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Monday, 07/01/2013, 04:36 pm

EXCLUSIVE | “Stormin” Norman Parke Discusses Upcoming UFC 162 Fight with Tokudome | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Our crew over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio invited “Stormin” Norman Parke into shop this week and Norman has a fight less than a week away. He is set and ready to take on Kazuki Tokudome at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, NV this Saturday, July 6th. Norman was the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes.” and is coming into this fight riding a seven fight win streak. He’ll look to derail Tokudome, who is riding a 3 fight win streak of his own. Denny and Anton talked with Norman about his 6 month layoff, training in San Diego at Alliance, and finally getting his shot inside the UFC this weekend. Here are some of the highlights from that interview with BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:

Norman, who lives in Northern Ireland but is training out of San Diego at Alliance MMA, was first asked what the timetable for his arrival in Las Vegas for fight week is. Parke replied, “I arrive there on Tuesday about 3, 4 pm.”

Parke then talked about how he approached this camp following his cancelled bout with Jon Tuck last April at UFC on FOX 7. Tuck pulled out of that fight the week of the event due to injury and the UFC was forced to remove Parke from the card. The promotion then lined him up with Kazuki Tokudome for this weekend’s UFC 162. Following his cancelled April bout with Tuck, Park explained, “I just went home for a few weeks and then, you know, took a rest for a few weeks, and then I came back here and now I’m getting ready for this one against Tokudome.” He continued, “I think more than anything my body just needed a rest.”

“I think it’s very important for the body to have a week, at least, a full week. I prefer two weeks to make sure the body is fully recovered after all the hard training.”

When asked what he did to make sure his body was recouping quickly and efficiently he answered, “Just chill the fuck out.”

He was also asked if the 6 month layoff, the cancellation of his last fight, and the traveling between home and San Diego had any effect on his weight and the weight cutting process. He replied, “That’s never a problem. No matter what I’ll always make weight.”

He elaborated on the troubles he had getting back to San Diego following his visit back home:

“What happened was I was getting my visa. I should have been here a lot earlier. I’ve only really been here 4 weeks I’ve only had four tough weeks of training here since I came. Tomorrow will be my fifth week.” He continued, “I planned to come out earlier but the UFC was getting my visa sorted out, like a working visa.”

Parke also commented on if his appearance on TUF and his employment with the UFC have made him more popular back home. He stated, “It’s kind of the same. Everybody knows who I am. Back home everyone is so close and we know each other and they just see me as the same person.”

Parke talked about his training at Alliance and he was very pleased with his progress for this camp. He explained, “I’ll definitely be doing all of my fight camps here, for sure.”

“I’ve got everything here under one roof. I’ve got all the training partners, all the good coaches,” he said.  “We’re kind of just out here chasing the same dream. We’re all wanting to be pushed to the top. You have to surround yourself with those people every day and get into that environment. You know, that mentality of training really hard every day and smart and that’s it. So, I’ll be at Alliance here for a while.” He continued, “I’m training with world class wrestlers every day and I’m training with world class grapplers every day. I’m training with good strikers and I’m training with people that are good at just mixing it up all together.”

He’s finally going to be able to put his progress on display as he enters this weekend’s UFC 162 in Las Vegas. The UFC Fan Expo is also being held this weekend in Las Vegas and Parke was asked if the extra hype or publicity was going to make him more nervous, if he was going to be nervous at all.

“I can guarantee every one of the fighters, even Anderson Silva, will be getting fucking nervous that whole fight week. But whenever it goes away is whenever you start warming up. When I start warming up I just feel ready to go then,” he explained. “Everybody gets nervous.”

However, Parke doesn’t feel that the nerves are going to affect his performance come Saturday night. “Nerves is nerves. It’s just how you control them, really,” he confidently stated. “I don’t think it’s going to be a factor for me, being out six months. If anything I just sharpened everything up.”

He then admitted that he didn’t even know that the Fan Expo was also being held this weekend until a couple of days ago. When asked about how he thought the Expo would impact the event he responded, “I just know it’s going to attract more people so the show is going to be a sell-out, I know that there for sure. But, you know, the only thing I’m really focused on is just going in there and doing my own thing.” There is going to be a lot of added distractions with the Expo in town but Parke assured BJPenn.com that he is only focused on getting the win.

“There’s nothing else on my mind,” he said. He went on to tell the boys that he was planning on staying in his room for most of the week. Aside from training there is no real reason for him to hit the strip. “After I put a beating on him,” he explained, “I’m going to go out and party hard after it. That’s whenever I’ll come out.”

Parke was then asked if he had a choice in his upcoming opponent or if he just took the first name the UFC threw his way. He replied, “It was a name I was given and I said, ‘no problem. Not a problem at all.’ And then I just looked a couple of his videos up and I thought, ‘alright, great matchup.’”

He continued talking about his upcoming opponent, Kazuki Tokudome, by explaining, “He’s definitely a worthy opponent so it’s going to make a great fight, stylistically. But he aint going to overcome me at all. There’s not a chance. I don’t see any way he can beat me at all in this fight.”

Although Parke was very respectful of the skills that his opponent brings to the table he still feels that his pace and his skills are going to be too much for Tokudome to handle. He continued, “I’m going to go in there and I’m going to put it on him and pressure him. I’m going to pressure him until he puts his chin up in the air and then I’m going to land that big one over the top and hopefully get knock-out of the night bonus. I want a bonus. I need a bonus.”

The conversation briefly shifted to the intense heat that is currently plaguing Las Vegas and many parts of California. “Stormin” Norman Parke then jokingly stated, “There will be a storm in Vegas next week.”

“That’s the storm you’ll see. That’s the storm you’ve been waiting for.”

“You’ll just see me flow like water, man.”

Parke, in closing, explained what he hopes to prove with this fight against Tokudome. He said, “I’m worthy of my place in the UFC and I’m going to get the job done come next Saturday night.”

Before the boys at Fist-Ta-Cuff let Mr. Parke go they asked him to give his prediction on the main event fight between Silva and Weidman. Parke stated, “I always like to go for the underdog but, with that said, Anderson Silva is the man. He’s in a league of his own.”

“I just think Anderson Silva is going to be a bit too much.”

We thank Norman for spending some time out of his fight week to talk with BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio and we wish him the very best of luck in his fight this weekend with Kazuki Tokudome at UFC 162.

To listen to the entire interview with “Stormin” Norman Parke click here and for more exclusive MMA interviews click here and stay posted to BJPenn.com

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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