It appears as if welterweight (147 lbs) boxing contender Andre Berto is serious about a switch to MMA.
“I want all of ‘em!” Berto said. “Dana White, you know me, you know my family’s been in MMA for a while, I’m coming to the UFC so Dana White, call me! Tell Dana to call me. I’ll go to the UFC.
“I wanna be the first fighter ever to be a world champion in boxing and go get a UFC world title. It’s never been done. That’s never been done. Tell Dana to holler at me!”
Holly Holm begs to differ with Berto’s “first to be a major world champion in boxing and UFC” statement, but Berto would be the first man to do so.
The 33-year-old Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) is coming off a TKO loss to Shawn Porter in April, getting a purse of $1.2 million for this title eliminator. Andre’s career payday came in September 2015 against Mayweather, receiving a disclosed $4 million purse.
After winning the first 27 fights of his career, including capturing the WBC welterweight title in 2008, Berto is just 4-5 record in his last nine outings, and he’s been in a lot of very difficult and grueling wars. This was Berto’s face after his battle with Robert Guerrero back in 2012. It’s safe to say he’s not in the prime of his career anymore.
Berto’s family has a fairly strong background in MMA. His father Dieuseul competed at UFC 10 way back in 1996, his brother James Edson competed in Strikeforce, EliteXC, and Bellator MMA, and has an overall record of 17-12-1, and his sister Revelina was eliminated in the entry round of The Ultimate Fighter season 18.
Will we ever see Andre Berto inside the Octagon? Berto’s entire career has been contested at 147-pounds, so he’d most likely compete in the featherweight division. Lofty title aspirations aside, if we do see Andre in the UFC, we can only hope that he’s more competitive against whomever he’s matched up with than James Toney was against Randy Couture.
On another note, if you’ve never watched Andre Berto’s first fight (and first career loss) to Victor Ortiz, at least watch the highlights, because this was a classic.