Caged Steel has announced their triumphant return for April 10th, in a stacked twenty-bout fight card. Due to the ongoing restrictions in the UK, caused by COVID-19, Caged Steel 25 will be a behind closed doors event live on pay-per-view for fans worldwide
I had the opportunity to catch up with heavyweight prospect Michael Parkin as he prepares to make his second walk to the octagon as a professional mixed martial artist against an experienced Jan Lysak on the main card. The card is headlined by former Cage Warriors title challenger Scott Malone and Elliot Hoye.
Michael Parkin (1-0) as a professional, has been out of action since July of 2019 but will be looking to pick up where he left off from his memorable pro-debut. Parkin made the leap to the professional circuit after dominating the amateur scene, picking up a handful of round-one knockouts and leaving with a record of (6-0-1).
The 25-year old’s debut couldn’t have gone any sweeter, showcasing once again the dynamite that he possesses in his hands, with an 18-second victory over Lithuanian native Tomas Vaicikas at Almighty Fighting Championship 13.
Jan Lysak (2-17) has failed to pick up a win since 2018, where he finished Luke Morton in the first round. The Czech international is currently riding a seven-fight losing streak and has been finished in all seven.
I find it hard to visualise a route to victory for Jan Lysak in this matchup. None of Lysak’s losses has gone to a decision and he has been finished in all seventeen. The youth heavily favours Parkin in this matchup and I expect him to get the finish. Although, this is a heavyweight contest, so anything can happen.
It’s been a while since you last competed dating back to 2019 when you made your official pro debut with a win over Tomas Vaicikas. How has life been like for you since then, have you been consistently training in that time or have you taken some time off?
Michael Parkin – “I was straight back into training and then obviously lockdown happened so had some time off with that. Then was lucky enough to be able to train through the lockdown.”
A month out from your scheduled bout with Jan Lysak at Caged Steel 25, what is your week-to-week training schedule looking like on the lead-up to this matchup?
Michael Parkin – “Yeah I train full time, I train every day, twice a day mainly, then I have the Sunday off.”
For the audience that will be reading this, can you tell us a little bit about your background in the sport, why you decided to go down the route of fighting, your fighting style, your inspirations etc? Just so we can get a real grasp of who you are as a fighter and person?
Michael Parkin – “So I’ve trained since I was 15, so around 10 years now. I got into training through friends just to try it out and loved it. I took a fight after training a few years to test myself and got the bug! My style I would say people have mainly seen my try and strike, but more than ready to take the fight anywhere.”
You’re yet to taste defeat in your fighting career spanning through to the amateur circuit until now, you’ve shown devasting power and a sheer will to finish fights. How much confidence does that give you going into your bout v Lysak?
Michael Parkin – “Yeah, I’m always confident going into fights. My training has been going great, I have learnt loads. I feel super relaxed and confident I’ll get win.”
On to your opponent on the night, Jan Lysak is 2-18 in his fighting career, what would you say to people who are slating the matchup and assuming Jan’s just in there to help build your career?
Michael Parkin – “Anyone who knows me personally knows I’ve had a terrible time getting matched with shows getting cancelled, then shows not being able to get opponents for me. I’m just grateful that Jan has taken the fight. I haven’t been in the cage now nearly 2 years, so I just need to get the fights in.”
How do you mentally prepare for a man who’s 2-18, and has been finished in all his losses, is there any added pressure or does it make you feel you don’t need to train as hard, as the fights already won in your mind? I’m intrigued by how you go about thinking and mentally prepare yourself for a match like this?
Michael Parkin – “I never take any of my opponents lightly, at the end of the day this is a fight. We are both big guys, anything can happen, but I’m very prepared for this fight.”
On April 10th, what can Caged Steel fans expect to see from you?
Michael Parkin – “The best version of myself yet and plenty of action.”
You have a handful of round-one finishes, a clear talent and an aggressive style that people love to watch, What do you feel the future holds for you in this sport? What’s the end goal?
Michael Parkin – “I want to go as far as possible in this sport. At the minute I’m loving training and now want to get some fights in and just keep going.”
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All image credits to Caged Steel