LAS VEGAS, Nev. (WJMN) – After a TKO loss against Don’Tale Mayes at UFC Vegas 45, Escanaba’s Josh Parisian knew in order to get back into the win column things would have to change.
“Things just changed for me with having a daughter and making big life changes like that,” said Parisian. “I felt like I had to win. I had to win so I could provide for my daughter and do all these things and it put a lot of pressure on me. It was almost like I wasn’t really having fun anymore.”
Parisian entered camp to prepare for his next fight with a completely different approach.
“This camp, I mostly focused on myself,” said Parisian. “I focused on my mindset, about what I was going to do. The biggest thing I wanted to do was go out there and have fun. I haven’t gone out there and had fun in any other of my UFC fights that I’ve had except for this one.”
Parisian would take the octagon in Las Vegas this past June 25th to face Alan Baudot in UFC Vegas 57.
“When the fight starts, I don’t really know how to describe it,” said Parisian. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a car accident or you’ve slid on the ice where everything just slows down for a second. Everything seems so slow, even though everything is happening so fast you can almost think very clearly at that moment. Everything is moving fast but I can think and I can almost have a full conversation with myself while punches are coming at me. It’s just like a really surreal feeling.”
Parisian’s fight almost ended early in the first round when he took an unexpected hit.
“I got hit in the fight and it dropped me,” said Parisian. “It was such a strange shot that he threw but it’s always the shot you don’t see, the one that you don’t brace for that knocks you down. It was an interesting thing too because the lights went out for me. I was standing and then I was on the floor but when I came back to I was not wobbled at all, I was perfectly fine. It was just like a skip in memory. Like I was standing and now I’m on my back. So it was good that I wasn’t dazed or anything and I could continue to fight and try to work back up.”
Parisian would hit Baudot with 26 unanswered shots to end the first round.
“When I took him down he didn’t really give many good answers,” Parisian said. “He just kind of shelled and defended himself but he didn’t try to get back to his feet. In my mind, I’m like I don’t know if this guy knows much off of his back or anything like that. When I got to my corner in between rounds my corner was like, ‘you got to take him down again he’s not doing anything.” It kind of solidified how I already felt about it. So, at that point, I’m like yeah I’m going to take him down again. I took him down twice in the second round and then was able to get a finish.”
Parisian credits his success and strength to the area he grew up in.
“Yeah, I think Yooper toughness is a real thing and I show it every time I get in there,” said Parisian. “I don’t think a lot of people know about it but they’re going to. I think this is the best fight that I’ve ever had and I think that I’ve unlocked something in my mind like the way I should feel about the fight and I think that I’m going to have some great performances going forward.”
Which is why he comes back to the U.P. to rest and recover.
“After fights, It’s just so much stimulation,” Parisian said. “Las Vegas and all this stuff happening and the fight, it’s a lot. I am a bit of an introvert so I just need some time to be away from all that and for recharge time. So, during this last fight, we went up to McMillan to my girlfriend’s parents’ cabin which is very quiet up there. It’s nice for it to just be quiet and not lights and all this stuff and people needing this or that from me. It’s just nice to be able to go relax.”
Regardless of wins and losses, Parisian wants to pass on his passion and mindset of what success looks like.
“One important thing for me, for my daughter and my career, is not necessarily to win and be very dominant but every step of the way she can see my perseverance and my never taking no for an answer,” said Parisian. “I have not had a perfect career, I have lost, and I have failed many times. I’ve failed in the UFC but in this fight here I had the best performance, I got a bonus.”
Raising a fighter is no easy task, but Parisian knows some of the greatest successes come after failure.
“I like that in life she will be able to go back and look and see the really rough path that I’ve had and I’m still succeeding even though I’m failing,” said Parisian. “So, it’s not always that clean upward path to success. It’s rough and sometimes it’s a lot of closed doors and bumpy roads but as you keep persevering and pushing forward you can get what you want.”