UR Fight Event Blurs Lines Between MMA and Pro Wrestling

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Mixed martial arts has certainly seen its share of oddities in its history. From the early years of the UFC (remember the one-gloved boxer Art Jemmerson), to Bellator’s recent booking style, to the utter freak show that was Rizin 1. But not much in MMA’s history has come so close to professional wrestling, that it begins to blur the line of whether or not the event is on the level, or if it is entirely a work. On March 20, in Phoenix Arizona, UR Fight will put on an MMA show completely unlike anything else, and in the process, may begin to blur the line between MMA and pro wrestling.

UR Fight Blurs Lines Between MMA and Pro Wrestling

UR Fight is an original event that will present four matches, all with different rules, and will feature a few stars from various combat sports. Opening the show will be former WBC, WBA and IBF champion of multiple weight classes, Roy Jones Jr., fighting a fan in a sanctioned boxing match. UR Fight announced they would select a fan that would fight Jones by having the contestants submit a 90-second YouTube video explaining why they would be the best contestant to fight the former champ.

Essentially, UR Fight would be selecting their fighters they same way one would get chosen to be on the Real World. The lucky winner was announced to be Vyron “the Cannon” Phillips, an MMA fighter with a 5-3 pro MMA record, and a 6-1 amateur boxing record.

When asked why he was interested in being apart of the UR Fight event, Jones said, “Well, myself and Ira [Terk, CEO of URShow.TV] had been talking about this for a couple of years. We was talking about doing some things with UR TV and so we’ve been talking about this for three years or four. Before I fought my last fight in Russia, he was like ‘we should do one with a fan,’ and I said that sounds like a good idea.”

The next match will feature the 1996 Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, and former WWE heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle, (who has long been interested and rumored to make the move to MMA) taking on luchador and fellow former WWE heavyweight champ, Rey Mysterio (whom as far as I know, has never had an interest in competing in MMA) in a pro-wrestling match.

Following the Angle-Mysterio pro-wrestling match will be Michael Bisping, who is coming off of a five-round unanimous decision victory over Anderson Silva, against Chael Sonnen in a grappling match. It will be interesting to see how Bisping looks after the Silva bout, one in which he took a tremendous amount of punishment, and while he was victorious, he was cut badly in the fight and was handed a 44-day no-fight medical suspension, including 30-days of no-contact. Sonnen has been non-existent in the UFC as of late. After he failed the third drug test of his MMA career, he was suspended for two years.

But Sonnen seems excited for his upcoming grappling match with Bisping, “I’m in training for it and I’ll give you a spoiler now, Bisping has no chance,” Sonnen recently told SB Nation. “We just offered the match out to a lot of guys who just had some trouble. It was supposed to be Rampage and Rampage was in. We signed the contract and about five hours after we signed Rampage called and goes, ‘man I got a problem. Bellator is going to step in front of this.’ So Rampage was out. We went to Randy Couture. Randy was in and once he checked the date he said, ‘Man, I got a movie going on I just simply can’t be in Arizona.’ I went to Forrest Griffin. Forrest liked it but, again, he had a dispute because he has a contract with UFC. I went to Rashad. Rashad had a fight with Shogun lined up, which has now changed to Glover as of 24 hours ago. So he couldn’t do it. I then went to Nick Diaz. Nick Diaz said yes, but he didn’t follow up and it was a major time crunch. I was just about to leave town to do a show and I had to have this done in three hours. We missed the boat on that. I sent it to Michael Bisping and he wrote me back and that was it.”

Rounding out the card will be the only MMA match of the evening. The originally scheduled main event was going to be Dan Severn against Ken Shamrock, in what would have been the rubber-match between the two; but Shamrock recently suffered a TKO loss to Royce Gracie at Bellator 149, and subsequently failed his post fight drug test. The maximum punishment for fighters who fail drug tests in Texas is a 90-day suspension and $5,000 fine. Perhaps due to the drug test failure or an injury that occurred during the Gracie fight, Shamrock was removed from the main event and replaced with David “Tank” Abbott, (presumably because Jon Hess was unavailable).  But UR Fight’s website recently updated their event card, and was no longer promoting a match with either Severn or Abbott, and are instead advertising an MMA match between Shannon “the Cannon” Rich (53-79 MMA) and Maverick Harvey (8-4-1 MMA, with two wins over Rich).

And perhaps the strangest thing about the event, even more bizarre then the fight card its self, is their choice of announcers; which will include former WWE play-by-play announcer, Jim Ross, and former UFC light-heavyweight champion, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.  UR Fight is truly a bizarre pseudo-MMA event, and one that feels like it would be more fitting in Japan than Phoenix.  And while the promotion itself may fail to catch on, it is beguiling enough to get fans’ attention. It’s not really MMA or pro-wrestling.  It’s a unique event that manages to blur the lines between the two.

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