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Wednesday, 04/17/2013, 03:17 pm

EXCLUSIVE | ‘TUF: The Smashes’ Winner Norman “Stormin” Parke Talks MMA With BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio Show

Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes lightweight winner Norman “Stormin” Parke was kind enough to join our radio show this week to talk about everything from his time on the show to the cancellation of his upcoming fight at UFC on FOX 7 on April 20th against Jon Tuck. Parke compiled an impressive 16-2 MMA record before joining and eventually winning TUF: The Smashes with 13 of those 16 victories coming by way of submission. Parke is currently riding a 7 fight winning streak and is coming off of his “TUF: The Smashes Finale” unanimous decision victory over Colin Fletcher in December. Here are some of the highlights from his interview with our boys over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio:

Norman talked about the cultural changes since leaving his UK home to train in Chula Vista, California at Alliance MMA:

“It’s been great. I know what you mean by the portion sizes. I’ve been to a few restaurants, especially the Mexican places. Their servings are like 3 to 4 compared to back home. Its crazy the amount of food you get on a plate. And they say the Americans are all obese so I can see why. But since I’ve been here I just get my food and bring it back to the gym and just keep me fed here. My weight has been on perfect, this is the lowest I’ve ever been in for a fight, and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in before a fight,” he explained.

On training for UFC on FOX 7 and then finding out his fight was cancelled:

“Yeah, when I got the call I was taken back, I was like, ‘f***, f***.” But what’s the point of being miserable about the whole thing, the whole situation, you know? It is what it is. It aint gonna change. You could be miserable all day like everybody else but it aint gonna change anything. So I just accepted it like its part of the plan, it’s just, everything happens for a reason. It’s just part of my journey. I’m not going to dwell on it too much.”

“I had a great training camp here. Everything was perfect. It’s the best I’ve ever felt for any fight camp. I was peaking at the perfect time, training with quality people I felt comfortable, I just felt like I was in the right place and um, then again I’ll get my chance again. I’ll get my chance again.”

On training at Alliance MMA in San Diego:

“I fit in perfectly well. I think I felt more like when I got here I would be a small fish in with the sharks and stuff like that but once I got involved I came over here and I handled myself well. Every sparring session was tough because every round you’re getting was like, you could have been going someone that’s kinda more like, they’re trying to time their takedown and stuff like that so you couldn’t just let your hands go as much and you have to be more cautious, then you fight against wrestlers as well and they’re going to try to take you down at all times then you fight against strikers and you should try to take them down. So the hardest thing was you just have to think more about what you’re doing where as back home I could just do whatever I wanted and not really be calm under that kind of pressure but that was the big difference. I really had to think about what I was doing.”

“I loved it once I came here, I loved it straight from the start. Everything about it is all specifically made out for MMA fighting. You’re not going out doing something crazy for conditioning. Everything is fight oriented and that’s what I like.”
“We had a few Mexican pro-boxers that came in a few times so I got to spar there so every time I’m moving for a camp I’m going to spar with them all the time. I felt like my hands were really sharp.”

On Urijah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum at TUF Finale:

“The Urijah Hall fight, I think there was a lot of hype built up around him and I think he was worried too much about his pride and he just never let everything go. He seemed to just be holding back or something and the young dude (Kelvin Gastelum) just took it to him. He won it deservedly.”

“[Kelvin] did what he had to do. Stayed on the outside keying his shots from that southpaw stance, got the takedowns and grind him on top. You know, he made a few mistakes but he’s still young so he still has a lot of learning to do as well. But Urijah Hall seemed to hesitate quite a lot and I think the whole hype thing, people expected too much of him and think that kind of got to him and he just couldn’t let it go.”

On making a permanent move to the San Diego from his UK home:

“I’ll be spending a lot of time here in San Diego for sure. You’ve just got to make that step. I mean, back home I have my coaches and stuff, I’ve got a few people, a few good fighters, but back here you’ve got everything. Everything is in one room. You’ve got everything. You’ve got all the striking coaches, you’ve got world class grappling coaches, world class wrestling coaches, where as back home I have to travel miles and miles to get that. There’s no excuse. I’m here at the gym and it makes it better you’re living in the gym. You’re experiencing the whole thing of it, the whole fight, the whole build up. You’re living in the gym.”

“Sometimes you’re working out three times a day. I just fit in perfectly. I loved it straight from the start. I’m definitely doing every one of my fight camps right here in San Diego. But if I’m fighting in the UK I’ll come out here a lot earlier and do a few good weeks here and then come back and finish my camp back home, you know what I mean?”

On his ultimate goal by the end of 2013:

“I just want to get a few fights this year. This year I want to be in America a lot more and just experience things out here and just progress myself as a martial artist, enhance my whole artillery to a different level.”

“I’m looking to get two fights by the end of the year. Hopefully get one in maybe May-June time and then after that, yeah, I’m looking to work my way up the rankings. I’ll fight any of the guys in the top 10, top 20 no problem. I’m prepared for it and I’m training with a lot of people out.”

“I love America. It’s awesome man.”

You can follow Norman Parke on Twitter @Norman_Parke and to listen to the entire interview with Norman Parke on Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio Show click here.

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