Timing forces Enzo Maccarinelli to reject UFC offer

14.03.09 - By Mark Pickering: Former WBO cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli has admitted he would have accepted an offer from the UFC had it been made in the aftermath of his loss to David Haye. Speaking on Setanta News the Welshman said: "Everyone knows I'm interested in the sport. I think people saw me talking to Dana White in Birmingham a few months ago and I said a couple of things.” "I do a lot of the ground game, I'm not brilliant but I'm picking my level up on the ground and jiu-jitsu. I'm trained by Simon Davies who’s trained by Pedro Bessa who is number three in the world..
"It's something I'm interested in, but I had an offer not so long ago, a big offer, but it didn't come at the right time. If it had come six months earlier when I was disinterested with how the sport (of boxing) was going for me I would have taken it up.”

Maccarinelli endured a hugely frustrating 2008, falling to David Haye in March before training in vein for a word title bout with then-unbeaten and former IBF cruiserweight champion Johnathon Banks which repeatedly failed to materialise.

Swansea’s heavy-hitter has also been caught up in the bitter fallout between his promoter Frank Warren and his former stable-mate Joe Calzaghe.

The 28-year-old, who faces Ola Afolabi for the interim WBO cruiserweight crown on Saturday, was reportedly offered a lucrative deal to take part in the UFC’s reality hit show, The Ultimate Fighter.

Despite overtures from the UFC and a less than fruitful 2008 ‘Big Macc’ believes his immediate future remains firmly in the squared circle.

"I am a boxer, I still think it's the best sport in the world and I want to achieve what I can in boxing and then maybe think about the MMA world."

Article posted on 14.03.2009

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