- Category: Boxing & MMA
- Published Sunday, March 8, 2015
- Toronto Sun
Dana White is itching to get into Madison Square Garden sometime in 2015.
The UFC president has been chaffing to bring the promotion to “The World’s Most Famous Arena” but MMA fighting is illegal in the state of New York.
But White feels the heavy hitters in the expensive suits are working the edges of the problem.
“You’ve heard me say this many times, and I’m going to say it again: I’m very confident it might happen this year. I’m actually really confident it might happen this year,” White told Kenny Rice on AXS TV. “(UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta), Lawrence Epstein, Marc Ratner and a bunch of our other guys went up there (to New York) and they had great meetings. Every time we’ve gone up there, it’s been really positive. Everybody up there loves the UFC. Everybody wants to see it happen. Hopefully now, with the recent events that have taken place, maybe it’ll get done this time.”
The recent events White is talking about is the arrest of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges. Apparently, he was one of the major stumbling blocks to getting MMA legalized in the state.
“You can pick up the paper and read about (Silver) and you’ll understand why we didn’t get into New York,” White said. “It was blocked by him, and now he’s got bigger problems than the UFC. Hopefully we can get through it. I think we will. I’m really confident.”
White believes there is promise a deal will get done. So much so the UFC has reserved MSG for an event later in the year. When? He’s not saying.
“I don’t want to be cocky, but we’re being confident,” White said. “Imagine if we can do that this year. We’re already having the greatest year in the history of the company, and if everything holds together, people stay healthy, fights stay in place, we’re in for an unbelievable year and that would be a great way to top it off.”
Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone has long been at odds with the UFC in terms of its list of prohibited activities fighters must adhere to when a fight is nigh.
The lightweight feels he’s got an tacit agreement in regards to those activities, well sort of.
“I think I have an understanding with the UFC and they kind of just let me do it because I come to fight and I don’t get injured,” Cerrone told MMAjunkie. “And, if I do get injured, I still fight. I feel that me doing that is who I am. So, I have to go crazy and rock climb and go snowmobiling. I do have a bet with (UFC president White) that 10 days prior to an event, I will not do any activities, and that’s my word, so I won’t do that.”
Cerrone is currently riding a seven-fight win streak and will put that streak on the line when he faces Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 187 on May 23.
But one thing Cerrone won’t mess around with is his training. The man never stops and maybe that’s why his dance card is usually a full one. Recently, he beat Benson Henderson at UFC 182 and turned around a couple of weeks later and took a decision over Myles Jury at UFC Fight Night 59.
“I stay training year-round,” Cerrone said. “I don’t really have a camp. I don’t do an eight-week or 12-week camp. I just keep going all the time.”
Up until this point, it appears what Cerrone does in and outside of the cage seems to be working for him. His win streak has him close to a title shot and he’s not going to overlook his Russian opponent.
Am I worried about not taking this fight serious?” Cerrone said. “No, I’m taking it super serious.”
Long in the tooth
Former UFC and current Bellator combatant Ken Shamrock is set to face Kevin Ferguson at Bellator 138 on June 20 in St. Louis.
The 51-year-old, who was on the UFC 1: The Beginning card in 1993, thinks he’s a better fighter now than he was 15 years ago, but he doesn’t hold any lofty goals or anything like that moving forward.
“I’m not looking to be a contender,” Shamrock told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’m not looking to do anything other than have fun and be able to take fights that are entertaining, marketable and entertaining to the fans.”
Shamrock, and the 41-year-old ‘Slice,’ were supposed to fight seven years ago, but rumour has it Shamrock ducked that fight, even though Slice had fought only three fights up until that point.
As Shamrock explains, that rumour is utter nonsense,
“It was an opportunity for me to go in there and beat this guy, which I believe everybody and myself knows I can do and that it wouldn’t have been that difficult for me to do that,” Shamrock said. “If you look at the opportunity I had there, why in the world would I lose that opportunity?”
‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’ says he tried to get a rematch with Slice, but that didn’t go too well.
“They didn’t take the fight,” Shamrock said. “They said I wasn’t worth it. A lot more things were said. It really pissed me off.”
Stay tuned for Round 2.