Norman “Stormin” Parke has certainly impressed since he signed on to compete in TUF “Smashes”, as the Northern Ireland fighter went on to win the competition by handing Colin Fletcher a unanimous decision defeat last December. While his Octagon performances have provided insights into how Parke has put together an impressive 17-2 record to date, according to the lightweight, he’s capable of much more.

While speaking to RM Sport’s Rick Lee recently about his upcoming, UFC 162 tilt with Kazuki Tokodume, the Judo black belt and experienced wrestler had this to say, while discussing the UFC’s lightweight rankings.

“I feel like I’m in that top ten already, and the experience in “The Ultimate Fighter” never really showed that as much because there was a lot of things putting us off, being away from home. It was just a really, really weird experience being in “The Ultimate Fighter”, and I never really showed my abilities that I’m capable of. But once it comes to the show in July, I’m going to show some different things that will keep a few people guessing, and say alright, this guy’s a dark horse here. I’ll be coming up, kind of like TJ Grant. He just came out of nowhere and he’s beating everybody, he just put Gray Maynard away.”

Parke may have a tough time convincing a lot of fans at this juncture that he should be ahead of some of the names currently residing in the UFC top ten rankings, especially since Raphael dos Anjos, Pat Healy and Jim Miller currently sit 10th, 9th and 8th, respectively, you can’t fault a fighter for being confident. Now if he destroys Tokudome on July 6th, who Parke credited as a “worthy opponent”, then maybe the “dark horse” talk will begin.

UFC 162 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.