Ep. #24 – Liv Parker

Liv Parker is an undefeated mixed martial artist who competes in the Featherweight division. She is undefeated with 4 wins as a professional and 5 as an amateur. She is eyeing a fight with UFC Featherweight Megan Anderson.


Liv Parker: What this, what are the students think about you? Fighting? The reaction is kind of twofold. Some think it’s super cool. I think I’m a little bit scary and some. I don’t think that I’m crazy, which probably won’t smell you’ll, have a little smell like soon be like. Well, I’m gon na come fight. You at your gym, I’m like I’m starting the waiver buddy. Let’S go I’m also incredibly goofy. So it’s hard for me to maintain the intimidation factor very long with them. I’M pretty quickly will trip over something or say something goofy and everyone will just be like. Oh she’s, a goon yeah. It’S probably easy to get them to do things. If they’re scared of you, though yeah, but you also want to be comfortable when they’re in the learning environment, because they’re scared, I mean they’re, not learning as much so but like I said I am a big klutz and I’m incredibly goofy. So I don’t maintain the intimidation factor very long. My coach is like even tell me, like you, know, you’re real scary standing there, but the minute you move or talk it’s over. I guess just good as a teacher, because I don’t want them scared of me, but I have so much students in the past and be like yeah. There were times when you act like you’re frustrated, we’re like. Could she actually you uh you? Speaking of your fighting, you fought three times in 2019. I’M sure you would have liked that to kind of carry over to 2020 how’s it been. Obviously you probably don’t like the inactivity. 20:19 was unusual for me because year before that I fought in January and then not again. One of the things that I’ve constantly had to battle is lack of opponents not being able to find people to fight me. So I’m 2018 – I fought in January and we looked around for a year and couldn’t find an opponent. So 2019 was wonderful and I really was hoping to. You know maintain the momentum of fighting so many times, but unfortunately we’re where we are which to me at the same time, it’s fun it’s time to hone my skills work on things that need to get work off, worked on and to be able to rest up And some you know little things from training, a lot heal and that’s been nice, but I would much rather be preparing for a fight right now. Yeah, it’s gon na be hard, especially in the featherweight division, to find opponents. I find it’s there’s not a whole lot. There, you know, you think about 115 125 there’s always opponents. What’S it been like fighting it at 145 and how difficult that has been to find opponents. I’Ve only thought there once actually and I was posed to fight Jaime driver it 145, but she couldn’t. She got sick or something and she couldn’t make weight, so they agreed to bump it up, but I’ve always had trouble finding opponents there’s just not we’re not out there. So most the time not fought girls that a lot of them will fight up and down. So you’ll see one of my teammates fights at 145, but she also fights at one for 35, and so my problem is that I can’t draw down to 135, so it’s been difficult, it’s and that’s frustrating and that I’m watching my smaller opponents come fighting almost every Other month – and I’m I mean to admit, I fought see them fight for five times in a year is not unusual, whereas I’m sitting here with my twiddle, my thumb’s like well we’re looking the I think like on the other spectrum. I guess it’s probably good to in a division like that, especially when you look at the UFC, which is shallow, because there’s not a whole lot of competition and you would you’ve obviously been pretty vocal about a potential fight with me and Anderson, which I love. That fight there’s, there’s no there’s no real competition in the UFC at 145, so it kind of like opens up a door for you. How do you feel about that and what what’s? What is it about that fight that it’s exciting for you? It’S an exciting time to be 145, because there are a lot of places that don’t have a lot, but then the question becomes: like: does Dana White really intend to build? The 145 I mean, like seems like the other two girls, that they both opponents, promote, Felicia and for Megan. They haven’t fought each other and they and so curious to see is, do they have multi fight contracts was just a one-time in and one-time out basically going to build it, or is he just maintaining these Megan and Felicia for a while, I mean, what’s he gon Na do, and as far as Megan Anderson fight, I am a huge fan of hers. Like I love her, I love watching her fight. I love watching her into stuff online, like she’s a great fighter and she’s awesome, and it would just be an honor to fight with her to get in the cage with her also to fight in the UFC um. Looking at the way that she fights a felt like you know nothing, I could I would be good fight, I feel, like you know, we met, we would match up well, and I just want to get the cake with her because I’ve always wanted to. I mean I saw her at am, I can’t be with my friends: she’s fine, Invicta and megan was there and I was like I guess to me that would that would be almost like saying I’ve arrived, you know at this point. No one