Bisping’s Coach wants in on Luke Rockhold bet

On September 3, 2014 By

Jason Parillo has been the boxing coach for guys such as Michael Bisping, Tito Ortiz, BJ Penn, Vitor Belfort, Cris Cyborg, and plenty of others. The man made an appearance on Submission Radio to talk about Bisping’s recent success against Cung Le at UFC Fight Night 48 Macau, Luke Rockhold’s challenge to knock Michael out in the first round, the infamous sparring session between the two, adding knockout power to punches, and how Cris Cyborg stacks up against Ronda Rousey.

Parillo has also come under fire recently for BJ Penn’s performance against Frankie Edgar in their third fight. Jason talks honestly about the gameplan, what happened, and what exactly his involvement was in the preparations to the fight.

Interview highlights below

On Bisping’s preparations for his fight with Cung Le

“Well yeah I was real proud of him. To stay on that yeah he had a great performance. You know what, In all reality I thought THAT Michael Bisping was going to come out in his last fight with Tim Kennedy, it just didn’t show up. I don’t know if it was a year layoff of rust, you know and just kinda coming off from surgery I think he might have been a little hesitant, but I really thought THAT Michael Bisping was going to come out in that fight. We had to obviously shake off a little ring rust and he showed what, we’ve been developing his stand up and his boxing game which you know obviously it helps with his kicking game too because his balance has improved quite a bit over the last couple of years, and we’re just helping him set his feet a little bit more and let his hands go a little bit better. So you know in all reality we can start looking for some more finishes and what’s what we’ve been looking to do. And like I said we were scheduled to fight Mark Munoz, that fell out due to surgery, and you know he really was developing and sitting down better on his punches, and you know we went into the surgery and the lay off, and then we had that shitty outing against Tim Kennedy. And yeah we’ve been working on him settling in there and staying in the pocket and letting his hands go more. He’s got such a high volume of arsenals, you know there’s no reason he should be jumping out of there. He should stay in there and let it fly, and he showcased that obviously last week in Macau”

On getting back to where he was after his eye surgery

“Mike’s as hungry as a guy that’s just starting in the game, so it’s not too hard to get him motivated to get back in the gym.”

“With Mike the biggest issue is pulling back on the range, you know. As soon as the doctor says ‘you’re clear to spar’, Mike’s trying to get in there and spar 10 rounds that day. So with him it’s putting on the breaks sometimes with Mike even though it sounds crazy, but you know he’s a hungry guy and he believes in himself so it wasn’t hard to get him going back to the gym. Now we spent some time, I as a coach out on the sidelines, sitting there, watching how he was reacting to shots on that side, and he’s seeing everything, he’s reacting to everything. So it’s not a concern of mine anymore seeing the way he’s performed in his last fight and seeing the way he’s been performing in the gym.”

On Bisping’s criticism that he doesn’t have power in his punches and how a fighter can add power to their punches

“Well in all reality, the saying is ‘you’re born with it. You’re born as a puncher or you’re not. But now you can develop power. You know Mike was so quick to get in and out of there, you know he hasn’t settled down to where sits as much. I saw him sitting a lot better in his last fight with Cung Le. You know he put him in a defence position and was able to plant his feet a bit more and let ’em fly. His volume of punches, he throws at such high volume and now that he’s really settling down in the pocket. You know he’s able to sit on some of his punches a little bit more which will give him, you know top power.”
“He’s a strong guy, I mean there’s no reason, and when we get on those hand pads and you know when we set down and we settle down and he lets it fly, he’s got leverage on his shots. It’s just really getting him confident in that pocket so he’s able to sit down and let ’em go, so he can use his legs also to help drive his shots.”

““Well ironically enough I’m the one who set up the sparring session, so yes I was there.””

