Even though Hazelett trains with a solid group of guys and earned his BJJ black belt under Jorge Gurgel, Parisyan gets the easy edge in terms of training by being a member of the Jackson’s Submission Fighting team.
While Aaron Riley may have been on the wrong end of a serious beating on Saturday in England, more often than not, Jackson fighters are primed and ready when the cage door closes.
Couple that with Parisyan having been out of competition for nine months following his positive test for painkillers and there is no doubt in my mind that Parisyan will look better than he has before in this fight.
These two fighters share one opponent, “The People’s Warrior” Josh Burkman.
Both Parisyan and Hazelett earned wins over the former TUF 2 competitor; “The Heat” earned a Unanimous Decision at UFC 71, while Hazelett pulled off an amazing armbar that earned Submission of the Year honors from Sherdog at the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 7.
Unfortunately, exciting finishes doesn’t change the fact that both fighters earned wins, so common opponents are a push. Strength of schedule, on the other hand, goes to Parisyan.
While part of the result comes from the Armenian-American simply having more experience inside the cage than his Cincinnati-born counterpart, Parisyan has been a staple in the middle tier of the UFC welterweight division for some time now, while McLovin is working his way up the ladder.
Where this fight gets real interesting is in the clash of styles and the opportunities that could be presented therein.
Parisyan is a high-level judoka who likes to control the action on the cage, work for a throw or takedown and then utilize his ground and pound to finish the fight. More often than not, that translates into “battle the other guy against the cage for position, control the action and win by decision.”
What makes Parisyan’s approach interesting in this fight is Hazelett’s equally high level jiu jitsu game. While having a bigger and stronger judo practitioner laying into you on the fence for 15 minutes doesn’t sound overly appealing, the closeness that will surely transpire should offer a number of opportunities for Hazelett to snatch an arm, look for kimuras and try to finish the fight.
Don’t expect fireworks on the feet; Hazelett will mix in a few leg kicks early and to find range, but most of this fight will be spent pummeling and positioning, with whoever exploits the first opening probably coming away with the win.