This coming Sat June 16th, UFC veteran John "Guns" Gunderson (32-12-2), training out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, takes on UFC vet Karo Parisyan (20-8) for the ShoFIGHT 170lb Title in the main event of ShoFIGHT 20 in Springfield, Missouri. Gunderson spoke with NW Fightscene's Spaniard this week about the fight...
NW Fightscene: What prompted your move up to Welterweight?
John Gunderson: Just the opportunity to fight for the title. Big card, main event, against a name opponent.
NWFS: This will be the 2nd UFC vet you've faced in a row. You just beat Justin Buchholz for the Lightweight Title at Superior Cage Combat. How did that feel to get that belt around your waist?
Gunderson: It felt good. The hard work paid off. I trained really hard for the fight. Put in a lot of time, so I was glad that it paid off.
NWFS: Obviously with the move to 170 lbs you don't have to worry about weight. What are some of your concerns at welterweight?
Gunderson: Nothing. Its just one time. For now, just doing it this once. Really don't have any concerns. We'll see what happens.
NWFS: What do you think of Parisyan right now as an opponent?
Gunderson: You know, it's Karo Parisyan. He's a legend in Judo and MMA. He's been fighting since he was 14 years old. The guy's accomplished more than ninety percent of fighters out there will ever accomplish or ever hope to accomplish.
NWFS: What do you do in training to prepare for him?
Gunderson: Just do like I do everyday and focus on my game. Right now I'm just focused on my game and come after him. And its up to him to shut me down.
NWFS: Who have you been working with at Xtreme Couture?
Gunderson: I just got a bunch of different guys. Some guys you don't know. I was going to fight a judo guy anyways, so I brought in a judo guy thats about 185 lbs. I go with everybody. I mean, everybody goes with everybody in there. There's really no one person or single person, there's just the team. Dropping one or two guys names would be disrespecting to the whole team. I train with a pro team and there's a bunch of good guys.
NWFS: You've had a lot of fights, been fighting for a long time, and I've heard you talk that maybe you have ten more fights in you. What's that like talking about the end of your career?
Gunderson: Well, I've already accomplished a lot, and a lot of what I set out to accomplish. I'm just still going with the flow while I can, and just keep fighting while my body feels good. I feel like I've accomplished more than anybody from where I come from. I'm happy with that and I'm happy with my career. I'm just going to keep going with the flow right now. We'll see what happens.
NWFS: Speaking about where you come from, you're also on the card July 14th Caged Combat 6 in the main event against Dave Castillo. What does it mean to you coming up through Oregon to be fighting back in a main event in Oregon?
Gunderson: Its cool. It's always good to go back to Oregon. I love Oregon. Thats where I'm from. Thats where my roots are. To go back there and have some of my friends come and watch me fight and be able to compete in my home state.. I'm going to fight for another title. It's going to be the fifteenth title that I've fought for. We'll see what happens when the time comes.
NWFS: You've been around for a long, long time. What are some of the things that get you up in the morning and get you to the gym, and keep you really inspired to stay fighting?
Gunderson: Just competition. I like to compete. When someone thinks there better than me, I like to compete. The proof is in the cage. Thats where you prove everything. A lot of people will talk the talk, but not a lot of people can walk it. And I get out there and walk it. Not too many people finish me. I don't get finished really easy. But I've finished a lot of guys. I'm a finisher. I'm a scrapper and I love to fight. Whoever I fight is in for a fight. No one just puts me away. I'm always in the fight. The fight's are always agressive and always exciting. If I can perform that way, then it makes me happy.
NWFS: What can fans expect to see in the fight this Saturday at ShoFight 20 with you and Karo?
Gunderson: He might be able to throw me a few times because he's one of the best in the world at judo, but I think our submission games will cancel each other out. There's no way he's going to be able to submit me, and I think I won't be able to submit him too easily either. We'll probably end up just banging it out and may the best man win. We'll get in each others faces and go at it. Two pitbulls just going after it. We're both hopeful to get back into the UFC and here's our chance to prove that we want to get there.
NWFS: Any one you'd like to thank for this fight?
Gunderson: I just want to thank Gil Martinez, my boxing coach. Fredson Paixão, my jiu-jitsu coach. And my fight team, Xtreme Couture, and all the guys who help me train.
Many thanks to John for speaking with NW Fightscene. He takes on Karo Parisyan for the ShoFIGHT Welterweight Title in the main event of ShoFIGHT 20 this coming Saturday, June 16th at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Missouri. More info at shofight.com. John is online on Facebook here.