Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight number one contender, Karo Parisyan, has been fighting in mixed martial arts (MMA) since 1999, when he first submitted Brian Warren via ankle lock at Kage Kombat 12 in Los Angeles, California.
It's safe to say he's been around the block.
That said, the Armenian judo champ has seen his share of fighters come and go throughout the course of his combat sports career, including UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. "Rowdy" got her start with Parisyan at Team Hayastan, before eventually finding her way over to Glendale Fighting Academy, alongside Karo's cousin and UFC featherweight Manny Gamburyan.
Parisyan breaks it down for MMA Junkie:
"Why is Ronda frickin good? Why is Ronda an animal, this little white girl? Because guys would not come train with us. They didn't want to come train with us, because they thought we were animals and we would hurt them. Ronda was this little white girl that would get on the mat and cry. I would have to yell at her and say, ‘You better suck your lip back in right now and get on the f--king mat. We're not dealing with your crap, Ronda.' And she would suck it in. I would say a small joke and maybe smile, and boom, she was on the mat again, and she was f--king dudes up. That's why she's so good, because she was training with animals like us. And she's naturally strong. Ronda's legit. No animosity toward [Glendale Academy]. Good for Manny, good for Ronda, because Manny's always there with her at the trainings and stuff, and Ronda might be on her period and she might take her underwear off and stuff, so Manny helps her out with that stuff, too, like with the tampons and everything else. (Jokingly) I'm being a dick to them."
Parisyan also referred to Glendale as a "collage gym" that "somehow" became an MMA gym.
Whatever Rousey has been doing in the years leading up to her bantamweight title reign appears to be working. While there's no question she took her spot atop the 135-pound throne with her judo, evidenced by eight straight first-round submission finishes, she also proved she can strike, too, thanks to the tutelage of Glendale's Edmund Tarverdyan.
But changing gyms, trainers, and even fight strategies is nothing new in MMA, as combatants will often travel the world looking to improve their overall game (example) across several disciplines as the sport -- and its top fighters -- continue to evolve.