IBF World Welterweight Champion Kermit Cintron has stated he would like to accept Dana White’s challenge put forward to face UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk.
“I want the fight,” said Cintron. “I can wrestle. I can box. I can beat those UFC fighters at their own game. Tell Mr. White to make me an offer and I’ll take on his guy after I fight Matthysse on July 14.”
Cintron has a professional boxing record of 27-1-0 with 25 wins coming by knock out. Cintron won the IBF Welterweight Title in October of 2006 when he defeated Mark Suarez in the 6th round by TKO.
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – Tired of paying your hard-earned cash for events packed with hype and little else? Sick of sitting down
for a pay-per-view event and finding out that you’re paying over $50 for just three fights that include a showcase and a mismatch? The Ultimate Fighting Championship® has the cure for what is ailing fight fans, and in a continuing effort to provide what the world is truly waiting for, it is announcing yet another UFC card stacked with at least five fights that include two intense championship bouts and a heated grudge match between two light heavyweight rivals. UFC 73: STACKED features UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva in his first title defense vs. Nate “The Great” Marquardt. UFC Lightweight Champion Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk puts his newly-won belt on the line vs. Brazil’s Hermes Franca. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira steps into the Octagon™ for the first time for a heavyweight war with Heath Herring – and Tito Ortiz intends to put a painful end to Rashad Evans’ perfect 15-0 record. Let the fireworks begin. UFC 73, loaded with UFC superstars, takes place LIVE from ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif. Saturday, July 7, 2007.
“We have five UFC events lined up now through July in the US and UK, and every one of them is stacked with great fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “No matter where we have a UFC, our goal is always the same – to deliver the best fights between the best mixed martial arts fighters. Our fans know they will always see a good fight, and that’s why the UFC reigns supreme in live sports today.”
White continues, “UFC 73 is one of the best cards we’ve put together this year. It’s going to deliver the one-two punch fight fans want – it has Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans, two all-state college wrestlers, both who dislike each other, settling their differences in the Octagon, as well as title defenses by our two champions Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk. We’re working on more fights right now to pack this card even heavier from top to bottom.”
It’s looks like this war of words is going to continue between WBC Welterweight Champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and UFC President Dana White…
Earlier this month they exchanged some verbal blows where Mayweather bashed on Chuck Liddell, stated he would give Liddell a million dollars if he beat a heavyweight boxer from his promotion, and said that the UFC “ain’t shit”. White came back with a challenge of having one of Mayweather Promotions’ heavyweights fight Liddell under MMA rules. White also said that he would give Mayweather a million bucks out of his own pockets if he would be able to sell more than 10 tickets without Oscar De La Hoya.
Mayweather was asked about the UFC once again during an open workout this past Tuesday and once again he didn’t shy away from giving his thoughts on the subject:
“UFC’s champions can’t handle boxing. That’s why they are in UFC.” Mayweather said. “Put one of our guys in UFC and he’d be the champion. Any good fighter, he’d straight knock them out. Take Chuck Liddell. Put him in the ring with a (boxer) who is just 10-0 and Chuck Liddell would get punished. They wouldn’t have a chance to grapple (us) because we’d knock them out.”
White was given the opportunity to fire back at a press conference on Wednesday and he certainly delivered:
“Boxers couldn’t become mixed martial artists. That’s why they’re boxers,” White. “They are one trick ponies. Our guys can do everything. They can box, they can kick box, they can wrestle and do jiu-jitsu. They are much better athletes than boxers.
I used to talk like Floyd Mayweather when I was involved in boxing,” White said. “I talked just like him, until I educated myself about this sport. These guys are amazing athletes, Floyd Mayweather is one of the best boxers ever, (and) Sean Sherk will whoop his ass in under two minutes.
Any day that Mayweather wants to put his money and his ass where his mouth is, I’m ready,” White continued. “If he wants to step up, let’s do it.”
Mayweather caught wind of White’s comments about Sherk and responded…
“I’ll beat him and come home and watch basketball. Why would I go into a sport paying hundreds of thousands when I’m in a sport paying $20 million?” Mayweather said.
