(Jerome would like to know if you’re going to finish that baguette.)
MMA Weekly is reporting that Affliction is in negotiations with French kickboxer Jerome Le Banner, with the intention of setting up a fight between the former K-1 star and Tim Sylvia for Affliction’s third MMA show (early ’09, location TBA). According to Le Banner’s agent Alan Kermorvan, “We have been talking with Tom Atencio for about two weeks about this possibility…I’m pretty sure we can work out something pretty quickly, it’s just not signed yet.”
Though he never held a title in K-1, Le Banner holds notable kickboxing wins over Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Gary Goodridge, Don Frye, Mark Hunt, and Hong Man Choi. He is 3-1-1 as a mixed martial artist, with his last MMA fight resulting in a first-round knockout victory over Jimmy Ambriz at K-1 Hero’s 4 in March 2006.
A matchup between Sylvia and JLB would represent the culmination of a rather-entertaining war of words that’s gone on for the last couple years, which began with Le Banner publicly dissing the Maine-iac for being a boring fighter with overrated striking. Sylvia responded by challenging Le Banner to a fight on his home turf, but the match didn’t come together due to Le Banner’s refusal to sign an exclusive, multi-fight deal with the UFC. In an interview with Fighthype last December, Le Banner referred to Sylvia as “big sausage,” and called him “so ugly and annoying.”
In addition to Affliction’s pursuit of Le Banner, Tom Atencio told MMANews.com that he’s interested in signing Sergei Kharitonov, the heavyweight PRIDE standout who was briefly rumored to be fighting Antonio Silva for EliteXC’s heavyweight title.