(Jason comes on at [2:28])

On how he believes a fight between Luke Rockhold and Michael Bisping plays out in the striking department

“Well you know I believe Michael has the experience on Luke Rockhold and I’ve held hand pads for Luke a couple of times, you know he’s a strong kid, he’s an up-and-coming guy. You know all these guys in this UFC, all these middleweights, it’s a stacked division, there’s a lot of tough guys. Any fight in that top ten, from Luke Rockhold to any of the guys in that division in top ten possess a threat to anybody. Everybody possess a threat to each other.”
“I think Mike has more experience and I think ultimately that’s going to come into play big time in that fight if that fight unfolds. Me personally, and me and Mike talk about it, it’s funny that the number eight and the number, whatever nine to ten guy are campaigning against each other; which Mike really isn’t shooting out at him as much as he’s looking to fight Mike. I have no problem with the fight, I think that’s a fight we can win, but it’s just funny because you’re trying to work your way down towards to number three, number two, number one spot, rather than slow back and fight each other and towards the bottom of the division, or the top ten I should say.”

On Jason Parillo setting up the infamous sparring session between Mike Bisping and Luke Rockhold which started their feud and who really came out on top in that one

“Well ironically enough I’m the one who set up the sparring session, so yes I was there.”

“When Luke came into RVCA where my gym’s at, and you know he’s friends with Pat Tenore the founder of RVCA which is a clothing company down here. And you know he goes ‘Luke’s in the gym’, he goes ‘can he get in and train with you guys’. I said ‘yeah no problem he can come down, he can move with Bisping’. ”

“He came down to spar with Bisping and they sparred. It was one day and they went at it, they went three rounds. I believe one was wearing MMA gloves, the other guy was wearing MMA sparring gloves and they went at it, and Mike was; I don’t really talk about what goes on the gym so much because anything happens in the gym you know. One guy gets the better of one guy one day, and then the other guy gets the better of the other guy another day. This particular day I would have put it in favour of Michael obviously. I’m not just saying that cause I coach Mike and I was there, you know. In fairness to Luke, I don’t know if he had realized he had come in when Mike was three, four weeks out from a fight. So he was kinda in a heavy mode and ready to go, and I don’t know if Luke had come in there thinking that what level they were at right there. But yeah, they went at it and Michael stayed on top, and you know you can’t really gauge much from it in all honesty on the sparring session. You know it was a three round sparring session and we went on to another guy. As a matter of a fact I think he came in and out. I think we used Rockhold one round, used another guy another round, and Luke came back in on the third round or what not. So as far as who got the better of who at the time I would have gave Mike on top of the sparring session, but again I’m not trying to gauge anything off that.”

Thoughts on Luke Rockhold’s wager about giving his purse to Bisping is he doesn’t finish him in one round.

“I actually wish that I could be a part of the bet because I would take that bet. I mean yeah you’re putting up a lot less, obviously money wise there’s a huge difference in who’s risking what, you know, but at the end of the day, c’mon. You know a lot of people judge Michael Bisping outside the cage, and looking at him from the outside looking in I think they get the wrong idea. I think even a guy like Cung Le was looking at Mike outside the cage and thinking, ‘you know what? I can beat this guy’, then he stood in front of him and realized he was overwhelmed. Mike’s one of those guys, until you’re in front of him, you don’t know what you’ve got. You know you can sit outside and guess and say he might be a little lighter in the punching division, in the punching area. You can make your judgements on him. Maybe you don’t think he’s got that good of a wrestling but I don’t see many guys getting in that cage and have their way with Mike.”

“For Luke to say that he could go out there beat (Mike), you know I would like to take that bet. I would like to see Michael right at Luke, you know. Maybe try to take him out in the first round which would shock the hell out of everybody, but you know Mike’s got that ability, he’s just gotta believe in it. This last fight was just really good for his confidence and he hasn’t stopped a guy in a while, and I know that’s going to set with him well mentally.”

If Jason found a new found respect for Cung Le and the heart that Cung Le showed in that fight

“Are you kidding me? The guy’s a tough guy, I mean what a tough man. He was beat up. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a guy that bloody in the cage, you know or even a part of a fight that bloody. He was busted up and he definitely showed the heart of a warrior. I mean I’ve known Cung Le for many years, I’ve known him for 15 or so years you know, and he’s always been that guy. He’s a true warrior and he’s a martial artist like he says, and he dug deep and tried to do the best he could.”

