Article

Parke Seeks Eleventh Straight in Brazil

"I’m always on my game." - Norman Parke
UFC lightweight Norman ParkeAfter making a big impression in the UFC with his win on the TUF Smashes series and a subsequent victory over Kazuki Tokudome, Norman Parke wanted nothing more than to keep the momentum going with his October 2013 bout against Jon Tuck.

But then in his first week of sparring at the Alliance MMA camp in San Diego, the Bushmills, Northern Ireland native tore the MCL in his knee. This is about the time you call in sick, heal up, and hope for another opportunity to come along.

Parke had another idea.

“I thought I’ll just tape that bad boy up and keep working away,” he said. “The game plan was to defend the takedown and keep it on the feet, and that’s what I did through the whole fight camp and everything worked out the way it was meant to.”

Crazy, but it worked like a charm, as Parke won a competitive, but clear-cut unanimous decision over Tuck to increase his winning streak to ten. So the question is, why?

“When you’re a fighter, there’s a lot at stake,” said the 27-year-old. “You could be moving up the ladder or going down the ladder, and it (the injury) doesn’t even come into your mind. I never even thought about it hardly during the fight. Sometimes in camp it would get disheartening, but I knew once I got to the fight, I wasn’t going to feel a thing. There was so much adrenalin pumping through my body, I was never gonna feel it. I threw a high kick one time and I felt it tweak a little bit, but then I kept boxing. Boxing won the fight.”

Strangely enough, the judo black belt had been wanting to show off his stand-up game. Against Tuck he had the chance, albeit under less than ideal conditions. But he got the win, and he displayed the new wrinkles in his attack.

“You’ve got to mix it up and show that you’re capable of fighting everywhere, and it just sends a message to the rest of the fighters that you’re not one-dimensional, that you can adapt to any situation and fight wherever the fight goes.”

Of course, after an injury like that, Parke did have to sit on the sidelines for a bit to heal up, and on Sunday, he will make his return against TUF Brazil 2 winner Leonardo Santos.

“Obviously jiu-jitsu’s his strong point, but this is mixed martial arts and every fight starts on the feet,” said Parke of his foe. “And whenever someone’s hitting him with some crazy shots and keeping him on the back foot, his mind’s gonna be confused so much that he’s gonna be shooting from ten feet out, and that’s the last thing you want to do. And once I find my range, that’s it – the fight’s already won in my mind and I see everything happening.”

As far as Parke is concerned, that mental part of the game is just as important, if not more so, than the physical part. It’s also what kept him sane when he waited to get the call for his next fight.

“My mind just constantly thinks about every fight that’s gonna possibly happen in the future,” he said. “Just because I’ve been out, that doesn’t mean my mind hasn’t been thinking about different transitions, positions, combinations, and the different stuff that I’ve been doing in sparring. My mind is always refreshed. It’s not like I’m going away partying and drinking where my mind’s completely off of it. I’m always on my game.”

So when the Brazilian fans start cheering and calling for his head?

“I’ll just think they’re cheering for me anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference,” he laughs. “I’ll just smile and wave at them.”

And as soon as Sunday night’s bout is over, he’ll be looking for a more favorable reception when the UFC returns to Dublin this summer.

“I fought in Dublin before and all my supporters came down and the place went crazy,” said the Northern Ireland native. “Dublin’s the perfect venue and I’ll definitely put my name forward to be on that card.”

You know Parke will show up too, no matter what.
 
 

Watch Past Fights

미디어

최근
지난 경기에서 조니 헨드릭스를 이기고 챔피언에 오른 로비 라울러는 캐나다 출신의 로리 맥도날드를 상대로 첫 타이틀 방어전을 치른다. 양 선수가 현재 경기를 어떻게 대비하고 있는지 직접 훈련캠프를 찾아가 취재했다.
2015. 7. 5
MMA 비디오 : 아일랜드 출신으로 선풍적 인기를 얻고 있는 코너 맥그리거와 팀 알파메일의 채드 멘데스의 훈련캠프를 들여다보자. 양 선수는 UFC 189 대회의 메인이벤트 경기에서 페더급 잠정챔피언 타이틀을 걸고 맞붙는다.
2015. 7. 5
채드 멘데스는 수영장에서 심폐지구력을 테스트한다. 코너 맥그리거는 마사지를 받고 예상치 못한 무기를 들고 휴식시간을 즐긴다. 로비 라울러와 로리 맥도널드는 그들의 체육관에서 마지막 점검 훈련을 가진다.
2015. 7. 5
메인이벤터 코너 맥그리거가 로스앤젤레스로 향해 코난 쇼에 출연한다. 새크라멘토에서 채드 멘데스는 그의 전화번호가 대중에 공개됐다는 것을 발견한다. 라스베이거스로 돌아온 맥그리거는 훈련을 소화하고, 멘데스는 맥그리거의 코난 쇼 출연 방송을 시청한다.
2015. 7. 4