Weight class: Flyweight
Place of birth: Houston
Next fight: Aug. 14 vs. Joshua Thawng (5-1) at Fury FC 67 in Houston (UFC Fight Pass)
Background: Paris Moran is only 26 years old, but her career in combat sports is already two decades long. At 6 years old his father put him in taekwondo. He hated it – like he did most sports. And like other sports, taekwondo was not a sporting activity in which he excelled. In 2007, jiu-jitsu arrived and finally things changed. For the first time, the long-haired gamer found the sport that pulled him out of his shell. His parents divorced, Paris found jiu-jitsu lessons the perfect opportunity to bond father-son – an added bonus. Two years of jiu-jitsu later, Moran joined wrestling in high school. Then came knocking. His strike took off. He became a seven-time national sanshou (wushu) karate champion. Next scene, Moran was competing in Russia, China, Costa Rica, Taiwan – you name it. A national champion had become Mr. Worldwide.
The lean: Look at Moran’s Tapology page and you’ll notice a few things. First of all, there are a lot of wins. You will also likely notice a lack of finishes. But Moran knows it’s a necessary improvement and will come with time. Definitely don’t discount the fact that he’s also competing with such top talent. The records of his most recent opponents are 5-1, 6-2, 7-1 and 8-4. His next opponent is 5-1. Top regional flyweights are hard to come by, but Moran and Fury FC found them and he passed every test. The experience is there. The technique is there. The personality is there. The talent is there. The final piece of the puzzle is highlights, and logically that makes sense that will come naturally soon.
In his own words: “Besides the physical aspect that I’m a big flyweight, I’m very strong technically. Although I prefer punching and I’ve been punching all my life and doing MMA all my life, I’m very complete – but nobody don’t see it yet. Nobody’s seen me on the ground. Nobody’s seen me struggle. You just saw me defending against the takedown. Really, my hitting is my forte. The technical aspect is what I find it exciting. I’m a very technical and intelligent fighter.
“…I feel like I’m close (to the UFC) whether it’s this fight or the next one. They want to see a finish and I need to get a finish. It’s not like I have to. I’m not going to try to expose myself to finish, but I feel like I’m a fight or two away. I’m not trying to rush. If they call me, great. If they don’t call me, I’m not hurt. I am not angry. I know my time will come. It’s not about me getting to the UFC. It’s about staying there. So if I get more experience before I get into the UFC, so be it. It’s okay with me. That’s really what I want. You want to gain experience before entering the UFC. Because once you’re there, you’re there. If you go out, the most difficult thing is to come back.
“Definitely I do (I think I’m ready for the UFC). I train with Matt Schnell all the time. What is he, No. 8 flyweight at the UFC? Matt is my boy. I learned a lot from Matt. He teaches me a lot. I feel like I can hang with anyone in the 125 pound division. Put me in the top 10. I’ll stick with it. them and I’ll beat them too. It doesn’t matter.”