I can’t help but feel like I’ve seen this scenario play out before.
Earlier in the week, ES Boxing News caught up with two-time welterweight boxing champion Andre Berto, and spoke to the former champ about the possibility of seeing him fight MMA. The question isn’t exactly posed to Andre without merit – current Bellator fighter James Edson Berto is his brother and his sister, Revelina Berto, is trying out for the co-ed season of The Ultimate Fighter – even though it quickly becomes obvious that Berto is only a (very) casual fan of the sport. As in, he admits that he doesn’t know anything about MMA weight classes and possibly has Jon Jones confused with Anderson Silva (A Jon Jones/GSP super fight?).
Despite this, Berto claims to have spoken to Dana White about competing in the UFC – an idea that White was in support of. According to Berto, White was very complimentary of his boxing career, saying that he is “one of the only guys in boxing that keeps it alive” when they spoke.
It wouldn’t be fair to compare Andre Berto to James Toney, a has-been who blatantly only wanted to compete in MMA for a quick paycheck. However, I think a comparison of his interest in MMA to Manny Pacquiao’s curiousity towards our sport isn’t too far of a stretch. Sure, it’d be fun to watch Berto step in the cage with a featherweight striker (Frankie Edgar and Leonard Garcia quickly come to mind), but there is absolutely no way that his management lets him accept an MMA fight while he’s still a relevant draw in the boxing world.
Besdies, Berto isn’t exaggerating when he says that he “definitely gets paid handsomely.” As BloodyElbow pointed out, he made $1,625,000 in his most recent fight – a unanimous decision loss to Robert Guerrero. Safe to say Dana White won’t be offering him that much money.
My personal favorite quote comes at the 4:38 mark, when Berto is asked who would win a fight between Cyborg Santos and Ronda Rousey. Berto takes a few seconds to think over the question, then replies “Cyborg’s like a dude! She’s a beast!” If you only watch one part of the interview, this is the part to watch.
So what do you think about the idea of Andre Berto competing in MMA? Would you be interested in seeing whether he could be competitive in this sport, or would he get lay-and-prayed into irrelevance? Or are we all just wasting our time discussing this, because he’ll never step foot in the cage? Let us know.