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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matt Erickson and Ken Hathaway

Unbeaten Mick Parkin wants spot on England card with interim UFC champ Tom Aspinall

LAS VEGAS – Mick Parkin beat Mohammed Usman with a unanimous decision Saturday to open the preliminary card at UFC on ESPN 53 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Take a look inside the fight with Parkin, who stayed unbeaten and snapped Usman’s three-fight UFC winning streak, which was the best in the promotion going into the night.

Mick Parkin def. Mohammed Usman

Mick Parkin def. Muhammad Usman, UFC on ESPN 53tayl

Result: Mick Parkin def. Mohammed Usman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Updated records: Parkin (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), Usman (10-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC)
Key stats: Parkin landed 30 of 37 leg kicks.

Parkin on the fight's key moment

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 23: (R-L) Mohammed Usman of Nigeria punches Mick Parkin of England in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 23, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“It’s just experience (to work through trouble). I remember getting hit hard in the last fight and thinking, ‘Oh, this is not good.’ But now I’ve been there, done that. Just keep your composure. Move. I think I hit him with a big right hand, and that maybe stung him a bit and then he stepped off. Then I recovered pretty quick. Then it was like, get back on the game plan, move your feet, kick his leg. I felt fine after that big shot. I knew he definitely won the round with the big shots.”

Parkin on training with Tom Aspinall

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 11: Tom Aspinall of England reacts after his knockout victory against Sergei Pavlovich of Russia in the interim UFC heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 295 event at Madison Square Garden on November 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

“Obviously he wants to fight Jon Jones, but there’s a bit of a hold up because of the whole Stipe (Miocic) situation and all that. It’s amazing to go and train with Tom. He’s still Tom to me. I told myself the other day, ‘Oh, I’m training with the world champion, the best heavyweight in the world.’ I can’t get better training than that anywhere. And he’s great. He’s a great guy.

“I do feel a bit bad for him now because I feel like the main fights are just sort of missing him. I don’t know who else he’ll get. I don’t feel like anyone’s eager to fight him. The Jones fight would be awesome for him, but I just can’t see it happening at the moment. I feel like Jones wants to fight Stipe. They’re both going to fight each other, a lot of money, and they’re probably going to be finished after that. So, I understand why they’re doing this, it’s just a bit bad for Tom.”

Parkin on what he wants next

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 23: (L-R) Mick Parkin of England punches Mohammed Usman of Nigeria in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 23, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“The UFC has been great matching (me), so I’ll have anybody. I feel like once you get the top 15, that’s when you start calling people out. I think now, I don’t care. I’ll have anybody. … I’d love to get the July card (in Manchester) and hopefully Tom can headline it. That’d be amazing. It was an amazing experience to be at my London debut, and being there with him. It was an amazing fight week.”

To hear more from Parkin, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 53.

UFC on ESPN 53

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