by Lee Whitehead – MMAWeekly.com
Surprising news out of the UK: Robert “Buzz” Berry is pulling out of his proposed match against Bob “The Beast” Sapp on the Cage Rage 21 card at Wembley Arena.
The official line from Buzz is that he retiring from MMA competition to focus on his family and work commitments, leaving less and less time to train in order to compete at a level he feels is necessary to compete. This has come as a shock to all involved as the marketing machine is in full swing for the match and it leaves Cage Rage in the position of trying to find a suitable opponent.
James Thompson would be an obvious match-up, but the powers that be at PRIDE will likely veto this and push for the fight to happen once Sapp’s contract with K-1 is out of range and he signs with them – it’s the kind of fight the Japanese audience would love.
So, what are the other options? Sapp is a difficult fight due to size and the fact that given his stature it would need to be a fight that makes sense for a UK fighter to take. Mustapha Al-Turk will miss the April card, Tengiz Tedoradze deserves an international name but stylistically this fight isn’t ideal for him, Dave Legeno and Mark Buchanan aren’t where they need to be skill-wise to take this fight and would likely be early round cannon fodder… the only logical option would appear to be Rob Broughton, unless Cage Rage brings in another export.
Cage Rage promoter Dave O’Donnell had this to say: “It’s a shame that he’s out, but we will find an opponent for Sapp don’t you worry about that. It’s early days yet, but we have some names in mind.” When asked if someone like Romanian Alexandre Lungu would be brought back to face Sapp, O’Donnell stated, “It will be a British guy.”