Ahead of Trinaldo bout Norman Parke claims he was at 50% against Tibau


Norman Parke has claimed that he was at 50 percent going into UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs Siver back in January, where he picked up his first loss under the UFC banner to Gleison Tibau. The Next Generation man was looking to bounce back against Brazilian jiu jitsu champion Gilbert Burns on May 30 before an injury ruled the submission ace out of the bout.

TUF Brazil alum Francisco Trinaldo now steps in to take Burn’s place for the Goiania card, but the Antrim man revealed that there was a little confusion when the rumours initially started to trickle through about the Brazilian’s injury. Stormin’ Norman stated that Trinaldo is a sterner test for him on his first bout in Brazil since his controversial draw to Leonardo Santos last year.

“I wanted to fight Burns, I had been offered that fight before but I was sick around that time,” he explained. “I was offered it again and I liked the idea, I thought it would be a good fight, so I said let’s make it happen in Brazil. So we made the fight, but now, apparently he’s injured.

“Joe Silva told me that he hadn’t even found out from Burns’ camp or his manager, he just found it out off someone else. UFC usually know about these things before anyone else does. We’ve got this new fight in front of us now, and I actually think Trinaldo is an a lot tougher fight to be honest. That will make it even better for me when I win the fight.”

Having done his research on Trinaldo, currently 6-3 in UFC outings, Parke has gained confidence particularly from watching how the Brazilian has done in the past against southpaws.

He said: “I’ve watched a lot of his fights, particularly his fights against southpaws. I watched him fight Gleison Tibau fight, I watched him against Michael Chiesa I watched the fight with Piotr Hallman – there the three fights he’s lost with UFC so I got a lot from that.

“He’s very aggressive, he likes to come forward and throw that left hand. That’s something you’ve got to be aware of, he’s confident he can knock people out with that left and I can see that. Sometimes he can get overaggressive and that leaves him open for takedowns, that could play right into my game. If he does that to me I’ll just do a quick level change and take him down.

“I can see us exchanging at the start of the fight and whatever happens after that happens. I’m very confident if it goes to the ground. I know he’s a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu but I can’t see that being a huge problem to be honest. Burns is a different animal on the ground. With Trinaldo, I’m comfortable wherever the fight goes.”

Parke discussed how his last fight has him feeling more motivated than ever. Falling sick just a week before the fight the Rodney Moore charge felt a huge impact on his performance due to the illness on January 18 in Boston. The Ulsterman suggested that he could’ve been less than 50 percent in the TD Garden where he lost a split decision to Gleison Tibau.

“I would love to go in there and completely destroy him,” he said of Trinaldo. “A lot of things happened in that last fight that people don’t know about. I was seriously thinking about pulling out of that fight the week before it. I just felt really ill, my girlfriend had it and then it was kind of doing the rounds with the family. For the six days before that fight I was stuck in a bed drinking green tea to get the dose out of my system.

“It was such a good opportunity, I could’ve never pulled out. I had already pulled out of the Diego Sanchez fight with my knee, so if I pulled out of the Tibau fight UFC might have been reluctant to give me a good opportunity the next time around. Not a lot of people know this, just Rodney Moore and my girlfriend, but I was about 50 percent going into that fight in Boston.

“You’ve got the understand, we left on Sunday and we arrived in Boston on the Monday. I got in touch with UFC to see if they could get me an IV to help me a recover form the flight a little bit, but we didn’t get it. This was the biggest fight of my life and I still had 15 to 20 lbs to lose.

“I can remember how heavy my arms felt at the end of the first round, and I’m not usually one to get like that when I’m fighting. I kept trying to push forward, but I had never felt that heavy in my whole life. Rodney was telling me to push forward, it kept trying but I was just heavy as hell.

“I might have been a bit reluctant in the first round because so many people were talking about his takedowns in the middle of the cage. I was just worrying about that a bit too much. I can remember he knee tapped me and I got straight back up again, but I learned a lot from that fight. I need to just focus on what I’m doing. I’m taking all of that into my next fight.”


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