The Weekly Wrap: March 21 - March 27

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By Jack Encarnacao Mar 28, 2009
The Weekly Wrap walks readers through the last seven days in MMA, recapping and putting into context the week's top story, important news and notable quotes.

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For better or for worse, mixed martial arts fans had the sport of boxing on their minds this week, as the first pay-per-view event to feature both sports took place on March 21.

The Roy Jones Jr.-promoted “March Badness” pay-per-view, which drew 6,559 fans to the Pensacola, Fla. Civic Center, according to Yahoo Sports, received a relatively tepid reception in the MMA community, though the live crowd was just as responsive to MMA fights as they were boxing matches.

The main point of discussion coming out of the show revolved around former pro wrestling star Bobby Lashley, a heavyweight who outwrestled Jason Guida to a decision win in his second professional bout. Lashley was able to put the fight on the ground nearly at will, but wasn’t able to do much from there, nearly getting caught in a guillotine choke in the third round.

Lashley told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show that he came out of the fight with many ideas on where to improve, and is looking to fight again soon, perhaps as early as in four weeks. Lashley said his management is talking to Strikeforce, Xtreme Fighting Championships and Palace Fighting Championships about his next fight, and said his contract with Jones Jr.’s Squared Ring Promotions could lead to him fighting for the outfit again.

Bobby Lashley exclusive interview.
Lashley was the top MMA earner on the “March Badness” card, taking home $40,000. Some reports listed him as also getting a percentage of the event’s pay-per-view revenue. Lashley came closest to matching the top boxing earner on the night, Omar Sheika, who earned $50,000 for his loss to Roy Jones Jr. Jones’ pay was not disclosed, though reported he will receive two-thirds of the net profits from the event. Also on the card, Jeff Monson collected $25,000 for a disputable decision win over Roy Nelson, who nonetheless took home more than his opponent at $30,000. MMA fighters Din Thomas, Dennis Hallman and James Freeman also picked up wins March 21.

In other boxing-related developments this week, a planned match between shopworn former heavyweight champion Ray Mercer and former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia is off after the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board refused to approve the fight, according to a report from The curious bout was set to headline a May 30 “Adrenaline III” card in Atlantic City, N.J., promoted by Monte Cox, Sylvia's manager. The fight would have been Sylvia's first pro boxing bout, and Mercer's 45th.

Sylvia’s career rival, Andrei Arlovski, also had his pro boxing debut postponed this week. reported that Arlovski, who was set to box on the undercard of the Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright HBO boxing card on April 11, will instead make his four-round debut in May. Arlovski is currently filming a movie featuring Jean Claude Van-Damme in Bulgaria.

Anderson Silva, who is set to main event UFC 97 against Thales Leites for the middleweight championship, was also talking boxing this week. In an interview with, Silva said he is still very much interested in facing Roy Jones Jr. in the boxing ring after his UFC contract is up. Silva, who has long campaigned for the boxing match, said he has four fights left on his deal after his fight against Leites.
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