It’s been nearly seven years since Graham Park last suffered a loss in the cage, and he doesn’t expect that run to end anytime soon.
Edmonton Alta.’s Park (8-2) will take on his toughest test to date in Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz (8-1) as he will look to become a double champion for Unified MMA. The 195-pound title will be on the line between the pair in the Unified MMA 42 main event on Friday night in Edmonton.
So far in his career, Park, 33, has been a proven finisher with all eight of his wins coming in the first round. Although, he may not get the durable Ksiazkiewicz out of there early in this matchup, he said he believes he will have the edge in all aspects of the fight.
“He’s talented, but I think everywhere he thinks he’s good at I’m just better,” said Park in an interview with MMA Empire.
“My striking’s better, I think my wrestling’s better, I think my jiu-jitsu, ground game and general fight IQ is better. I just think I’m better in all aspects of the sport, but I can’t take him lightly because he’s going to make me work for it, which I’m looking forward to.”
Currently the Unified MMA light heavyweight champion, Park has the chance to become a two-weight champion for Unified MMA Friday night.
Although holding a title in multiple weight classes would look good on the resume, Park said he’s more excited for the tougher opponent in Ksiazkiewicz.
“I was more concerned about just having a high-level opponent. You can only get these high-level opponents in here if it’s to fight the champion,” said Park.
“I’m just looking for the highest level opponents I can get. Mariusz didn’t want to fight at 205, so we had to meet in the middle, which seems fair. The double champ thing is cool, but I’m just most concerned with getting another win and proving how good I am.”
In his most recent fight, Park successfully defended his Unified MMA light heavyweight title at Unified MMA 40, finishing Neil Berry with ground and pound in the first round.
And although defending his title, securing another first round finish and extending his win streak to five fights were all highlights, Park said he also made a big leap forward in his mental game.
“Last fight I really thought I levelled up with the mental aspect and just being more confident, calm, cool and collected in the fight,” said Park.
“It was a total game-changer having the mental aspect sort of conquered going into the fight. I’ve never felt that kind of freedom in the cage up until that point, and it’s going to be a whole different ball game carrying that mentality forward.”
If Park can leave the cage with another win Friday night, and potentially another finish, he may find himself receiving a few phone calls from bigger promotions.
Having also recently signed with EPOK Agency for representation, Park said he’s hoping a win over Ksiazkiewicz is the last box to check in order to receive that desired call to the big stage.
“The decision to fight on bigger and better cards isn’t left up to me. If it was, I feel like I should already be there,” said Park.
“They’re obviously still looking for a couple more things before they make the jump on me, and I think winning this fight will check all the boxes and they can take a chance on signing me, whether it’s UFC, ONE, or Bellator. I feel like I’m ready to fight at that level, that’s obviously the dream, and I think after this they won’t be able to deny me that opportunity.”