Norman Parke, UFC Dublin. Photo: Jorden Curran.

Despite getting the victory over Paul Redmond at BAMMA 28 in Belfast, Norman Parke did not leave the SSE Arena with the BAMMA lightweight title around his waist as planned on Friday night.

After narrowly missing weight, which left him ineligible to win the belt, “Stormin” Norman spoke to MMA Plus and explained how he feels he isn’t the only one to shoulder the blame in the situation.

“It wasn’t my fault. If you look at my history, I have never once missed weight ever. Ask my coach. If I’m ever running it tight with one pound to go, rest assured you can throw me head first into that bath and I’m gonna cut it,” explained Parke. “I’ll maybe cry like a bitch and complain but I’ll get the weight cut off no problem.”

Parke explains his lack of preparation time on morning of the weigh-ins

The Northern Irishman revealed a bit more about what happened on the morning of the BAMMA 28 weigh-ins and exactly what he feels contributed to his missed weight. Living sixty miles from Belfast in the village of Bushmills, the promotion did not book Parke a hotel as he lived so close, forcing him to travel on the morning he was to step on the scales.

“The thing is, I live in Bushmills which is about an hour and a bit away. BAMMA never got me a hotel, if I had a hotel, you can flit up and down to check your weight on the official scales so I would’ve had no problem whatsoever. I would have been up fresh and early. It’s the drive I had to take up here while getting up at seven o’clock in the morning and cutting 9 lbs,” said the former UFC lightweight.

“It’s not intentional whatsoever. Why would you want to miss weight and f–king thirty percent of your purse and the belt goes. Some people have said it was stupid but they don’t even understand the story. If they had booked me a hotel here then that would never have happened and that’s the way I see it.”

Parke pleased with hometown fans and optimistic about future shows

Although disappointed by the events that took place before fight night, Parke spoke of how much he enjoyed getting to fight in his home country of Northern Ireland and so close to his Bushmills home. With the fight being received very positively in the arena and with the support being so strong for both fighters, the 30-year-old is certain that it can only be a good thing in terms of MMA events coming back to the region in the future.

“It was a great experience and it imitated Dublin when I fought there twice, but this is my home up here and although they were sceptical on what kind of crowd they would pull, there was some good numbers there. For the first time it kind of plants the seeds for upcoming shows,” stated Parke

“Everyone was behind me tonight, Paul had a good support also. They understood that this was two top fighters from Ireland competing to see who could move forward and it was a great experience. It’s another memory to add to the bank when it’s all said and done.”

Despite the win, “Stormin” Norman gives final round to Redmond

Winning by a very close majority decision, Parke would admit the fight was tough and that he had to really dig deep and work hard to come out with the win over his fellow Irishman. A kimura attempt in the second round and a dominant display by Redmond in the third would admittedly keep Parke on his toes and alert throughout.

“My coaches told me I’d won the first two rounds and that’s what I’d thought since I controlled a wee bit,” admitted Parke. “I knew he was searching for some submissions so I couldn’t really land the ground and pound too much, as when I elevated up, he was looking to sweep for the legs. We understood that and knew we had to respect his game.

“Last thing you want is to get the crowd going, land elbows and then boom you’re in a heel hook and it’s all over. Then what? Then you’ve lost. That’s why I respected his game when I was on top and stayed heavy on the hips. I thought I’d nicked the first two rounds and admittedly I gave him the third definitely.”

Looking at what’s ahead for him, Parke was optimistic that there is plenty of opportunities on the table even with time left on his BAMMA contract. He could not start planning his next fight just yet after something he experienced in the cage may affect when he can get back in action.

“We will have to see how I am injury wise as the knees a bit iffy as when Paul went for the heel hook, I heard a crunch. I don’t think anything’s hurt but I definitely heard a crunch anyway, but in a week or ten days, I should be alright,” Parke commented.

“For BAMMA, I’ve got another fight left on the two fight contract I was given. So I know they’ve got another show coming up soon but I can’t say I know where it is, I know where it is, I just can’t say. I could fight on that but there’s also a few other places I could fight and there was people contacting me about fighting for them before this fight. There is some real good offers on the table at the minute so we will see.”