After producing a superb performance at Hexagone MMA 7, Norman Parke has set his sights on fighting Aymard Guih for the promotion’s welterweight title.
On March 11, ‘Stormin’ arrived at the Futoroscope Arena in Poitiers, France, with a point to prove, knowing that, in all likelihood, only a win separated him from competing for another championship belt.
But before even making his way to the cage, a locker room incident nearly left him in a state of disarray.
In an exclusive interview with SPORF, Parke revealed: “We were trying to get the tattoo sponsor on, and it messed up on the back. It was 8:20, and we were ready to warm up, and Hexagone said, ‘let’s go. It’s time to fight’. Some other match-ups went quick, but we weren’t following them.”
To make matters worse, his assistant coach also found himself in a spot of bother.
The MMA star laughed: “I want to fight four or five times this year, as long as I don’t break my hands or my wobbly knees like my dodgy coach over there. Gary Logan came out on crutches. It’s all good in the hood.
“We thought we were going to have to bring in the wheelchair and wheel him up into the cage in between the rounds. But I thought, ‘no’, that wouldn’t be nice on him. But it would’ve been fun.”
Norman Parke secures a big win at Hexagone MMA 7
Despite preparation not running as smoothly as he would have liked, the Northern Irishman maintained his composure and walked out in front of an electric French crowd.
As the announcer introduced the fighters, Parke slapped himself in the face, waking himself up for the war to come. Consequently, when the first bell chimed, he delivered in abundance.
After overcoming a close opening round, the warrior came into his own, landing an array of beautiful straight shots and takedowns. And despite taking a couple of wonderfully delivered spinning elbows from his opponent, Junior Orgulho, as he said himself, “Big Rock Head kept going.”
As the referee called time on the bout, the judges agreed that Parke had done enough to claim a comprehensive decision victory.
Evaluating his performance, the 36-year-old said: “I’m a tough grinder; I accept that. But maybe someday, the pringle will pop. But as long as I feel like I’m improving a wee bit and getting better with my striking, and if someone tries to take me down, I can defend it, I feel good. If I can get on top, I’m very strong. I’m complete everywhere. But if I had more of a threat of finishing fights, people would try to avoid me.”
And now, the charismatic sportsman has locked in on his next opponent.
Norman Parke wants Aymard Guih for the Hexagone MMA championship
After the Ultimate Fighter winner returned to the locker room, all focus switched to the main event, as Aymard Guih claimed the vacant title.
Fighting in front of his adoring people, ‘Barakuda’ made a sensational comeback to pick up the victory over Walter Gahadza. After four minutes on his back, the 34-year-old switched the position and wrapped in a tight Rear-Naked choke, giving his opponent no choice but to tap.
Subsequently, the spectators went wild, and Guih played along. He delivered a humourous post-fight speech, resulting in howls of laughter from the audience. However, the next time he sets foot in the cage, the crowd may not be behind him as much.
Setting his ambitions high, Parke is desperate for a crack at the new champion, and he wants it in the Northern Irish capital.
He beamed: “If they want me to fight him, there’s a possibility I’ll fight him next. Hexagone should come to Ireland and take the French guy out of his homeland and bring him out of his comfort zone.
“I go all over the place to fight. Why don’t they come into my territory and feel the pressure a little bit. That’s how I think guys like that should defend their belts.
“I remember when Cage Warriors came to Belfast last, when Rhys McKee fought for the title. The crowd was packed, one of the best I’ve ever seen. Hexagone has talked about it for the future. They’ve mentioned it to me. They’ve been to Dubai and Germany already, so if they come here, I’ll definitely fight for them. I think Belfast is the only venue for them to go to.
“They’ve got a good deal with BT Sport, so it’d be good timing, and I’ll fight anyone.”
Read: UFC 286: UK start time, how to watch, Full card (sporf.com)
Featured Image Credit: Hexagone MMA