Hot off a first-round KO win on Dana White’s Contender Series and a run on The Ultimate Fighter, red-hot Josh Parisian fights Brett Martin for the vacant Lights Out Championship Heavyweight Championship at Lights Out 2 on Feb. 16 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Before that, the heavy-handed big man spoke with FightBook MMA.
How did you find MMA to begin with?
I got into the sport to build confidence. I had a rough upbringing, and the training is something that gave me belief in myself. I never intended on fighting, but I kept on training to build confidence. Six months in, I got convinced to take a fight that I ended up winning and had a lot of fun. One thing led to another and I’ve been doing it for about nine years. I got my confidence, and my goals have changed in my journey.
Is this title fight the biggest bout of your career?
That’s a tough question to answer, because I think the biggest fight for me was in the TUF house, which I lost. But, at the same time, this is an extremely important fight for me. I think one more fight, one more impressive win, will get me to where I need to be.
What does your opponent bring to the table?
My opponent is definitely a good wrestler. He’s very strong. His striking has improved, but I think his strongest aspect is definitely going to be his wrestling.
How do you see this one playing out?
It’s tough to say. I think he’s going to try to strike with me for a while. But I don’t think he’s going to be able to close that gap in striking, and he’s going to go back to what he knows, which is trying to take me down and hold me against the wall. I think he’s going to have a hard time keeping me down.
How’s it going to feel to have that belt wrapped around your waist?
It’s going to feel great. I ended up having seven amateur belts, which is pretty cool, but that’s nowhere near a professional belt with a promotion like Lights Out. It’s kind of crazy to think about (laughs) — it’s going to be a real honor, for sure.