Without a doubt, the most outstanding finish of the night came on the main card opener of Bellator 266 this past weekend. Ben Parrish stunned the whole arena with a 38 second knockout over rising prospect Christian Edwards. A beautiful left hook knocked Edwards straight to the ground, Parrish pounced and finished him off for good via ground strikes.
The fight failed to go ahead on the first two occasions of trying in the middle of the year after Edwards was deemed medically unfit to fight the first time, and Parrish withdrew the second time. On the third time of asking the long-awaited match-up only lasted 38 seconds, and Parrish proved we have a new star in the light-heavyweight division.
Parrish came in as a huge underdog at +630, and he certainly had a message to his haters asking them to doubt him now with his face up to the camera after his win. It was the first knockout of Parrish’s career. He’s now shown his incredible knockout power, to go along with his physicality on the ground, where he has four submission wins which makes up his 100% finishing record.
The former Summit FC light-heavyweight champion has only been defeated on one occasion in his previous fight almost two years ago. A nasty leg injury meant Parrish couldn’t continue and he lost the bout to Logan Woods via TKO. After 22 months outside of the cage, “Big Tuna” made ring-rust sound like a myth, and we expect him to rise straight into the rankings.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Parrish after his staggering knockout at Bellator 266.
“Whoever Whenever for the Most Cash and That’s the Most Fun” – Ben “Big Tuna” Parrish
So, Ben, congratulations on the win. As the fight only lasted 38 seconds, it’s hard to talk about your overall performance, so talk me through the knockout, what were your thoughts on it if you’ve watched it over again?
Ben Parrish – I did exactly what I wanted to except from southpaw. I was expecting strike #2 3 or 4 go be the one that got him I didn’t think he’d go down to the first one. I pulled the follow up because I thought I knocked him out cold.
You screamed don’t doubt me after the win, and I’m sure nobody will ever again. As you were a huge underdog at the bookies, do you feel you’ve proved yourself to be the one to watch out for in the light heavyweight division?
Ben Parrish – Yes , I can do it all. Clinch ground standup. You’re not fighting to win when we’re in there, you’re fighting to survive. 100% finish rate for a reason.
I saw you shared some nice words with Christian Edwards on his Instagram post, what are your thoughts on him as a fighter and do you see you crossing paths with each other again in the future?
Ben Parrish – He is great and a future champion. He was just too young I think. How I know I’m elite is I’m not satisfied with my win. Beating up a 22 year old prospect means nothing to me. I want the 22 fight vets and former world champs.
I would love to know, and I’ve had a few people ask me to try and find out, where did the nickname Big Tuna come from? As it’s a classic.
Ben Parrish – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Accardo.
So what’s next for you? When do you want to be back in the cage and any potential opponents in mind?
Ben Parrish – Whoever whenever for the most cash and that’s the most fun. Would love to represent Bellator on new years eve in Japan. Machida? Rampage? We’ll see.
Finally, how have you or how are you going to celebrate your victory?
Ben Parrish – Celebrating with my people that weren’t surprised MFs that always rode with me even when we didn’t have a ride. Real members only club s**t. Love all the fans wish I could break bread with them all.
Featured Image Credits to Bellator MMA.