“She’s gonna prove that she can make 135 in December. That’s a goal right now and if she shows that she can make 135 there’s no way that fights not going to happen. I don’t see how it can’t. ”

On if Jason see’s Cyborg vs. Rousey happening, On Bellator trying to sign Cyborg,

“Well I don’t see why it’s not happening. I don’t want to see it fall under this Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, I mean obviously that’s gone on forever but this Cris Cyborg – not that she’s the only fight for Ronda, I’m sure there going to be more girls that develop over the years – but I mean that’s the ultimate fight now isn’t it? I mean Cris Cyborg, I know she had no to Bellator, I know Bellator is gonna be trying to probably get her also, but I mean that’s the fight and she’s hungry for that fight. She’s gonna prove that she can make 135 in December. That’s a goal right now and if she shows that she can make 135 there’s no way that fights not going to happen. I don’t see how it can’t. You know unless somebody’s being fickle, one side or the other, I don’t know how that fights not going to happen.”

On if Jason feels Cyborg still has an advantage over Rousey in the striking department

“Well yeah I do, and I’ve seen some footage of Ronda hitting the hand pads and stuff like that. You know, she’s developing, it looks like she’s coming along and learning her striking game. But it’s more developed in a fight. Unfortunately she doesn’t have the experience that Cris has as far as standing up and exchanging in a live fight where you got judges, you got a crowd and the intensity’s a different ball game. Granted Ronda’s stepped up on a high level where there’s high pressure, large crowd paying attention to the fight she’s involved with, and she’s done obviously extraordinary well, but as far as standing up and trading punches and going in there again, going in the pocket, settling in there and letting your hands go, you know and your kicks go, she’s behind. She’s inexperienced compared to Cris right now. I see her having a very difficult time sitting in front of Cris.”

On BJ Penn’s striking style in his last fight and his involvement in the camp and game plan

“You know there was no involvement. I unfortunately haven’t been working with BJ for three, four years prior to that fight. I was part of the Nick Diaz camp a little bit, years ago. You know me and BJ have always stayed tight”
“He asked me six months prior to that fight that he just had with Frankie to come do the Ultimate Fighter with him, the TUF show. And I was like, ‘ahhh’ there were other things that were a little bit more on my priority list, but he’s my man. So I went and did the show with him and as we’re on the show we were talking about getting back and doing what we used to do and training like we used to train. That never panned out, he started developing that style that you saw, he started developing that you know with some guys back in Hilo and you know he went with that style. He told me that he didn’t want me, you know he’d rather not stress me out with that, what he wanted to do. He wanted to focus on this style that he was developing and he didn’t wanna stress me out, so he didn’t have me come to camp, so I wasn’t involved in camp. And a week before the fight he called me up – and I’ve been in so many of his big fights, you know I cornered him in all his title defences, and last world title at light weight and stuff, and I was part of those camps, I was big part of those camps – but with this fight I think he felt comfortable with me coming out, and out of all the voices he wanted to hear in the corner was mine. So you know I pretty much went out there to back him up and work the corner for him and see if we can pull him through the fight.”

His thoughts on BJ Penn going to 145

“Yeah I think it would have been a smarter move to go to 155, especially coming off his last couple of fights at 170, you know he hadn’t fought in a couple of years, he hadn’t been down to 145 in a long time. BJ is not one to use and IV bag, so the way guys hydrate or dehydrate and they really suck a lot of water out of themselves, you know it’s near impossible for some of these guys to completely hydrate themselves you know without those IV bags. It was a gamble that he made and it didn’t go his way, or it didn’t go our way I should say. You know it’s unfortunate, I would have loved to have seen him at 155 rather than 145. And I would have liked to see – and I said this in an interview in the past – I wanna see BJ come out of a two year layoff and fight a top 20 guy, not a top 2 guy. You know like, not only is he going down to 145, a weight class he’s never fought before; but you know I come from the game of boxing and in boxing when an ex-champ comes out of retirement or what not after a two year layoff, he certainly doesn’t start campaigning his run for the title again with the number 2 guy or the number 1 guy. He doesn’t do that.”

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