Norman Parke’s rematch with Mateusz Gamrot was even more controversial than their first meeting.
Referee Marc Goddard stopped the KSW 40 co-main event in the second round due to unintentional eye pokes that Parke suffered.
After the bout was brought to an end, Gamrot’s corner man, Marcin Bilman, clocked Parke with a left hand after the Northern Irish fighter pushed another one of Gamrot’s teammates, Borys Mankowski.
KSW have since fined both Parke and Gamrot. The promotion have also banned Bilman from cornering at KSW event for the next nine months.
Gamrot’s cornerman punches Norman Parke. These things happen in MMA. #KSW40 pic.twitter.com/FdTN8VR9bt
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) October 22, 2017
Speaking after the fight, unbeaten Polish star Gamrot claimed that Parke was looking for a way out of the fight. On the other hand, after the action was stopped three times over two rounds – twice for eye pokes and once for a low blow – Parle believes it was the KSW champion who was trying to look for a way out of the fight.
“I understand it was a close fight,” Parke told MMAFighting.com.
“He landed a lot of shots, but there was a clash of heads in there too. There was a poke on the left eye in the first round and then there was the low shot in the first round. He did a good bit of work on the right eye, to be fair.
“Even when he was landing I knew I was going to just keep coming forward. In my head I wanted to show all these f**kers that I can stand and fight these guys.
“Somewhere along the line, he just knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I was in his face and throwing big shots for every second of that fight.
“At one point, I could see him break. He kept looking at the clock too. Rodney (Moore) could see it too, he slowed down a lot.”
After re-watching the fight and seeing a slow motion replay of one of the eye pokes, Parke is convinced that Gamrot’s fouls were deliberate.
Take a look at the eye poke and what do you say guys, when people say I wanted to get out of the fight lol do I… https://t.co/w8xyarlqAM
— STORMIN NORMAN PARKE (@norman_parke) October 25, 2017
“The eye pokes were blatant. He was getting tired and he didn’t know how to get rid of me. When it ended first they were saying, ‘Norman, you were getting bashed on the judges’ scorecards’ and ‘ it was perfect way for you to get out of the fight’.
“That really pissed me off. I was praying that they’d find a good replay of it so people could see it. As soon as I got that replay, I showed it to KSW and said, ‘Have a look at that and let me see what you think.’
“I could see a big difference in him from the first round to the second round. Rodney was looking into his corner between rounds and he seemed really desperate.
“I decided I was just going to plough through his punches because I knew I would break him.
“I think he was throwing his hardest shots and it was getting to him that I was still there in front of him. Then you see it, it’s blatant. Maybe he was just trying to get a breather.
“Maybe he was just looking to get five minutes break, but I couldn’t see sh*t. I still couldn’t see anything for 45 minutes after the fight,” said Parke.
The champion laughed off media suggestions of a trilogy fight after the contest. Parke believes Gamrot has no interest in fighting him again as “Gamer” has failed to put on a convincing display on both occasions that they have faced off thus far.
“I heard he was very disrespectful out the back. He just kept on putting it on me, ‘He’s a p***y, he’s a b*tch, he didn’t want to fight’. I don’t believe that was the case for one minute and I know a lot of other people agree with me,” he said.
“He wouldn’t have been able to keep that pace up for another round. It was in his interest to look for a way out, not mine.
“I would never do that, man. Not in a million years would I ever do that. People might look at my eyes and think that it was a good excuse for me, but I really feel it was the opposite way around.
“Watch the fight and tell me who looked more tired before the fight was stopped. It’s not rocket science. Two times he has fought me, and he has never looked convincing. Why would he want to do it again?”
The fact that Parke did not make championship weight and the fight had to be changed to a three round, non-title bout could play against him as he looks for another date with Gamrot. The Bushmills man said he would have no problem proving that he could make the weight against another opponent before getting a third crack at Gamrot.
“I’m willing to prove I can make lightweight to get that fight again. I’ll make the weight no problem. I won’t even talk about the fight. Give me anyone else on the roster and I’ll go in and smash them so I can get another crack at this guy.
“I know he can give it, but I also know that he can’t take it. He had it easy up until he fought me and he has struggled twice. He’s fought dirty twice. Let me bash one of these other guys and let me back in there with him.”
Parke recalled what happened after the fight was stopped, which led to Gamrot’s bantamweight teammate, Bilman, landing a flush left hand on him.
“A lot of people thought I was going over to start trouble with his corner, but actually what I was doing was, I was trying to tell them that my eye was f**ked and I couldn’t see out of it,” he remembered.
“I said, ‘C’mon boys, my eye is completely closed, that was an eye poke, your boy wanted some rest’.
“The first guy pounded my fist, but Borys lost his head. He said, ‘you f**kin’ piece of sh*t, you didn’t want to fight you b*tch.’ That’s when I pushed him and then the other guy threw the sucker punch.
“I’ll tell you what, my wee boy hits harder than that. That little p***y threw a proper left hook and honestly, my wee boy would have pushed me back further.
“I get it. He’s got a lot of publicity out of this, more than he’ll ever get for the rest of his life. Honestly, he hit like a p***y.”
Parke’s long time teammate Alan Philpott called for a fight with Bilman after the contest had ended. Despite the massive disparity in experience between the two, he thinks KSW might be interested in matching Bilman with one of his teammates.
“Alan would absolutely kill this guy. Alan is an elite bantamweight, this guy is 2-0-1 or something. He would be completely crushed if Alan fights him. Believe me, there are a lot of guys in the gym that would crush, Mark Andrew is another one.
“KSW like those kind of heated buildups too. There’s history here and there’s a story to it.”