all that was said between he and I. Nothing else, he seemed like a real prick but there was no
animosity between us. Then I get home and see that he’s written that I am a bum and that he’s making fun of the whitey tighties I was wearing in the sauna. Granted, the whitey tighties were nasty, but I was more concerned with making weight than what was covering the fellas. Perhaps Joe should have done the same. As far as wanting to fight him, sure. He is plenty tough but I think I can
hold my own just fine with him.
MMAWeekly: Josh Neer just defeated Joe Stevenson at Ultimate Fight Night and you beat him late last year. If the UFC approached you with that fight, would you consider a rematch?
Nick Thompson: I really like Josh and had a blast fighting him. He is a tough guy and will not quit. For Christ’s sake, Stevenson popped his ACL and Neer didn’t even blink. You got to like that. As far as fighting him again, would I get to fight him while he has the torn ACL? Cause then yes. For those of you who have not seen the fights go to http://youtube.com/watch?v=1TgpjblHGJc and check it out. Good times
MMAWeekly: Another guy you’ve been none too silent to speak out against was Diego Sanchez. If you win this fight is he the guy you’d like to fight next if given the opportunity?
Nick Thompson: Diego kind of made me eat crow after the Diaz fight. Diaz is tough and Diego took it to him. I would still love to fight him and think that he is in trouble against 170lbers that can stop takedowns. But he is tough. On a side note, his toughness does not mean that he is not a tool. He still is a tool. You know, with the mustache and man perm thing. Or the commercial talking about how is family is what makes him fight well. All I am saying is that he eats corn on the cob the long way.
MMAWeekly: This will be Karo Parysian’s first fight back after his pectoral injury and after he lost his shot at Matt Hughes for the welterweight title. Do you think he’ll be out to prove that he’s back by really beating you down or do you think that it plays into your hand that he’s been out for a while and may be looking past you a bit thinking of a future title shot?
Nick Thompson: I don’t think Karo is looking past me. Karo is a competitor and he is training to win on April 15th. I don’t know if the time off will play a factor but I hope so. I will need every advantage I can get as Karo is one of the top 170lbers in the world.
MMAWeekly: What kind of danger does Karo Parysian bring into this fight for you?
Nick Thompson: His submission skills are slick. That’s obviously my biggest worry. But there are other things that Karo does that really plays into my hands. Karo likes to be exciting and likes to throw down. If he stands and trades with me, I like my chances.
MMAWeekly: This will be the UFC’s first show in California, and your fight will most likely end up on the main card. Does that add any extra pressure onto you to perform? Do you still get nervous before fights?
Nick Thompson: I want my fight to be shown. I am going to be nervous anyways, might as well be somewhat famous. As far as how nervous will I be? I am always nervous. I throw up before about half of my fights and always tell my corner men I am never fighting again. Maybe it’s the going out in the spandex thing. You feel awfully naked.
MMAWeekly: A good friend of yours, Sean Sherk, is fighting on the same card versus Nick Diaz. How have you added onto his game and what do you think will happen in that fight?
Nick Thompson: Diaz is in trouble. Sherk does the best of what Diego did and doesn’t make the mistakes Diego does. I really like Diaz and don’t understand why the UFC would do this to him. Why not just have him fight Arlovski and get it over with?
MMAWeekly: Anyone you want to thank for training or sponsors?
Nick Thompson: I would like to thank my sponsors. That’s how I get my bread. American Fighter, XO Energy Drink, TapouT, mmafa.tv, Steve Gavin and Precision Mortgage, Miccs Martial Arts, AirandAqua.com, Philty Phil Kuehnl, Dr.Jonathan Main, Johnny Passarelli, Fight Shop, CalSp and Gemdiamonds.com. I’d also like to thank my training partners at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. Sean Sherk. Actually, screw him. I am sick of him always beating on me. I would like to rescind my thank you. Anyways, Brock Larson and my instructors Nat McIntyre and Greg Nelson. I would also like to thank my old teammates at Dave Strasser’s Freestyle Academy including Ron Faircloth, Nick
Agallar and Brian Geraghty. Lastly I want to thank my manager for stealing 10% of my green and my lovely, lovely girlfriend. Seriously, she is way better looking than me. The key is to find a hot girl with a vision problem and make sure she doesn’t get glasses.