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12-2 Danish fighter Mikkel Parlo kicks of Bellator 156 tonight
Friday June 17, 2016— 12 – 2 Danish fighter Mikkel Parlo takes on 7-1 American, Chris Honeycutt tonight at Bellator 156, Dantas vs. Galvao 2. The fight will kick off the main card. We got a chance to speak with Mikkel about his upcoming bout.
It’s been two years since you last fought in Bellator, how does it feel to be back?
Its feels great. It feels like I’m home again. It feels like I’m back where I belong. I’m very happy.
How have you grown as a fighter and what skills have you added to your game since you’ve been away?
After I got injured, I decided to move back to Denmark, my home country. I got new coaches; some of the coaches I used to have. And a new kickboxing coach. I would say my kicking game has improved. I didn’t use to kick so much, but my kicking game has improved. I would say I’ve improved my Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling game as well, even though my wrestling was pretty good. I have a guy, Stefan Calanchea, from Moldova who was on the Olympic team in freestyle wrestling. He lives with me and we’ve been wrestling for the last seven months.
What camp do you train out of?
I train at a gym called Arte Suade.
What belt do you hold in Jiu-Jitsu?
I hold a blue belt. I only started training with the gi, maybe six months ago. I was always training no gi, so my rank might be higher without the gi. It’s been fun exploring something new. I thought jiu-jitsu with a gi would be the same, but I feel like it’s a whole different game.
I was reading something by John Danaher the other day. He was saying that one should begin by training with the gi, because it forces you to slow the game down, so you focus on technique more. Once you get a bit more advanced and start training without the gi, you need to learn better body positioning to maintain proper control, now that you don’t have the luxury of the lapels and sleeves, and such.
That’s what a lot of the guys in the gym have been saying to me too. We have one of the best jiu-jitsu gyms in Europe I think. They said it might improve your no gi game, so I said I’d try it. I think it’s fun, and I see what they’re saying. And it’s exactly like you’re saying; It forces you to take things step by step, because there is a little more resistance because of the gi.
Let’s change gears a little bit. What do you know about Chris Honeycutt?
Well, I know that he has a good wrestling pedigree. And then I know that he’s American. I know the things I’ve seen from watching his fights. I’ve studied his fighting. I’ve studied the way he wrestles.
Where do you feel your advantages and disadvantages will be in this fight?
I think I’m a better striker. I think I have better jiu-jitsu than him. I wouldn’t imagine that I have better offensive wrestling than him, but I think I have better defensive wrestling than him. And from what I’ve seen in his fights, I think my clinch game against the cage is better than him.
I think he’s a wrestler who has learned some striking. I did MMA since I was 15. I’ve trained all the disciplines involved in the sport. I’m more of a pure MMA fighter, rather than a grappler. I feel I’m more well-rounded.
It’s going to be fun to see if he Can take me down. And if he does, if he can hold me down. I don’t think that he can.
What do you like to do in your free time; What are your hobbies.
That’s interesting, because I was trying to find myself a hobby. MMA was initially my hobby, and then it became my job. I like to go into the forest and the ocean. I really like nature a lot. I feel like it gives me a lot of energy and a lot of strength. I like to meditate. I feel like that’s something we’ve lost in the modern world. I like to go to the beach and play volleyball. I like to play basketball too.
So let’s end on this. Who is your favorite fighter?
My all-time favorite will always be the great Fedor Emelienenko. You can say some fighters were more technical or flashy. What I like about him is that he’s a very nice person and he’s a strong soul, you know? He has strong character. I liked that a lot about him.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Mikkel. Best of luck on your fight tonight!
By: Mozz Manzoor
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