Does Mayweather have a point? Comparing the money that boxers are making and what the top fighters in the UFC are bringing in, why should Mayweather settle for something that is much less at the moment?
White says however that he can offer Mayweather the type of money he would be interested in…
“I’m willing to put together a fight for Sean Sherk and Floyd Mayweather with numbers that would make sense for Floyd,” White said. “And I guarantee you he would not accept it. Floyd Mayweather would never fight in the UFC because he would get his head ripped off.”
UFC President Dana White and heavyweight title contender Mirko Cro Cop held a conference call with the media earlier today discussing this weekend’s event. Many topics were covered over the hour session including Cro Cop’s thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga, the immediate plans for PRIDE’s future, the contract status of Mauricio Rua and Fedor Emelianenko, and much more.
Let’s just say that we have everything covered. Read and enjoy…
Cro Cop’s Thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga:
Cro Cop was very straight forward in answering questions about Gonzaga. He stated that Gonzaga will not have an answer for everything that Cro Cop is going to bring to the Octagon on Saturday. He said that he is at full health for this weekend. He will not being using PRIDE’s theme music when he walks to the Octagon. Instead he will use his usual “Wild Boyz” song.
Cro Cop also said that he isn’t worried about Gonzaga’s ground skills and that it is his all-around game that presents the biggest problems matchup-wise:
“I have trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot, have experts in my gym. I feel comfortable even on the ground. I am aware he is a jiu-jitsu world champion, but I am pretty versed in ground fighting now. Of course my basis is stand up, but even if we go to the ground, I am not scared.
Gonzaga is a solid, good fighter. He is a tough guy. He won’t hesitate to fight toe to toe. He is a first class fighter. I will try to keep it in a stand up position. I don’t want to underestimate him” stated Cro Cop.
Cro Cop on Couture, Liddell, Fedor, and Big Nog:
Cro Cop said that he would love for to have a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko in the near future but he is currently focused on his fight with Gonzaga and then winning the UFC Heavyweight Title before that can happen. He said that Randy Couture’s age will not be a factor if and when they fight because he has already shown that it hasn’t been a factor in past fights. He stated that while he doesn’t have any preference on his opponents in the UFC, he has a feeling that he will be fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira very soon.
Cro Cop also made it known that he will be unable to cut enough weight to make it down to the 205 lb weight class, meaning that if a dream match with Chuck Liddell is to happen, that Liddell will have to come up to heavyweight and fight…
“I have no space to go down, maybe if I chop off my hand or something. I definitely can’t go down” said Cro Cop.
Dana White on Big Nog, Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, Sakuraba, and Liddell:
White stated that Nogueira was signed by the UFC as a free agent and that talks began about a month ago. He also stated that there is currently no timetable for his first fight nor any ideas on who his first opponent may be.
White said that at the time he originally made that Wanderlei Silva-Chuck Liddell announcement for UFC 65, it was going to be the biggest fight in MMA history. He now says that it isn’t the case until Silva wins a few more fights to make up for his KO losses to Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Silva currently has four fights left on his six fight contract to do so.
According to White, the UFC is currently trying to figure out the status of Fedor. Fedor’s contract isn’t exclusive to PRIDE and that Zuffa and PRIDE FC Worldwide will not accept non-exclusive contracts for their fighters. White did say however that Fedor is under contract to the company and that if another rival promotion tried to sign him, he would slap them with an injunction immediately.
Despite the heavy rumors that Mauricio Rua has signed a contract that will allow him two fights in PRIDE and two fights in the UFC, White says that the rumors are not true. Also Kazushi Sakuraba is not under contract with PRIDE and White isn’t aware of the reasoning behind him being brought out to address the crowd during PRIDE 34.
White Talks About Changes to PRIDE and the Lightweight Grand-Prix:
White has confirmed once again that PRIDE will be changing to the unified rules of mixed martial arts (the rule set that the UFC uses) as well as the same round structures and weight classes. PRIDE will continue to use a ring instead of a cage. Also fight cards will be announced weeks in advance of an event, just like the UFC does now. Does everyone recall the PRIDE 34 mess?
