UFC calls Mayweather's bluff

Email Print Comments13 By Jake Rossen/Sherdog.comLong suspected and confirmed Wednesday by UFC officials in a press release: UFC 103 will take place Sept. 19 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas (headlining fight still to be determined). The show comes just three days after a Spike television "UFC Fight Night" (and the premiere of the Kimbo Slice-spearheaded "Ultimate Fighter" season) is set to air, but that congested schedule isn't as interesting as what is being thrown up against it. The UFC event will compete head-to-head with a major boxing pay-per-view that same night featuring returning braggart Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez.

"It's a fight people really aren't interested in," Dana White told ESPN 1100 of the boxing match in June. "I love boxing, [but] boxing is in big trouble. This next fight with Floyd isn't a big fight." White added that he had heard Mayweather was cautioned to steer clear of a UFC event night.

Who wins? It wouldn't surprise me to see Mayweather come out ahead in this battle, if not the war. The 19th falls near Mexican Independence Day, and it is obvious promoters see that as an appropriate hook to help enlist Marquez's fan base. It's also a pretty transparent attempt to hold a trump card over a rapidly ascending rival combat sport -- a nice "we beat you" talking point for the stand-up contingent.

My suspicion is that even with most of its A-listers on the shelf or preparing for a fight in another event, the UFC will make it a closer fight than expected -- with the predictable "Mayweather vs. UFC" headlines boosting business for both. Already worked on me.

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