by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Karo Parisyan was prepared to face fellow judoka Hector Lombard until it came to light that visa issues would keep the Cuban fighter out of the country. He will now instead face former Pride fighter Ryo Chonan in a welterweight match-up at Ultimate Fighting Championship 78 in Newark, N.J.
News of Lombard’s potential visa problems were discovered just recently and while the UFC originally hoped to sort everything out in time for the Nov. 17 fight, there was no resolution in sight. So Chonan stepped out of his bout with Thiago Alves and stepped in to face Parisyan.
“I was in Vegas just chilling in my room and Joe Silva (the UFC’s vice president of talent relations) called and said, ‘we’re thinking about (Ryo Chonan) and I said fine, no problem,” commented Parisyan regarding how he found out about his new opponent.
With the bout still more than a month away, both fighters should have ample time to prepare for the change in opponent. Parisyan says it makes no difference to him in his preparations.
“I train the same way for everybody,” he stated. “I don’t care who I’m fighting. As long as I’m in shape, I’m ready to fight.”
While Lombard was seen as quality opposition for Parisyan, it’s Chonan who has the more impressive resume. He steps into the fight holding wins over top fighters like Joey Villasenor, Hayato Sakurai and current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Parisyan wasn’t looking past Lombard, but he also knows a win over the UFC-debuting Chonan would be a more impressive victory.
“He has a bigger name than Hector Lombard and, god willing if I beat him, it will be a bigger win for me. It will be a good fight for me,” said the Armenian fighter.
“Hector Lombard is not an easy guy to fight either, but at the same time, I think that Ryo Chonan has way more fights under his belt. He’s got victories over very good fighters.”
Karo Parisyan faces Ryo Chonan at UFC 78 in Newark, N.J. on Nov. 17.
Chonan’s original opponent, Thiago Alves, is now set to face veteran Chris Lytle on the same fight card.