PRIDE will not have a super heavyweight division and the crazy matchups the promotion used to hold including Butterbean, Giant Silva, and Bob Sapp will not take place anymore. White stated that all employees currently with PRIDE will keep their jobs with the exception of Gary Millen and Frank Trigg. They have been fired and will be replaced with a completely new announce team.
White said that it is still undecided in terms of whether or not the Lightweight Grand-Prix will take place at 155 lbs or 170 lbs. White denied all rumors about Diego Sanchez and Matt Hughes taking place in the tourney as there will not be any UFC fighters participating:
“There will be no UFC fighters in the tournament. The UFC and PRIDE are completely separate companies. You won’t see UFC vs PRIDE until we do the big event” said White.
White Discusses UFC’s status with HBO and ESPN:
The UFC will debut on HBO as soon as this summer according to White. The deal actually isn’t complete but is in the final stages of being finalized. White didn’t say much about things but did mention that the HBO will be doing their own production and announcing of events rather than having the UFC do things along with Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. White said that it wasn’t easy for him to agree to that…
The UFC will still broadcast shows on HBO, Spike TV, and PPV. Spike TV will be made up mostly of guys from The Ultimate Fighter television shows. Shows on HBO will be mixture of TUF guys, international stars, and other UFC fighters. PPV shows would then have the best of the best.
ESPN will now be covering the UFC on a regular basis according to White. The coverage will include both weigh-in and fight results…
White Talks About Possible UFC Fights and Events in the Near Future:
White said that UFC 72 will either be on PPV or Spike TV. He mentioned Chicago, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all as possible sites that may hold future UFC events. Florida will also hold another UFC event in the near future according to White.
White said that the “Inside the UFC” TV show wasn’t scrapped and that the company is currently working on a date to bring the show back to the air.
White announced a slew of possible matchups - If Andrei Arlovski defeats Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, he will most likely fight the winner of Mirko Cro Cop and Randy Couture should Cro Cop get poast Gabriel Gonzaga as well. Sean Sherk will defend his lightweight title in Sacramento, California against Hermes Franca. Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans and Anderson Silva vs Nate Marquardt will also take place on that card. Georges St. Pierre will most likely be fighting next in August against an opponent that has yet to be determined…
White on Tito Ortiz:
White’s comments were short and sweet when asked about the current situation between himself and Tito Ortiz:
“Tito is living in a fucking bubble right now” said White “You saw what happened. I showed up and he didn’t. He’s not afraid of me, but he has people around him telling him it was a bad idea. He is out there making himself look like a jackass. He should shut his mouth and worry about Rashad Evans.”
A lot of interesting news and notes were brought to light after last night’s event were over…
- The Wrestling Observer reported last night in it’s live play-by-play of the fight that Diego Sanchez would tentatively be facing Josh Koscheck at the UFC’s event in April. (UFC 69 which will take place in Houston, Texas) MMA Weekly now has the fight listed as a rumor as well. It makes me wonder if something was said or at least shown on the video screen during the preliminary fights seeing how Wrestling Observer just plopped that note in there out of nowhere.
- Sean Salmon was rushed to the hospital last night right after the event was over. Those at the event said that he was motionless on the mat for upwards of seven minutes. He received a CAT scan that came up negative at the hospital and was released in the wee hours of the morning. He is doing fine and is now vacationing with his family.
- UFC President Dana White announced at the post-fight press conference that Hermes Franca would be getting a shot at Sean Sherk’s UFC Lightweight belt at some point during the summer when Sherk is able to fight again. Sherk is currently recovering from shoulder surgery that will keep him out of action for at least another month or two.
- The most interesting thing to come out of last night’s press conference was an exchange between Dana White and Rashad Evans that was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he’d fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.
Other fighters have put friendships aside to move up the rankings in the past… Will see it happen between these two in the near future?
What a night! When sitting here and looking back on tonight’s event I am lost for words.
