by Al Yu – MMAWeekly.com
“I should have gotten my title shot and I didn’t. Now I have to work my way back up again.”

At first glance, most would assume those were the words of a frustrated fighter. For Karo “The Heat” Parisyan, those are his words of determination.

Parisyan bided his time and now he is ready to continue towards his goal of contending for the welterweight crown. Part of that continuation has meant training with Randy Couture’s camp in Las Vegas in preparation for his upcoming fight against Ryo Chonan at Ultimate Fighting Championship 78.

“I hope I have an impressive victory over Chonan and work my way up to a title fight,” stated the Judo black belt.

Parisyan was originally scheduled to face Cuban Judoka Hector Lombard this Saturday in New Jersey. Due to complications in obtaining a visa, Lombard was replaced by DEEP middleweight champion Ryo Chonan.

“[The change of opponents] didn’t affect me. I train the same for every fighter,” he explained. “It doesn’t really matter. When I found out I was going to fight Ryo Chonan, I continued my same training. Of course, if I’m fighting a world-class striker I’m not going to strike with him that much. I’m going to use my throws, my submissions and my ground and pound. Other than that, everything is the same.”

Chonan makes his long awaited Octagon debut this Saturday. A veteran of Pride and DEEP, he has faced tough competition throughout his career and holds wins over Hayato “Mach” Sakurai, Carlos Newton, Roan Carneiro, and Joey Villasenor. The most notable of his victories was an impressive submission win over current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, a fight that has graced many highlight reels.

“I think Ryo Chonan is a very tough guy,” commented Parisyan. “He’s got some good wins against some veterans and some really good fighters including a very impressive win over middleweight champion Anderson Silva. A win over Chonan would be good for me.”

Having fought at 185-pounds for most of his career, Chonan will be coming down in weight to face Parisyan.

“I’m not taking him lightly at all. I don’t know if it’s going to be a big change for him, I hope it is. He’s coming down to 170 and I hope it really affects him a lot in the conditioning and physical factor.”

Assuming he is successful in defeating Chonan, the Judoka could face off against Jon Fitch in the near future. Fitch has earned the reputation as a man no one requests to fight in the bustling 170-pound division. With many of the top contenders already scheduled to fight or fulfilling current engagements, fans could be graced with a possible showdown between these two top welterweights (Parisyan is currently ranked No. 6 among the world’s top welterweights by MMAWeekly.com, while Fitch is ranked No. 4).

“He [Fitch] called me out a year ago and he wanted a top-five fighter in the world to fight. He never got me, but he fought Diego Sanchez and got a win over him. There’s a good chance I might fight Fitch. We’ll see what happens.”

The transition for former Pride fighters – such as Mirko “Crop Cop” Filipovic and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – into the UFC has been anything but smooth. Their recent losses in the Octagon stunned fans and further fueled many debates as to which organization has the best fighters in the world. Parisyan has his own thoughts on the trend.

“Pride fighters have had bad luck in the UFC with the exception of Quinton Jackson and I hope that bad luck continues for these guys. I want to prove that UFC fighters are tougher than Pride fighters. I want to build my career with wins over Pride fighters.”

The road to the welterweight crown may be a long one for Parisyan, but he is determined to move one step closer to title contention with a big victory this weekend.

“Ryo Chonan is a very dangerous opponent because he’s a very good fighter, he has a lot of heart and he’s a very tough guy. Truth is, I’ve never been impressed with Chonan skill-wise. That being said, I’m not underestimating him or looking at him as an easy win. I want to finish Ryo Chonan. I’m going to put my hands up and run at him and see if he can handle the heat.”