After winning the “TUF Smashes”, Australia versus Britain series, Norman “Stormin” Parke will look to further entrench his presence in the lightweight division at UFC 162, by defeating Japanese vet Kazuki Tokudome. It’s a compelling match-up really, as while Parke’s unanimous decision win over Colin Fletcher to win “The Ultimate Fighter” may have grabbed more headlines in North America and the U.K., Tokudome has won some pivotal fights with Pancrase and handed Cristiano Marcello a decision defeat at UFC on FUEL TV 8 in January. In other words, a win for either man on July 6th would be a key statement about where they’re headed.
So, what does Parke think of Tokudome? Who like himself is 26-years old and also holds a Judo black belt? While speaking to RM Sports, the 17-2 fighter stated:
“I had never really heard much about him before, but I saw a couple of videos on YouTube and his last UFC fight, and seems like a worthy opponent, which is going to make it a great fight.”
“I think we match up pretty well; we’re similar in the way we fight. He’s got a good Judo background; he’s got good head movement, good movement with his hands. He’s got good takedowns, very good clinch work, but other than that there, I feel like I’m going to be physically stronger than him. That’s going to be the difference in this fight. I want to put pressure on him, keep him on the back foot. I feel like there’s a weakness in his game where he likes to throw combinations and keep his chin in the air. He’s been tagged a few times.”
Parke also relayed in the interview, while discussing the UFC lightweight rankings, that he believes “I’m in that top ten already.” The Northern Ireland fighter says he didn’t show what he’s really capable of during his run on TUF, and that after UFC 162, fans and pundits will start seeing him as a “dark horse” in the division. What will fans view him as if he loses? Since Tokudome also has some buzz behind him?
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