else will fight me. So what I’m gon na do just picking them off like hey, you want to fight okay, great yeah, so I’ve been like kind of coming up, trying to think of ideas, of a way that you could build the 145 division and I think very similar to what They did with 125, where you bring in a bunch of girls, put them on the Ultimate Fighter. Everybody who is 145 just jump on is that something that you’d be open to like, even maybe even like a an Ultimate Fighter, or is that something you’d? Probably not given you know, you’ve got school and all that stuff going on. They did it before they’re they’ve done the Ultimate Fighter at 145. That was when they did it. They, the girls that got put in we’re all women who could fight at 135 and 145 and they all drop down. They all drop the all job now and I don’t blame them because there’s not they’re still on fights at 145 and you had cyborg up there and that’s a tall order so um I mean I feel right now. The best way to do it is just to start bringing them in. You know. You’Ve got these these two, ladies, that have fought Felician and Megan, bringing some girls to fight them and just build it up back, build it up that way, and you know it’s it’s one of those things where it’s like at one point in time: the best division. I fought in in dicta for a while was it was one point five because you had cyborgs and Spencer and Anderson and a bunch of other girls in there all that division is pretty much gone, so I mean like I’d like to see an victim. Maybe even do a that tournament and bring in seven or eight female fighters that 145 and let us rebuild the division there too right now. The only 145 division that has any size toted at all is is Bellator and so there’s other places they need to do it. The fights are good. I mean like one forty five hours or warriors just like everyone else, and the fights that I’ve seen, that that division are awesome. So why do you not want that yeah? I think the greatest female fighter of all time is a 145 or Cris cyborg. You know, despite what happened with Amanda, I have a right. It’S number one of all time, so I don’t I you know if that’s the division, imagine if you just cut out the heavyweight division, yeah it just it doesn’t make any sense. So I I agree with you there speaking of 145 hours, Amanda, Nunez and Felicia Spencer just got announced. What’S your thought on that, and I mean obviously I think a lot of people have Amanda Nunez. Do you think there’s a chance that Spencer could upset her? I mean just ground game is very, very good, but they both are so I feel like we’ve seen, Spencer, West and cyborg. You know she lost to her, but she she took a lot of. She took the punishment and if she can take the punishment from cyborg that I feel like she could it’s what I think she she can. She will probably not, but I feel like she could. If she can, you know withstand the because man is gon na, come in there and press early and go and go at her. She can handle that and create space that she needs and get it on the ground. Then I mean I think she might be okay and and what about the main event? This weekend, I’ve been dying to watch a fight for that’s like three months, and I think this is an amazing amazing card. They put together. What’S your what’s your prediction on the main event and your thoughts on both of those guys, I love him he’s such a just goes hard. You can just hit him and hit him and hit him and hit him and he never stops. So I think he’s got that I’ve watched him I forget with who it was. He literally just broke the soul of one of his opponents, one time because he just kept coming for the guy was licking him. He just kept coming and kept coming to get coming. Um, so I feel like he’s able to do that, but I also think Ferguson is skilled enough, that he could finish him so and he can avoid that situation, but I mean I love both guys. I love watching both of them fight, and so I feel like this is the payoff, for you know for three months with no MMA, so I’m so excited it’s gon na be a fight. Oh it’s! It’S! It’S gon na be a war, and I don’t see this not being an absolute banger of a fight yeah. What’S it to what you’ve you’ve all. Obviously, all your pro fights have been with valor. What’S it been like to fight for that organization, it’s wonderful! They just the fights are well put on. Everything is very, very organized. They take care of us, and now we have to deal with the the cotton-eye Joe in Knoxville. Really most of our fights are there and we have a place to fight every month. We put fights on the first, the first Friday night of the month, and I love fighting there and it’s it’s so it’s small so like I fought in the Coliseum when I fought in a baseball park for them, and those are neat but like the Joe is Just so intimate and it’s just super cool um, and so I like the venues that we use and it’s just been a really good experience. I have fought outside of our twice my first fight and my third fight yeah. I think we’re we’re outside of it, but so far nothing compares to the experience of valor. They just do a great job. What’S it like competing because cuz they’re in Knoxville right, they’re events or not so what’s what’s it like competing in front of your your home fans? I guess your your family and friends in high school in college – and I will say I do love traveling away and fighting because there’s not sometimes as much pressure on you to perform and look really really good in front of your home. You wan na you wan na win. You wouldn’t look good. I know that if you lose everyone’s gon na see it, but at the same time it’s film screaming a hollering. You look up and and the people that you love are right there. Last time I fought bunch of my teachers and principals from South all my high school came and they watched in like you could hear them screaming, and you can fill out your chest and it’s real easy to get hyped and fired up, but also it kind of. Can be calming as well so it’s I love it, but, like I said I love traveling too. I love going to someone’s home court and beat you in front of people. That makes me very happy so so if the UFC were to call you and offer you a fight with Megan Anderson in anywhere in Australia, is that something you’d be open to that basketball track in college and I loved going to away games. I, like I, like being the bad guy, the one that comes in there and everyone’s day I mean like. I have no problem playing that role and I love to see new places and I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, so I take it or fight Island. I’M curious about this. I want to go to Fire Island, so yeah it would be fun. Let me go there. I live on the beach. I mean I’ll fight anywhere. At this point, I fight what’s uh, what was a transition like Indian anime, you said you had to track and basketball background, what what was it like picking up in the man and what was the decision behind it? I mean honestly I after college I got hurt my senior year in college. I was able to keep playing, but I was playing in a lot of pain and so um after I got done. They basically were like look. You could have your shoulders messed up. You know it’s not surgery needed needed, but it could be so you need to kind of you know nothing for a while. Well, I think very seriously gaining a lot of weight and so MMA became this. I gained 300. I was over 300 pounds and I was trying to finally lose weight and I walked in. I did it get fitter, go get that competition kinda like the Biggest Loser thing they have on TV, but wasn’t see more where I live, and I thought I was walking into a tae-bo class, but it wasn’t and what I tried to run away. They caught me and they drugged me kicking and screaming I mean I was kicking and screaming. That’S not me, being you know, whatever it’s literally kicking and screaming onto the mat and it just kind of progressed from there I am psychotically competitive. I mean it’s not healthy. I can’t write like keep eating it. Hi-Ho cheerio at how important is my husband’s like you’re changing again, Oh once I got into the gym and started training at first it was just losing weight and then I kind of was taking classes, and I was watching my teammates that were training with me. Three four days a week and they were fighting and I watch a couple fights and I thought I’m not doing this and then one day I just cry hit my husband. I was like what would happen if I got in there and did that I mean like. I wonder if I would be any good and he was like I news was coming, and so I told my coach, I spent a fight one time I told a fight, and so they got me a fight in Harlan County Kentucky. My first fight was actually not with valor and I got in the cage and the adrenaline rush is like none other. It was an amazing experience and after the first fight I was just hooked. Initially, it was just one of those. This is I’m a teacher back where I’m at I’m just gon na keep doing this, and this is just kind of this fun thing and doing the side and then, as time went on and I kept winning and I kept losing weight and, as I was losing Weight a lot of the athletic ability that I had in high school in college that we, I thought were just gone forever started coming back and then they were like. Oh yes, kind of that’s kind of how it happened. To be honest, a total accident, so you’re uh, you’re, nine and oh now, your records this for no but you’re five. I know as an amateur as well eight finishes, so I think that’s that kind of puts a an extra staple on why UFC or these bigger organizations should take a look undefeated often it pretty much all finishes as a 145 or it’s it’s not it’s not common Is there? Is there a fight there that stands out where people who aren’t familiar with your fights that you’d say you got ta watch that one that kind of summarizes Who I am as a fighter different things about about my game, but I, like my first pro fight against In Morgan was she had not fought MMA before, but she was very good at she’s, a Muay Thai fighter, and so that one I mean I won, because I basically took her down and journaled her head on the mat for the entire fight. But I mean at that point: I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my stand-up game. Really I mean, and I hadn’t hurt myself and so that I couldn’t my right or my left hand was – was a little at Jinky. So I couldn’t block so we had actually splits my feet so that fight I fought left-handed and I’m not left-handed though, but like, and I think going back and looking at now on our feet in my head. The training was take her down. Take her down. Take her down take her down, but going