ONE FC matchmaker Matt Hume has made a lot of new signings this year, but perhaps none more intriguing than undefeated heavyweight Chi Lewis Parry. The Englishman stands at six-feet-nine-inches tall and is a former professional basketball player who trains with Alistair Overeem in Holland.
Lewis Parry made his professional debut just over two years ago and he has finished every single opponent he has ever faced. His four most recent fights have lasted a grand total of seven minutes and 54 seconds, but he has yet to be tested against elite level opposition.
That will all change at ONE FC: Honor & Glory on May 30 when he takes on former Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Alain Ngalani. The Cameroonian is the most seasoned striker in the entire division and Lewis Parry knows he faces a serious step up.
“Ngalani is by far the toughest and most diverse opponent I have faced, but I train at Mike’s gym in Holland and have Alistair Overeem as a sparring partner, so I’m very used to dealing with tough guys,” he said.
On his ONE FC debut, Ngalani showcased his striking by knocking out Egyptian Mahmoud Hassan with a spinning heel kick. Lewis Parry says he is motivated by the challenge of finding a suitable style to neutralize his opponent’s skill set.
“Obviously, Ngalani is a physical specimen and men are not made like that regularly. He is a very strong striker and if I’m honest that excites me. Finding sparring partners to emulate Ngalani would be difficult if I was planning on playing his game, but I’m not. It’s my game and my will is going to be implemented,” he said.
Despite his impressive record, Lewis Parry was not a name on the radar of many people prior to the announcement that he had signed with ONE FC. He has an opportunity to make a name for himself competing for Asia’s biggest MMA organization and is relishing the prospect of testing himself on the big stage.
“When the time came to step up my game and raise the level of competition, ONE FC seemed a great option. They are a great professional organization and I am extremely proud to call ONE FC my new home. When I got the call from my management, Mogul, saying there was an offer, I was elated. I asked for an opportunity to shine and they gave me the platform,” he said.
James McSweeney became the first Englishman to ever fight for ONE FC when he beat Chris Lokteff in Manila earlier this month and Lewis Parry says he would be open to the possibility of facing his fellow countryman in the future.
“I have no problem fighting James whatsoever. He’s a guy that loves to talk a lot. I think his pro record changes with every interview. I can’t hate on him though, he’s doing his thing and he’s making waves and that’s good for him. We’re bound to cross paths at some point and when we do, it’s all business!”
Before turning his hand to MMA, Lewis Parry was a professional basketball player, but he has swapped the court for the cage and says his focus is firmly on pursuing a career as a fighter.
“Basketball became a very political sport and the fun had been sucked out of it. I no longer enjoyed the game and its (expletive) because skill meant nothing and connections meant everything, so I hung up the boots.”
Lewis Parry’s professional MMA career began back in 2011. After competing on small shows in the UK, his moment in the limelight will finally arrive on May 30, and the giant heavyweight is determined to make the most of it.
“I can’t wait to compete in Singapore. I have never been, but I can honestly say I am really looking forward to this trip. Great city, great opponent, great fans.”
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)