“It’s tough because sometimes you can’t really compare your journey to others, but, man, I’ve walked a long hard road in this sport. I’ve been doing it a really long time. I’ve fought a lot of really tough guys.”
That was UFC fighter Jonny Parsons, who makes his UFC debut on February 26 at UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Makhachev against Michael Gillmore.
Time in Thailand
The 30-year old fighter has fought all over the world, and before he was a full-time professional MMA fighter, he was an amateur Muay Thai fighter. His coach had him go out to Thailand to train, and while he was out there, his MMA professional journey started.
“I was an amateur Muay Thai champion in Las Vegas, and my trainer had me go out to Thailand to train,” Parsons told The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko. “The plan was to come back and continue to fighting amateur, but it’s just crazy out there.
So, I’m sitting at where I was staying and my trainer who was out there also reffed at a stadium. On the weekends, he would go ref, and on this particular weekend, he came back and was like, ‘hey man, you know MMA?’ and I was like ‘Yeah, I know MMA, I fought it back in the US.’ He was like, ‘you want to fight tomorrow?’ and I was like, ‘oh.’ I was kind of on a budget at the time, and just getting out there was expensive. They kind of offered [the fight]. It wasn’t a lot of money; it was like $180. I was like I could use some extra spending money, you know, I’ll go fight.”
“The next day, we show up to this place, and my original opponent saw my cauliflower ear and was dead set that I was a grappler and thought he was being set up. He said, ‘I was supposed to fight a Thai guy, and I show up, and I have to fight you; I don’t like this.’ I was like, ‘bro, I promise, I will strike with you the whole time. I sat in a small truck for three hours to get here; lets do this.’ He ended up taking off. He left; he just left the venue. So, they get the Thai guy who was supposed to fight Glenn Sparv in the main event title fight, and they basically told him, ‘we don’t need you anymore.’ They bumped me up to fight him.”
Parsons would fight Sparv in the main event but would lose via corner stoppage, something he later discovered watching footage of the event. He originally thought it was due to a cut he sustained during the fight.
With the circumstances surrounding his professional debut, he developed an attitude that he would fight anyone, anywhere, and anytime. A perfect example is when he was sick to his stomach but ended up fighting anyway.
“So, I had fought on a Wednesday, and the next day I had eaten some meat on the street that messed me up. For two days, I had food poisoning, and I was supposed to fight on that following Saturday. I was trying to explain to my trainer that I was really messed up. Then Saturday came, and he was like, ‘you ready? Are you ready to go?’ I wasn’t ready to take this five-hour drive to the middle of nowhere like I was going to crap my pants in a fight,” Parsons said. Parsons trainer was not happy with him and told him to go tell the promotor himself that he wasn’t going to fight.
“Man, he was pissed. I don’t know why he was so mad. All I’ve been doing is fighting guys for you. What’s going on? Plus, we couldn’t really communicate well with each other,” Parsons said.
Parsons eventually sat in the truck for five hours to go tell the promotor he wasn’t well enough to fight. While he was watching the fights, he started to feel better after drinking some water.
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
“I told my training that I was feeling better, and his eyes lit up, and he takes off. He comes back and has gloves, and he goes, ‘you fight now.’ ‘I was like what? And then I look up, and it’s a 6’4 Swedish dude, oiled up just shadowboxing. I’m like, ‘ah shit; I’m fighting him,” Parsons laughed. “I just never thought I’d fight- I was a little chubby out there, and they weren’t going to match me up with small guys, so I was looking up at this tall guy and was like I’m fighting him for sure.”
Yep. He fought that 6’4 guy and went two hard rounds with him. Parsons said he eventually got tired of his opponent just eating everything he threw at him. “I was like, ‘I’m done with this! I’m ending this!’ Right at the beginning of the third round, I missed a big low kick, and he walked towards me like the Terminator, and I threw a jumping turning back kick. He eats it, takes two steps, and then crumbles.”
Parsons can’t add that win to his record, however, because they can’t find the paperwork, even though he has video evidence.
The 30-year old fighting out of Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas makes his UFC debut next weekend, riding a five-fight win streak. He plans on finishing Gilmore in the first round.
“I don’t want to give away the game plan, but I’m going to finish him in the first round. I truly believe it…Goku said it best ‘When there is a will, there is a way.”
Jonny “The Paradox” Parsons is a 30 year old male fighter from United States with 8 pro wins and 2 losses. Parsons is scheduled to fight Micheal Gillmore at UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Makhachev on Saturday February 26, 2022.
Jonny Parsons’s recent form coming into this matchup
Jonny Parsons has gone 5-0 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Win vs Solomon Renfro • Decision R3 5:00 • 2021-10-19
- Win vs Ricardo Chavez • KO/TKO R2 3:26 • 2021-06-11
- Win vs Juan Ramon Grano Medina • KO/TKO R2 3:12 • 2020-10-22
- Win vs Tyler Hill • KO/TKO R1 2:35 • 2020-09-24
- Win vs Ty Freeman • Decision R3 3:00 • 2019-12-14
Jonny Parsons’ next opponent: Micheal “The Gentleman” Gillmore
Micheal “The Gentleman” Gillmore’s recent form coming into this matchup
Micheal “The Gentleman” Gillmore is a 34 year old male fighter from United States with 6 pro wins and 4 losses. Gillmore is scheduled to fight Jonny Parsons at UFC Fight Night: Dariush vs. Makhachev on Saturday February 26, 2022.
Micheal Gillmore has gone 3-2 in the last 5 professional MMA fights.
- Loss vs Andre Petroski • KO/TKO R3 3:12 • 2021-08-28
- Loss vs Gilbert Urbina • Submission R1 2:56 • 2021-05-06
- Win vs Perry Stargel • Decision R3 5:00 • 2020-01-29
- Win vs Ken Hunt • KO/TKO R1 1:39 • 2019-10-18
- Win vs Eric Lyon • Decision R3 5:00 • 2019-05-18
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