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Two sides to Norman Paraisy

25/05/2014

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By JJ SADDINGTON

A self-described “bad boy with a sense of class”, Norman Paraisy (14-3-2-1) is every inch the perfect juxtaposition of affable gentlemen outside of the cage, and a barbarous warrior within it.

It’s a mindset he impresses upon the young kids he mentors as part of a youth community project: “You’re a savage, but I want you to be a savage with a disciplined mind,” he explains.

“At this age they have a lot of energy and it can become very dangerous if they channel it in the wrong direction. They can do magic with a little help.”

Paraisy is set to collide with Jack Hermansson (7-2) for the vacant CWFC middleweight world title on Saturday, June 7, as Cage Warriors Fighting Championship brings the marquee CWFC 69: Super Saturday event to London’s Kentish Town Forum.

The antithesis to the tired stereotype of the narrow-minded ‘cage fighter’, driven only by conflict and inflicting violence upon all who dare challenge him, Paraisy is the modern model of a mixed martial artist.

Indeed, if the thoughtful 28-year-old could give us any advice, it would be to “be a fan of yourself and love each other. Today, the mission in my heart is to fight, but humanity has the biggest fight coming, so let’s keep unity and respect each other.”

Contrast the Norman Paraisy above with the Norman Paraisy who took out Jack Mason by way of a flying knee and some vicious elbows in July 2011 at the Kentish Town Forum - a venue he’s looking forward to returning to.

“I have great memories of this venue and feel very comfortable in London. I love the city and the people there, I go over as much as I can. I’m just very proud to be part of such a historical day. I find my motivation in challenges, so you can imagine how motivated I am for this.”

Paraisy earned his title shot via an impressive, hard-fought victory over a tough Allan Love at CWFC Fight Night 10 in Amman in April. The boisterous Jordanian crowd obviously left their mark.

“Man, I was thinking the Irish crowd were the loudest, but those guys give them a real challenge - such a warm welcome. I’ll fight over there for free, just for the rush!”

Standing in Paraisy’s way on June 7 is surging Swede Jack Hermansson, a man Paraisy has familiarised himself with: “I’ve watched his last two fights twice; he is very well-rounded and goes for the kill. I can’t wait.”

Though fighting is evidently in his blood, Paraisy’s introduction to MMA is perhaps what taught him to respect the sport and his opponents.

“My friend’s older brother used to do NHB (No Holds Barred) back in 2005. He was kicking my ass and choking me out cold every time he passed me in the street,” he explains. “At the time I thought I was tough, but I found out I wasn’t.”

While the cognitive dissonance of Paraisy’s two, almost contradictory, personalities could be confusing, there’s one thing he’s entirely single-minded about: “I’ve worked for this since I was a teenager. I didn’t know when it would come because the division is stacked, but I knew it would come one day.”

Fighting for the Cage Warriors middleweight world title clearly means everything to the Frenchman, so much so that it’s near impossible for him to articulate it: “Words cannot explain; you would have to open my heart to understand.”

Cage Warriors 69: Super Saturday takes place at the Kentish Town Forum in London, England, on Saturday, June 7. Click HERE for more information.

Photo: Jendar Khemesh | Cage Warriors

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