Call Him, Dana: Preston Parsons

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Preston Parsons
Preston Parsons Credit: Titan FC

Preston Parsons is an 8-2 welterweight who has competed for the likes of Titan FC and Combat Night Pro. Currently on a three-fight win streak, he’s very well someone who could turn up on the next edition of Dana White’s Contender Series — if he gets “the call.”

From where it started – Amateur career (2013-2014)

In August of 2013 a young Preston Parsons was set to make his amateur MMA debut at only 18-years-old. In fact, it was only a month after he turned eighteen when he first stepped into the cage.

In that bout, Parsons took no time getting the fight to the mat. He got in under the legs to elevate and drop his opponent down three separate times in the first round. While Parsons had no issue getting his foe down, he couldn’t hold him there. At the end of the first, Parsons went for a kimura but didn’t pull it off. In round two, he took the fight right back down. Even without both hooks in Parsons secured the rear-naked choke for the submission victory.

Through his amateur career. which spanned five fights, Parsons went undefeated. He displayed dominance with his wrestling while producing proficient grappling. Along the way, Parsons locked up two regional titles on his trophy shelf.

Pro debut – September 2014

To end the year of 2014 Parsons moved to 3-0 on the year and ended the calendar year winning his professional debut.

His opponent Marc Graham was also a successful amateur who went 7-1 and was making his own debut. In a fight that had tons of potential for a fight of the night, the action only lasted 54 seconds. Parsons started off the fight appearing ready to let his hands go. However it wasn’t long before Parsons shot in on a leg and completed a single leg takedown. Graham right away off his back threatened with a kimura/armlock. Although he put Parsons in a bad position it was Parsons who capitalized. Graham, who had the kimura, allowed Parsons to flip the script and lock in a very tight armbar for the tap.

First career loss to now-UFC fighter Mike Perry

On July 10, 2015, Preston Parsons was set to face Mike Perry in the House of Fame 3 main event. At the time both Parsons and Parry were only 2-0.

In the fight, Perry came out hard only for Parsons to take the back and threaten an arm triangle. Perry was able to escape and kept his composure. In my opinion, Parsons was winning the fight prior to the finish. He was landing well at range throwing and mixing it up well. He was striking well to wrestle. After a takedown, Parsons went for a kimura but Perry scrambled to his feet. On the way up, Perry landed a knee to the head and it dropped Parsons, who was eventually finished.

In what was his first career loss, things weren’t as bad as they seemed, especially in hindsight considering where Perry is now and Parsons’ performance that night in the cage.

Getting back on track

After losing to Perry, Parsons took some time off before returning to the cage eight months later. In the next eight months, he was able to put together three consecutive wins. Ignacio Bahamondes is a name that had a big 2020 winning a UFC contract on the Contender Series. Back in 2016, Parsons put the first blemish on the record of Bahamondes.

In the fight with Bahamondes, Bahamondes was using effective movement moving side to side trying to fluster Parsons. As soon as Parsons was able to cut Bahamondes off he timed and executed a beautiful double leg takedown. As soon as the fight hit the mat Parsons went to work. He used a kimura trap to lock in an armbar for the tap. It was a really good performance from Preston.

Following that win, Parsons fought another tough regional guy in David Mundell. Parsons faced some adversity in this fight. Mundell wobbled Parsons on the feet but as Mundell came forward Parsons got a takedown. Like in his fight with Bahamondes, Parsons used a kimura trap to lock in an armbar. As soon as Parsons went belly down Mundell tapped.

At this point, Parsons was 6-1 with a 100% finish rate and a few solid wins. If at this time there was a Contender Series you would think he’d be a shoo-in.

Another setback

Riding a lot of momentum on a three-fight win streak Parsons had a big fight lined up. For Titan FC 43 Parsons was set to fight Bellator and TUF veteran Valdir Araujo.

In a fight between two Jiu-jitsu aces, there was some time spent on the feet. Neither was getting the best of the other as they were going shot for shot. They clashed when Araujo slipped midway in the first and he took Parsons down. Both battling for leverage, both getting takedowns and brief top position. Every time Parsons was taken down he did well fighting the wrists, getting to his feet and getting takedowns of his own. He did exactly that in the second but left his neck exposed and Araujo tapped him with a guillotine.

With a win there Parsons was probably looking at a UFC contract or perhaps another big opportunity. Still, despite being a disappointing loss Parsons was very much in that fight. Really, there’s no issue losing to a fighter the caliber of Araujo in the slightest.

Resurgence

Following the loss to Araujo, Parsons took a two-year hiatus. He returned against Wes Barnes in March 2019. He won that bout and since then he’s beaten a good regional fighter in Socrates Pierre and Wesley Golden just a few weeks ago. In those fights, he ran through his opponents with textbook wrestling, submitting each of them in the first by a rear-naked choke.

Parsons is now 8-2. He’s battle-tested fighting good fighters for the majority of his career. He’s not someone that’s padded their record as he’s always been looking for the most challenging fights. Getting thrown into the top competition and still having an overall record of 8-2 is splendid. Parsons may not be the top-notch striker Dana White looks for, but he’s a dominant wrestler with a formidable grappling base. He has a 100% finish rate which is something the UFC brass can’t not be impressed with. Parsons likely just needs to get on the Contender Series to show what he can do, but I fully believe there is no need. Call him, Dana.

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