WongSik “Parky” Park returns to DEEP in Cage Impact on November 24, 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. His second fight pits him against yet another top notch opponent, Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
Park WonSik may have a nickname that sounds like it’s left over from grade 2, but one glance at “Parky” should dissuade anyone from saying that to his face. He’s a professional MMA fighter who looks like it. While the rest of his Team MAD flaunts the debonaire hip Korean style, Parky rocks out in neck tattoos and general bad-assery. It’s not only skin deep – he really is a badass.
Parky made his international MMA debut in 2006 before he was even 20 years old at Japan’s MARS. Then he went on a tear in DEEP: he handed Naoki Matsushita his first 1st round loss in three years; he split open Atsuhiro Tsuboi’s skull with a head kick; he forced Yiuchi Ikari to tap to a RNC with just two seconds left in the round. Parky continued the carnage. In his first phase of MMA fighting, he rarely saw a fight go to decision – let alone out of the 1st round.
In 2009, Parky made it into the big leagues. At DREAM 12 against Kuniyoshi Hironaka, he experienced his first defeat in three years, by an eye injury from a poke. Then he cruised through many opponents in Grachan and Gladiators to Sengoku to face Lightweight King of Pancrase, All Japan wrestler, and PanAm medalist Maximo Blanco. Against his arguably toughest opponent, Parky proved he was not only a brutal finisher, but that he could be strategic. The match went the full distance, and the judges’ score sheets read 30-30, 29-29, and 29-29 with the “must” decision squeaked out unanimously – and depressingly – in favor of Blanco.
While Parky isn’t a fortune teller, he did have the brilliant luck to enter his required two years of South Korean military service just at the time the Japan A-leagues were taking their last gasping breath, and prior to the widespread resurgence of MMA across Asia. Coming out of service he hit the gym again and set himself back on the fight circuit in DEEP. However, a lackluster outing against Kosuke Umeda left many wondering if Parky’s phoenix would be able to rise from the ring rust ashes.
He’ll be given a chance to prove the naysayers wrong when he takes on former Cage Force Champ Yoshiyuki Yoshida at DEEP Cage Impact on November 24th. It’s not an easy fight, and a baffling one from the views of the Parky-detractors who think he’d be better off scaling back to more manageable opponents. But Parky never took an easy fight and apparently he doesn’t ever intend to. How he handles the well-rounded cage-savvy judoka will be determined by the work he’s put in since his career restarted. If you could say he had a weakness, it might have been in take down defense or off his back, but Parky joined the sprawl capital of Korea, Team MAD, and he’s now a purple belt in BJJ.
Ahead of Parky’s fight in DEEP Cage Impact, MMA-in-ASIA spoke with him about his return to action, his training, how he sees his opponent. And then he simply cuts off the interview. A true badass.
MMA-in-ASIA: You have been considered one of the big prodigies coming out of Korea in the past decade. A break for mandatory military service took you out of the game for two years. After you completed the service you had one fight against Kosuke Umeda, which you lost by decision. Critics said you looked like ring rust had hit you hard. What did you think about that performance?
I took that fight in the worst physical condition of my life and it was the worst bout. My heart was just finished, and I had two surgeries, so I didn’t fight hard.
MMA-in-ASIA: What were those surgeries? Were they from fighting?
No, from training. On my ankle and shoulder. It was a ridiculous decision to fight. However, I realized that I had to be grateful for the opportunity so I fought to the best of my ability.
MMA-in-ASIA: You lost two fight opportunities before the upcoming DEEP Cage Impact. Did it make you angry not to fight sooner?
Not really. Since, I’m a free agent, it’s a business that I can fight in at any time. Still, the condition of cancellation of a fight should be better these days, right?
MMA-in-ASIA: How is your training now?
Good. Right now I’m focusing on losing my weight and making my condition the best it can be.
MMA-in-ASIA: What is the best condition for you? What is most important, your strength, stamina?
Both of them; many things. Relaxing and mental preparation are also important.
MMA-in-ASIA: And your technique? What is your best area now?
I have no ‘best’. All of them are my best.
MMA-in-ASIA: Has working with Team MAD helped you become a better fighter?
Of course. Team MAD is the best team in the world. We are family and brothers! Many international fighters and my coaches have helped me so much. I will show in this fight how I have grown. I will show it in everything I do.
MMA-in-ASIA: You have lost two fights in a row, so how do you feel about taking on another very tough fighter, Yoshiyuki Yoshida?
I rested a long time and I have prepared a long time. I have a goal to be in the UFC. I have to win and it has to be against tough opponents.
MMA-in-ASIA: What do you think will be most difficult part of Yoshida’s game?
The fact that he’s a veteran. I don’t think there’s anything else that makes him difficult.
MMA-in-ASIA: Do you think his overseas training has made him a more formidable opponent?
Absolutely. But he is no different from my other opponents.
MMA-in-ASIA: You have proved you have a tough chin, yet he does have a high KO rate. Do you think there is any chance of that happening?
It seems to me you do not know me yet. To think someone could open that door would be wrong. Do not make any more questions. I will win, and afterwards I’ll answer whatever questions you have left.