At the end of last month, Rise and Conquer closed out the year with a fantastic show filled with talent from across the United Kingdom.
The match-making proved to be superb on the night, with most of the fights ending a decision after tough back and forth battles.
One man who had no desire in leaving the fight in the hands of the judges was heavyweight prospect, Michael Parkin who dismantled his opponent Ashley Pollard, eventually finishing the fight by TKO in the second round.
Interview With Michael Parkin
One week post your fight at Rise and Conquer 9. Have you managed to watch the fight back yet, or have you not bothered? If so, what are your overall thoughts on the fight?
Michael Parkin – “I haven’t managed to get a good copy of it, yet I think it goes on YouTube sometime next week, so I’ll check it out when it’s on there.”
You posted after the fight you made some mistakes in there, which speaks volumes of you to identify that straight away and take the lesson from that. From your point of view, what were the mistakes you feel you made in the fight?
Michael Parkin – “A few little mistakes in the wrestling to let him attempt a guillotine. But mainly on the ground rushed some striking exchanges, and the guy on the bottom kept getting undertook. After speaking to my coach, I know what I did wrong and just need to drill a few little things to stop that.”
I’ve heard a lot of the UK scene really getting behind you, saying “you’re the one to watch” or “the next big thing”. Does that put pressure on you when you go out and perform? I know people like Tom Aspinall aren’t keen on people saying that although he loves the support, others love it. What’s your view?
Michael Parkin – “I’m not too fussed on all that even though people saying good things is always nice to hear. I try and focus mainly on what my coaches and training partners say those or the guys who see me day to day.”
On the topic of Tom Aspinall, you were getting work in with him back in June. How was that experience for you, and how beneficial do you think these opportunities are for your career at such an early stage? The same with helping Paul Craig prepare for his bout that was postponed. How did that come about?
Michael Parkin – “Toms awesome. Super talented but a great guy too. He’s great to be around. He’s super helpful with techniques, but mainly his attitude is amazing, he’s been exactly where I was struggling to get fights and thinking it was not going to work, but he believed in himself and look at him now. Yeah, Paul is great too. He’s another look as he’s so slick for a big guy he’s grappling is amazing. All these guys just make me better. It came about from my training partner Phil De Fries. He went down to Kaobon and took me along, and we got some good training in, so we continued to go down. Same with Paul, he came down to spar with Phil, and he said Mick would do a round with you. As for beneficial, I don’t believe I could get much better sparring partners anywhere in the world, with toms striking, Paul’s grappling and Phils wrestling.”
Many fighters find the whole process of fighting/fight day stressful with a ton of anxiety. I ask purely because you were just chilling in the crowd on Sunday, watching the fights before your own, looking relaxed and reasonably calm. Then hours later stepped in yourself and got a fantastic win.
Michael Parkin – “I think everyone gets those pre-fight nerves, but usually for me, I’m fighting quite late on, so find it better to watch a few fights to pass the time.”
When you made the walk, the atmosphere was electric. What does it mean to you to have the support of so many people that buy tickets, watch you and follow you chase your dreams?
Michael Parkin – “My support is amazing always has been. All of my family is behind me, and it’s really nice to know that I’m free to pursue the career of my dreams! My mam and my girlfriend are so supportive and know how to pick me up when I’m down, so I can’t thank them enough for that.”
With another fight in the bag and valuable cage time, ending the year with three stoppage wins. If you could sum up this year for you in terms of competition, what can we expect to see from you in 2022?
Michael Parkin – “I think I’ll probably be back in around March. I’m going to have a nice Xmas have some time off Cos I’ve just been in a constant fight camp for like a year, Be nice to have a break. And in terms of competition, it’s been great. My fights gradually got harder, which is always what I’ve wanted, so things are starting to look good.”
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Featured mage credits to Rise and Conquer