The evenings event was kicked off with a fight between lightweight contender Spencer Fisher and 18-year old Dan Lauzon. Lauzon worked well early on but Fisher overcame his initial assault and returned fire with some good punches and knees. Fisher was eventually able to rock Lauzon and the fight was called at 4:38 of the first round.
Next up was a battle between the big men. The question coming into this fight was would Carmello Marrero be able to take Kongo down. Marrero showed he could do just that as he took Kongo down at will throughout the whole fight and neutralized anything Kongo had to offer. Kongo didn’t do much throughout the first two rounds but he look a little better in the third. In the end though that wasn’t enough and the fight was scored a split decision win for UFC newcomer Carmello Marrero.
After a tribute to UFC legend Ken Shamrock, Jon Fitch and Kuniyoshi Hironaka took to the octagon. Hironaka looked excellent early in the first as he caught Fitch in a triangle which he worked for the majority of the first. Fitch eventually broke free and he ended the first on a high note as he took Hironaka’s back and worked for a submission.
The second and thirds were a lot alike. Fitch came out hard each round and imposed his will on the Japanese fighter working some vicious ground and pound along with some good stand-up. At one point in the second Fitch took a shot to the face which caused he nose to bleed but it had little effect and the outcome was definitive as Fitch was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
To me Fitch showed a lot tonight. He showed he can overcome adversity and that he is touch as hell. Fitch got caught in a submission early but he weathered the storm and from that point on he controlled the fight with vicious ground and pound and striking.
Next up was the co-main event of the evening for the UFC lightweight title. Sean Sherk proved that the lightweight division is the proper place for him.
Sherk came out early and secured a strong takedown and that set the tone for the fight. Sherk worked excellent ground and pound throughout the whole fight and he neutralized anything Florian had to offer except for the little roadblock he ran into in the second round.
While working from the top, Sherk was firing off his shots and Florian threw an elbow from the bottom. The shot landed and opened up a big cut on the forehead of Sean Sherk. The cut had to be checked but the fight was allowed to continue. Blood poured out of the cut but Sherk jumped the hurdle and continued to pound Florian for the remaining three rounds.
Sherk was able to neutralize any offense Florian had to offer by taking him to the canvas time after time. Late in the final round, Sherk picked Florian up and slammed him to the canvas sending one final message to the crowd. In the end Sean Sherk won by unanimous decision and was crowned the new UFC lightweight champion.
Next up was the fight everyone had been waiting for, the battle for the UFC middleweight title between Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva. As the fighters made their ways to the octagon you could sense the difference in attitudes. Silva looked very calm, composed and ready while Franklin on the other hand came out looking pissed and uptight.
Anderson Silva dominated Rich Franklin from start to finish as he utilized a devastating Thai clinch. In one exchange Franklin was able to land a couple of shots but that was the beginning of the end. Silva worked hard knees to the body and head before momentarily releasing his grip. When he grabbed back on he fired off a knee that landed square to the face and broke Franklin’s nose and sent him crumbling to the canvas.
Afterwards Silva was very emotional as he was crowned the new UFC middleweight champion of the world. Franklin was very humble and he assured fans that he’d work his way back up the ranks.
In other action, Clay Guida put on a ground and pound clinch and he went to work on Justin James choked him out late in the second round after working some excellent ground and pound.
Yushin Okami moved one step closer to being middleweight contender as he knocked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ alumnus Kalib Starnes late in the third round.
Kurt Pellegrino set himself straight tonight after losing in his UFC debut as he choked out Junior Assuncao early in the first round.
It’s official folks, UFC 64: Unstoppable will feature a battle between UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin and the very talented Anderson “The Spider” Silva. Also on the card will be a lightweight title fight between Sean “The Muscle Shark” Sherk and Kenny Florian.
Rumors surfaced Monday stating that Kenny Florian was not willing to fight Sean Sherk. Florian spoke on the situation and said he would in fact fight Sherk just not on the August card. He doesn’t feel he would have enough time to prepare for the fight as he just fought Sam Stout at Ultimate Fight Night 5. The Sherk-Florian fight was originally supposed to take place in October/November and then the UFC pushed for it to be in August.