Although Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke is scheduled to fight Kazuki Tokudome at UFC 162, there continues to be speculation as to whether the “TUF Smashes” winner will battle Ireland’s Conor McGregor at some juncture. After all, both men are two of the region’s fastest rising stars, and McGregor has claimed he would need little time to defeat Parke in the past.
While speaking with RM Sport’s Rick Lee recently, Parke was asked about previous comments McGregor has directed his way, and stated:
“He’s called me out a few times; I’m not really surprised. We were meant to fight a few times before back in the local circuit, the Irish circuit. We were beating everybody and people wanted to see that fight. It was a fight I wanted to happen but I got injured one time, and I got offered another fight, and then that never came off as well. So there was a few times where we were meant to meet.”
“He’s fighting at featherweight; he wants to fight at lightweight, not too sure what weight he’s going to stay at, but I’m open to any challenge. If the UFC wants us to fight it’s not a problem at all with me.”
If Parke and McGregor continue to impress, there’s no doubt that a bout between the two would draw a ton of interest, particularly in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Parke relayed on the MMA Hour recently, however, that he’s not interested in having the region’s political divisions drawn into any bout between him and McGregor.
Parke (17-2) is heading into his July 6th contest with Tokudome (12-3-1) having won seven straight fights, and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Colin Fletcher in December. The Japanese lightweight Tokudome scored a unanimous decision win over Cristiano Marcello this March, which was his Octagon debut, and has won three in a row.
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