BY Jeff Cain
Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch appeared on MMAWeekly SoundOff radio, and discussed the allegations of his rematch with Dan “The Beast” Severn being a work. If you haven’t seen the fight, you can view it in the Backyard Brawl section of MMAWeekly TV.
“It was 100% legit on my end.” Shannon told MMAWeekly. When asked why people may perceive the match as less than legitimate, Ritch responded, “Probably because I’m 185 pounds, and Dan is 265, and at one point in the match I almost had him in a heel hook. I almost beat him. Dan Severn’s a legend…I don’t know why so many people were upset. I think it was in part I almost beat Dan Severn, and maybe some people got upset with that. I don’t know.”
There are a couple of specific moments in the fight that people are calling into question. The two times Severn throws Shannon in the first round are one of those moments. Questioned about the throws, Ritch replied, “I say get in the ring with Dan Severn and let him try to throw you. The guy’s pretty damn strong.” Shannon added, “I was a high school wrestler. Dan wrestled in college. Dan’s a college wrestler. I mean he threw me. That fight was legit man. I know a lot of people are going to say it’s not legit. On my end it was 100% legit.” Further commenting on the throws, Ritch stated, “If you notice, he didn’t throw me clean. He kind of like tripped and threw me, and as he did I rolled out of it. I rolled, did a back roll and stood back up to my feet.”
Ritch denied the allegations, and questioned, “I don’t understand why he would do a work with me. You know what I mean? I don’t understand. What would that do for his career. Why would he do that? He’s a lot bigger than me.”
After Shannon was able to view the fight himself on MMAWeekly TV, MMAWeekly followed up on the radio interview to see if Shannon’s stance had changed. “The Cannon” stuck to his guns, and was more animate that the fight was not a work. “I thought I fought one hell of a fight, and I can’t see for the life of my how someone can say that was a worked fight. That fight was 100% legit, and it looked great to me.”
Focusing on the heel hook attempt at the end of round one, Shannon commented, “The heel hook was in so deep I thought I was breaking his ankle because it popped.
Addressing Severn uncharacteristically standing up out of Shannon’s guard. “If you notice when he was in my guard he couldn’t do anything. I kept going through the grapevine, and I kept punching him, and defending everything he threw. He did land two elbows. One elbow did give me a black eye, but other than that he couldn’t do anything, so he stepped up out of my guard. Well you know what? We’re back to our feet, and I’m going to leg kick you again.”
Ritch asked again, “I can’t understand why people would even say it was a work. For one, why would Dan Severn do a work with me when obviously I was the underdog? That doesn’t make any sense to me.” He continued, “The only reason I took the fight was is because our first fight in Alaska I was literally beating the crap out of Dan Severn, kicking him in the legs. He threw me out of the ring intentionally. The referee was going to disqualify him and I didn’t want to win that way. I wanted to win legit.”
That’s Shannon Ritch’s side of the story. You can judge for yourself by watching the fight in the Backyard Brawl section of MMAWeekly TV, and discuss your opinions in the SoundOff forum.