Word to the wise: lawyer up when ever you're headed into a court-like proceeding. Karo Parisyan made a huge mistake at UFC 94 and then compounded his error by representing himself during an appearance before the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Parisyan tested positive for three different painkillers after his win over Dong Hyun Kim. Facing a big fine and long suspension, he threw himself on the mercy of the commission today:
"I'm begging you guys. This is the only form of income that I provide my family with. If I don't fight, I'm basically nothing. I'm very, very sorry it won't happen again. I'm supposed to get married in August. If I don't fight, I don't get married."
Watch Parisyan at today's hearing:
Parisyan said it was a mistake, that he had forgotten his prescribed painkiller and took some pills from a friend who said the replacements were essentially the same drug. The real problem was that Parisyan signed a form before the fight stating that he hadn't taken any prohibited substances. When asked why he would sign the form knowing he had taken the pills on the Wednesday before the fight, Parisyan said he was in a haze. That's a bad thing to tell the commission that a drug essentially had you in an altered state before the fight.
Commissioner John Bailey twisted Parisyan in circles and publicly chastised him. The commission argued that painkillers can clearly change a fighter's pain threshold therefore giving them an unfair advantage during a fight. If Parisyan was in an altered state he could also put himself in grave danger if he wasn't able to gauge his own pain.
Parisyan received a heavy fine of $32,000 and a nine-month suspension. That was 40-percent of the $80,000 he received for showing and winning the fight. In some ways, he was let off easy. The commission actually discussed taking a portion of his $40,000 to show and all of his $40,000 win bonus. The commission hadn't encountered a previous positive test case where a violator had won their MMA fight, therefore getting a win bonus. In the future, if someone more high profile like a Brock Lesnar got $300,000 to show and $300,000 to win then tested positive for a banned substance, the commission sounded like it would take away the entire win bonus, fining a fighter in that economic strata upwards of $400,000.