EXCLUSIVE | XFC’s Shah Bobonis Talks Upcoming Fight, MMA Contracts, and Addiction to Fighting | Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio
| Shah Bobonis joined our boys over at BJPenn.com’s Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio on Sunday night and talked about a few of the things happening in the MMA world right night. More notably Bobonis, who is currently training for his XFC fight coming up in three weeks, talked about his upcoming bout, contractual complications in MMA, and his addiction to fighting. Here are some of the highlights from that interview:
First, Shah discussed his original opponent pulling out from the upcoming XFC and who he has to prepare for now:
“I’m three weeks out from the XFC. I was originally supposed to fight Jason Hicks but he said he had a cold and couldn’t fight. He literally told the promoter that he had strep throat, which I’ve had strep throat before; You go to the doctor and get antibiotics and you’re good in five days to start training again, you know what I mean? And this was like two weeks ago! So I don’t know what his deal is. He didn’t want to fight. He’s gonna blame it on strep throat. Whatever. We can do it next how, after I knock this guy out that I’m supposed to fight. Some guy named Deivison “The Dragon” Riberio from Brazil, so, uh, so that’s what we got on the plate coming up.”
When asked about the jiu-jitsu skills and dangers of his new opponent, Deivison Riberio:
“For me, most guys that speak broken-English from Brazil, they’re probably a black-belt. Whatever.”
Bobonis also discussed the crazy past year he’s had with MMA contracts, bad luck, sketchy opponents, and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that fighters deal with that we as fans don’t see:
“I was on a seven-fight winning streak and every single one of those fights all I had to do was sign the contract, show up and fight. It seems like this last, 2013 has been a little bit cursed for me. Like, I would never make excuses but my last fight I lost, that fight literally the day of the press-conference before the weigh-ins, you know, the promotion that I’m supposed to fight for gets a cease and desist letter because the guys I’m supposed to be fighting has an exclusive contract with another promotion and they’re saying that they’re gonna take legal action if we, if our fight takes place. So literally the day before weigh-ins I don’t even know if I’m gonna fight. So they tell me that the fight is most likely off, you know, we’re really sorry that you had to come down from Savannah to Miami for no reason or whatever so I go home and start stuffing my face. Listen, I walk around at about 165-170 pounds and I was making 135 the next day. So, maybe about 10 o’clock at night I get a phone call saying, ‘we reached a monetary agreement with the other promotion. You guys are gonna be able to fight tomorrow.’ I’m like, listen, I just gained about 13 pounds at the buffet right now. There’s no way I’m making 135 tomorrow. So, I mean, that was the fight before last. Then we had all the issues with this kid that I signed to fight at 145 the week of the fight he tells me there’s no way he’s going to be able to make weight. And no my opponent pulls out. So, it’s been a tough little go about it but what are you going to do?”
Shah Bobonis then talked about how long he intends on fighting and how much dealing with all of the outside things, such as contracts and sketchy opponents, plays into that decision :
“I think I’m probably addicted to fighting so, I don’t know, someone is going to have to tell me ‘look, it’s time to hang it up.’ Or, honestly, the next time I catch a really bad ass-whooping, which hasn’t been since my fourth professional fight, I probably will hang it up. But, you know, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. But, uh, I never have those thoughts of, ‘oh, let’s hang it up,’ you know? It’s frustrating and it’s part of the sport, you know, but you gotta deal with it.”
And finally Shah touched on the conflict that XFC is having with its current undefeated champion, Nick Newell. In an unusual move, XFC president, John Prisco stripped his unbeaten lightweight champion of his title and went on to basically throw him under the bus with a statement that accused Newell of being afraid to face the opponent the organization had chosen for him on their upcoming card. Bobonis finds this a strange turn of events from both sides and discussed the situation with our boys over at Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio. Here is what he had to say:
“I never, you know, try to pull one side or the other, I just tell it the way I see it. Listen, I totally see where John Prisco, the president of the XFC, in the sense that Nick [Newell] needs to fight anybody he puts in front of him. On the other hand, this is an ugly matchup for Nick. It really is. This is a kid that can definitely put Nick on his back, you know, and see what Nick has off of his back and it’s a dangerous fight. His contract is running up in September, you know, it’s like, let’s go test the free agent market now or let’s go test the free agent market with possibly a loss on my record. You know, what he has to lose is a lot if he losses that fight. If he sits it out until September and his contract is up it becomes a bidding war. Because the kid gets a million hits on YouTube, you know, obviously, I mean, bare minimum Bellator’s gonna get into the bidding war. So, right there it’s gonna be a little bit of money he’s gonna be looking at. So, I see where he’s coming from in the sense that, ‘let’s sit this out, let’s get to September. I got a belt, I’m undefeated, let’s get every promotion in the world bidding for me. Let’s see if One FC wants to put in a bid. Let’s see who in the world wants to put in a bid to see somebody who definitely gets eyes on the screen as far as YouTube, as far as social media is concerned. So, the kid stands to make a lot of money and make a lot less money if he losses.”
Fist-Ta-Cuff Radio airs every Sunday night at 7:30pm PT on BJPenn.com.
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