Josh Parisian has had a long, winding journey to the UFC, and one would be forgiven for thinking he is ecstatic.
Parisian (13-3) is on a six-fight winning streak dating to April 2019. It has been a complicated journey to the UFC and Parisian is just happy to be here. The heavyweight fighter won via spinning back fist on Dana White's Contender Series back in 2018; however, he was rewarded with a stint on The Ultimate Fighter instead of a UFC contract. He lost to Michel Batista on the program and failed to make an official UFC debut. He earned a second chance on Contender Series in August, beating Chad Johnson via first-round TKO, and will make his long-awaited UFC debut against Parker Porter at UFC Vegas 15.
"I think the best way to describe it is to say that it is a relief," Parisian told Fightful ahead of Saturday's card. "It's just like when I go into a fight. I'm not excited that I win, I'm relieved that it played out the way I wanted it to. I'm relieved that I'm in the UFC."
Parisian also reflected on his conversation with UFC President Dana White and the less-than-ideal circumstances of his stint on TUF.
"He actually took me into his office after that fight and he said it would be a better opportunity for me and for him. He said it'll get people to know me, I'll make more money, the UFC will make more money. It was just a money thing. It just didn't play out the way I intended. It was a very stressful situation. I didn't have my coaches, I was going against a Bronze medalist Olympic wrestler when wrestling was my weakness. A lot of bad things happened in a row," he continued. "I've always been a person who is recalibrating. Even when I succeed, what could I have done better? The extra time that I have had has definitely not hurt me. It's helped me."
UFC Vegas 15 takes place from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The ESPN+ card is headlined by Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis. Keep up with Fightful for all your fight night coverage.