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Mixed martial arts fighter Norman Parke is confident ahead of his UFC fight night showdown against Brazilian Gleison Tibau in Boston on 18th January.

Thousands of Irish fans are expected to make the trip to the United States to cheer on the 29-year-old from Bushmills, a former national champion in judo and freestyle wrestling.

Its been a rollercoaster few months for Norman Parke. Following on from his decisive stoppage of Naoyuki Kotani at UFC Dublin. Parke signed on the dotted line to face Diego Sanchez in the UFC’s first jaunt into Mexico. Somewhere in between he fell foul of a back injury which forced him out of the fight. But things happen for a reason right? Norman got the call from the UFC asking if he would fight on the Boston card January 18th. With four Irish fighters on the card in the home of Irish Americans, its sure to be another huge night for Irish MMA. Originally slated to face ATT fighter Jorge Masvidal, who then also suffered his own back injury. The opportunity was then handed to team-mate and UFC veteran Gleison Tibau.

Parke was quite confident when asked about his thoughts on his opponent

You know a lot of people are saying I’m going to get mauled. But I’m going to shut these people up. A lot of people are thinking it’s a bad matchup for me. But I don’t think it is at all. Actually he’s probably tougher than Masvidal, so, I wouldn’t have had it any other way to be honest.

Dublin’s Conor McGregor tops the Boston bill in a world title eliminator against Dennis Siver.

Here is a video with both Parke and McGregor preparing for their fight

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/northern-ireland/30697032