Embattled former-UFC standout Karo Parisyan (19-7) will be returning to the cage late next month. According to reports from CagePotato, "The Heat" officially signed on to match up against Jordan Smith (15-2-1) at the first event of newly christened promotion, Amazon Forest Combat.
Parisyan is currently mired in the worst stretch of his career, winning just one of his last five fights, while getting cut from the UFC two separate times. He was last featured at May's MMA Live 1 card against Canadian fighter Ryan Ford, where he lost via TKO after a wayside knee caught him flush and opened a deep cut that forced the doctor to stop the match. Parisyan had dominated the fight up to that point, so the loss was as heartbreaking as one would imagine for a man who has battled severe inner demons for much of the last four years.
Though, in a strange twist of fate, it may just have been what he needed. Reports indicate that the 28-year-old judoka is more motivated than many have seen him in years, and is chomping at the bit to get back into action. Parisyan even went as far as calling Dana White to personally offer his services when Nate Marquardt pulled out of UFC Live on Versus 4 a day before the event. While it was to no avail, the gesture lies in stark contrast to the past actions of a man tormented by addiction and anxiety.
Amazon Forest Combat 1 will be held September 14th at Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. It is headlined by a middleweight match between Japanese Olympic judo gold medalist Saoshi Ishii and former-WEC champion Paulo Filho.
Updated Amazon Forest Combat 1 fight card:
Satoshi Ishii vs. Paulo Filho
Royler Gracie vs. Masakatsu Ueda
Josh Burkman vs. Roan Carneiro
Antonio Braga Neto vs. Maiquel Falcao
Alexandre "Capitao" vs. Shanon Slack
Jordan Smith vs. Karo Parisyan
Ronys Torres vs. Drew Fickett
Lopes Dileno vs. Ian MacCall
George Clay vs. Anthony Birchak