back and looking on my feet, I was I was doing just fine and so for me that was good to go. Look! Look back at that one and see it the game of confidence in my stand-up game and even if I mean and also and just thinking I’ll take someone down. I worked wrestling hard before that fight, and that was important also because it went the distance and I had never gone past the second round before and so a lot of me didn’t know. I mean I’m, not young. If you know my body would go three rounds and that third round I thought I had thought you’re tired that one’s been in there. My body said I like this and I felt great, but you know I was in control. So that’s why it was was, was important like it, and that way that was a big moment for me. It’S also my first professional fight. So that was a big moment for me and and then I guess the last one, even though it was short um, that one was one where you know generally, when I’ve gotten in there my code, you just kind of been like we have this game timer and It’S one thing, and this is what I’ve done: every single fight and then I just kind of go. You know I’ve got things I prepared for, but a lot of its just reaction and and and that one was one way or we really wanted. Not a striking finish we wanted. We wanted a submission honestly, because there was a submission of the Night award and the winner got Aggie a warthog. You really wanted that you I was like that’s mine so and that fight you know I hit her and I dropped her and I remember being like the control of being able to say the clear that heimo caning up. I can’t I can’t hit her again. You got ta, mean light and take it down, and that triangle that was one we straight up see you know the coaching and the drilling in practice. Over there no games we’ve been working on hitting different submissions from side from side control, and so that was one that means light. Also, because simply I got the triangle and I was able to control the situation enough to be like okay, I’m not going to keep, but I want to that’s fun so that one’s another one, he’s kind of young up in my career, that every fight that I Have there’s something more about me that you know that that I’m learning it’s it’s a lesson. It’S a lesson learned it’s a thing that that I have to push through and so they’ve all been learning experiences and they’ve. All taught me a lot about me as a fighter and it’s a person a couple, more questions, one last and then a one and then one non MMA one if you were to get a call how quickly and when were you looking to get back in there? I would point you know I’m doing as fast as I can, but, like you know, between six six six weeks or so maybe faster funny. I mean like at that point. I just want this. Let me in I’ll do what I got ta do to get there. So, where we stay ready in my gym, so we’re constantly training I’m constantly in some form of fight camp. So I mean, like six weeks, give you time, work on game plan and everything else too, so that would be nice, okay and then outside of MMA and outside of school. What sorts of things are you doing to occupy your mind? Any movies? Any TV shows anything you’re doing to just kind of distract yourself of the kids that are running around yeah I like to read, and I have read started I’ve never read that I haven’t read that much and they like to watch TV, so it’s kind of they Have TV and my husband’s got a TV and I just kind of go grab my little book and we have our. Our backyard is amazing of a horse field behind us and it’s very breezy and nice, and so I just go out there with the book and snuggle up and just and read. My husband says that it’s also really really good for me is in like I, when I’m reading a book there could be a nuclear explosion outside my house. I’M not gon na hear it like. I am totally in the book so that for me, is a complete escape and I’d just go in my little book and I read I like right now, I’m doing a Percy Jackson, the Percy Jackson series. I read the first series then now I’ve got the gods of Olympus, I’m almost done with it, though that’s poncy, vanilla story, I’m not sure I’m gon na do next. All right great, I think most most UFC fighters tend to games. So it’s kind of nice to hear that so that someone reads books and actually you know, learns things rather than playing for tonight. Boys do, and they got me to play Halo and I’d end up in a corner in the game like jumping up against the wall and the time my five year old kid pistol at me to death – and I was like this is not for me. So not that I don’t want to I’m really bad at it. I usually play like old-school. Mario Brothers, Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong Country, Mario Kart I’ll play those, but all right awesome all right. Well, hopefully, you get a big fight, hopefully Megan Anderson, if not something in the UFC all the best and I’m looking forward to watching your next fight. Thank you for having me on yeah, of course, no problem all the best

Sergio Pineiro

Sergio Pineiro is the Founder of FighterPath.com and host of the Quarantinecast podcast. Based in Canada he is both a sports journalist and MMA enthusiast. He practices the sport but has a passion for the individual stories of training, fighting and living the fighting lifestyle.

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