Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was as surprised as everyone else when he heard that Karo Parisyan would not be competing at UFC 106 against Dustin Hazelett on Saturday night.
He was even more surprised when he heard Parisyan’s excuse for not fighting.
“That reason makes no sense to me,” Kizer stated at Thursday’s UFC 106 press conference. “That’s inaccurate. He understood that we would be taking that money out of his purse and he would be walking away with either his fine paid in full or he would walk out at the end of the night with his half his fine paid, so it was no issue with the fine whatsoever. He and I had worked out a good solution to it. I’m not sure why he pulled out of the fight at all.”
Parisyan claims that he could not fight because he was unable to pay a $32,000 fine stemming from a prior athletic commission drug suspension, and therefore was not issued a Nevada fighter’s license. Parisyan was scheduled to earn $40,000 to show and an additional $40,000 if he won.
Kizer said that Parisyan had already agreed to a deal weeks before the fight that would make paying the fine easier on him.
“He said, Is there any way you guys can structure that any differently? I said, Let me talk to the chairman, who at the time was Bill Brady. I said, Chairman is there any way to structure this? How about a 16/16 deal? In other words, [take out] money $16,000 from the show and $16,000 from the win money, so that way he at least walks away with $24,000 instead of $8,000. He said, That’s fine; that’s good. I feel bad for this guy — I know he’s had some financial difficulties and he’s been out since January. So we showed some empathy and sympathy for him,”
“So it wasn’t an issue at all, he seemed happy with that. So I was surprised as anyone today when I walked here and a bunch of reporters told me that he pulled out of the fight. I wish they could find a replacement for Dustin, but unfortunately, it looks like they can’t.”
“Karo was very pleased with that and he thanked me for that. I said, At the very minimum you would be walking out with 24,000, and if you win, you will get 48,000 and you will be free and clear from any debts to us. If not, if you lost or it was a draw, the UFC would take that 16,000 out of his show money. We would get our money.”
Kizer added that Parisyan doesn’t have a deadline to pay the fine to the NSAC and that they would just take the money out of his purse the next time he competed in Nevada. He was already licensed to compete on Saturday’s card, despite his claim to not be able to attain a license.
Meanwhile, the UFC has bumped the Jacob Volkmann vs. Paulo Thiago fight to the pay-per-view portion of the card as the swing bout, while Phil Baroni vs. Amir Sadollah will replace Parisyan vs. Hazelett as the opening bout on the pay-per-view portion of the telecast.
Seems like there was maybe some communication errors – but why wait till this late to put it out there Karo? More likely he may have just lost the nerve to fight.