The following was sent exclusively to MMAWeekly.com from Jerome LeBanner and his manager following up Tim Sylvia’s interview on MMAWeekly Radio.com

Jerome LeBanner:

“Hi everyone. First of all I’d like to thank the fans, especially the American ones, who backed me up and thought I’d win against Tim even under MMA rules. I didn’t think American fans would be that fair-play! In various forums (MMAWeekly, Sherdog, MMA.TV, Ironlife etc), most of the members think I’d win and that’s touching. I’ll reply point by point.

1. I don’t think it’s disrespectful to challenge someone from another organization. Challenges are what this sport is about, it brings excitement and allows the best to fight against each other. And if I remember well, Sylvia challenged Pride champion Fedor… Contradiction?

2. I thought a 2 fights deal, 1 fight in each organization would be good. But I have no problem with fighting him ONLY under mma rules in the UFC cage… Or anywhere else no matter the rules. So I officially state I want to fight Sylvia in the UFC cage. I’m at Dana White and Zuffa’s disposal, and I’m waiting for them to reply to my manager’s mail. I know they are serious people, I don’t worry for that. Here’s my manager’s mail: alkermor@msn.com and my official website’s address: www.jerome-le-banner.com

3. Why him and not Andrei Arlovski? For 2 reasons: first I’m sick and tired of reading he has great striking skills. I think I can prove he’s far from being world class on his feet. Then I’m not challenging AA cause I’m not arrogant, I’m new in mma and Andrei Arlovski is on top. I don’t think I will do good in a ground phase with him. It’s too early, I must improve. I’m honest and I’m not overestimating myself. Everybody knows I’m not afraid of anyone but you must be realistic. Furthermore UFC would never accept a fight between Andrei Arlovski and someone from another org.

4. Sylvia says I’m a nobody and that I want recognition. He must be blind and deaf. Of course in the USA UFC is more well known than K-1 but in the entire world K-1 is far more popular. Sylvia is a no name outside of the USA, I’m not. I fought against the best and beat a lot of them, you can’t say that for Tim.

5. Sylvia talks about respect and then he insults me? I also read articles where he insulted Tito Ortiz… Contradiction again? Before opening his big mouth he should compare his career with Tito’s. Tito is a huge champion an deserves respect.

6. Regarding the insults again, I’ve met so many big mouths it doesn’t bother me anymore. When I talk, I take upon myself and fight afterwards. He calls me “pussy”, “bitch” he insults my name, he insults my country… What the fuck is wrong with him? We’ll see if he’ll talk that much when we’ll be face to face…

So there, I hope mma fans understood it’s just about the sport and that I won’t lower myself and start insulting him. Now, I’d like him to tell me all that stuff face to face in the octagon at UFC 58. I want to challenge him in front of everybody… I know he must fight Andrei Arlovski so I’ll wait for this fight to happen. I just hope Andrei Arlovski won’t hurt him too much… Sylvia has no chance against him.

It’s up to Tim now and the UFC now, I want to challenge him face to face in the cage as he requested. Dana, invite me and I’ll be here for UFC 58.

For further info please visit my site www.jerome-le-banner.com , My space users can get in touch with me through my agent here: http://www.myspace.com/aka29

See you,


p.s : I still want his sunglasses