According to past interview by former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson, UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva told him the promotion wasn’t interested in services due to his rotund physique. In spite of Silva’s alleged decree, it appears the UFC has still gone out and added a burly heavyweight to its 205-plus pound division in former BodogFIGHT veteran Mark Burch.
According to a report by MMAjunkie.com, Burch will make his Octagon debut at UFC 92 on Dec. 27 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena against Dutch kickboxer Antonio Hardonk.
Burch is 9-2 overall with three consecutive victories. His most recent win came at Duneland Classic 5 following a first round TKO over Alex Rozman. While competing with the now-defunct Bodog promotion, the Indiana native was 1-1 with one no contest.
His loss for the promotion took place at its Costa Rica tapings in August of 2006, where Burch dropped a unanimous decision to American Top Team’s Mario Rinaldi.
Following a no contest against Yoshiki Takahashi during Costa Rica tapings in February of 2007, Burch rematched Takahashi during Bodog’s Trenton, N.J. show in July of that same year. He was able to even his Bodog record following a first round knockout due to a knee.
Hardonk is 7-4 overall in his professional MMA career and 3-2 inside of the Octagon. After consecutive losses to Justin McCully at UFC Fight Night 9 and Frank Mir at UFC 74, Hardonk has won his last two fights against Colin Robinson at UFC 80 and Eddie Sanchez at UFC 85.
UFC 92 will be televised on pay-per-view and is set to feature Forrest Griffin defending the UFC light heavyweight title vs. Rashad Evans and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defending the UFC interim heavyweight title vs. Frank Mir.