MICK PARKIN is still flying high after his successful UFC debut earlier this year.
Mick Parkin earned a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contenders Series last AugustUFC
GETTYThe Sunderland slugger dominated Jamal Pogues in his debut at UFC London[/caption]
GettyThe 28-year-old is still processing the fact he’s a fully-fledged UFC fighter[/caption]
Parkin, 28, fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a UFC fighter thanks to a first-round submission victory over Eduardo Jose Neves
He would have to wait a while, however, before making his octagon debut, which came on the UFC London prelims in July.
But it was well worth the wait, just for the atmosphere he experienced from the raucous O2 Arena crowd before beating American Jamal Pogues via unanimous decision.
He told SunSport: “It was amazing. To debut in London as well, it was perfect.
“And my friend Tom [Aspinall] was headlining the card as well, it was perfect. So I got to hang about with him for the week.
“My friends who had fought before were like, ‘Enjoy it and take it all in.
“It will be a pretty cool story when you’re older and you don’t want to let it pass you by.’
“So I tried my extra hardest to enjoy it and the coolness of it. And walking out, it did feel pretty cool.
INSTAGRAM@MICKPARKIN95Mick Parkin used to be a part-time bouncer bagging a UFC contract[/caption]
“Even just Bruce Buffer saying my name was crazy. And then getting the fight and getting the win was perfect.
“[The] home crowd, all of my friends and family there. It was absolutely perfect.”
Fighting in MMA‘s top promotion in front of his friends, family and UK fans who want him to climb the ranks was a surreal moment for Parkin, who used to be a part-time bouncer before he started bouncing heads in the octagon.”
He recalled: “When I decided I wanted to fight properly, I just did the odd night just to have theto pay for my training.
“I wasn’t really fussed about it as I don’t really go out drinking at the weekends.
“I worked in a reallybar that wasn’t really troublesome, it was basically just for doing nothing. It was perfect for me.”
He added: “Doing security work on the weekends to be able to get by while I trained full time.
“I just did it Friday and Saturday night. I’m not like some of these guys who work a full-time job and train. That’s hard.”
INSTAGRAM@MICKPARKIN95Mick Parkin is a friend and training partner of new interim UFC heavyweight champ Tom Aspinall[/caption]
Despite officially being signed by UFC CEO White well over a year ago, Parkin still finds it surreal that he’s in‘s big show.
He said: “Just to look around and think, ‘You’re in the UFC’, it’s crazy.
“I try not to get overwhelmed and think, ‘Oh, you’re in the UFC.’
“I just [try] to think about my opponents. It’s still a fight, at the end of the day.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m fighting in a workmen’s club or fighting in the UFC in a massive arena, it’s still a guy trying to knock you out.”
Parkin will make his second walk to the octagon early tomorrow morning in the UFC Vegas 82 prelims, where he’ll face fellow Contenders Series contract winner Caio Machado.
He said of the Brazilian: “He’s definitely good. And it’s heavyweight, so anything can happen when big guys are throwing.
“You don’t wanna get hit by anybody at this weight. I think he’s very aggressive with his striking.
It was amazing. To debut in London as well, it was perfect.
Mick Parkin on his UFC debut
“But I think his style matches up well with mine and is good for me. I think it’s a really good match-up for me.
“He’s definitely dangerous and I’ve got to be switched on because no fight is a given.
“I do feel confident in this one and it’s going to be a great one for me.
Parkin is hoping to have a busy 2024, so much so that he’d snub a spot on the UFC’sshow in London to remain active.
He said: “They always seem to come to the UK in March or June, so that would be perfect.
“I could potentially fight a little bit earlier if I get out of this fight with no injuries.
“But if I was asked to fight in February in America or March in London, I think I’d rather wait for the London card just to fight at home.
“But if the UFC said, ‘You can fight in February’, I could do that too.”
GettyMick Parkin faces Brazilian heavyweight Caio Machado early on Sunday morning[/caption]