Ford has a better idea

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:11 PM ET

LONDON, ONT. - Ryan Ford knows a win will move him a step closer to a UFC spot.

Karo Parisyan knows a win might show the UFC he's ready for another shot on their roster. A loss and who knows what will happen to his career.

The Real Deal Ford and The Heat Parisyan is the main event on Thursday's MMA LIVE 1 card at the John Labatt Centre, the first professional card held in London.

Ford is 14-3 and never had a crack at the UFC.

"Hopefully a win over Karo Pariysan will open the UFC's eyes a little more to see how far I've come in this sport," Ford said.

"Obviously my goal is to be in the UFC. The UFC is the NFL of martial arts. If you're in mixed martial arts that's where you want to be. You want to be a UFC champion or you shouldn't be in the sport."

Parisyan, 19-6, is coming back after battling injuries, anxiety and drug abuse issues. Twice he's been with the UFC and at one time was a title contender and has fought some of the top people in the business, including Canadian Georges St. Pierre.

Parisyan, from California, and Ford, an Edmonton native, have different fighting styles.

"It's a big fight with a guy who had fights with the who's who in the world of martial arts," Ford said. "It's going to be my toughest fight so far. I've watched him a lot in the early UFC. He's a strong fighter. He wants to take you to the ground. He's basically a judo guy who likes ground and pound and submission."

If Ford has his way, fans better be in their seats when the fight begins. He's fought 17 times and only two have gone to a decision. The other 15 have either been stopped because of punches or submissions.

"I'm not the kind of fighter that wants to leave the decision to the judges. My goal is to go and get the fight finished and to excite the fans. I'll go wherever the fight goes. I've been training for everything from the ground up. I'm more than ready."

Ford is an athlete. He's 29 and has only been in MMA four years. Before that he was in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos and spent time on the B.C. Lions practice roster.

"I just figured I'd rather fight one guy than 12. I just wanted to challenge myself. I'm an athlete and fighting is in my blood."

That's because his dad is Al Ford, former Canadian lightweight boxing champion. He fought some of the top lightweights in Canada and the world including Nick Furlano, Johnny Summerhays and Ray Mancini.

Al Ford was at one time the No. 3-ranked lightweight in the world.

"Boxing is always in my blood. The fight is in my blood," Ford said. "Watching the UFC, I always wanted to get in it. I was the city and national champion in wrestling. I tried a couple of boxing fights but it wasn't as aggressive as it could have been for me. So I started MMA and now here I am taking names."

Ford is about winning but he knows in this business putting on a good show gets you almost as far as winning. You can lose but losing ugly doesn't get you anywhere.

"I love getting in there and putting on a show for the fans," he said. "I love the challenge of fighting another guy who thinks he can beat me."

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MMA LIVE 1

The Card

1. Daniel Langbeen vs. Lyndon Whitlock

2. Bo Harris vs. Brent Franczuz

3. Theo Toney vs. Alan Wilson

4. Chuck Mady vs. James Haourt

5. Derek Boyle vs. Jason Saggo

6. Kyle Dietz vs. Nick Denis

7. Marcus Aurelio vs. Matt MacGrath

8. Karo Parisyan vs. Ryan Ford

Weigh-ins Wednesday, Delta London Armouries, 5 p.m., open to the public.

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