It’s safe to say every fighter on the UFC roster not holding gold has hopes of one day hoisting a belt up above his head. However, as special a sensation as it undoubtedly is for a Mixed Martial Artist to eventually achieve championship success, few can understand the additional emotion involved when tagged as a torchbearer for one’s home country.
While the UFC’s divisions have been ruled by Americans, Brazilians, and a certain Canadian, one of the many nations without a native son represented in the organization’s title lineage is Germany. And, while there are only a handful of Germans competing at a high level in MMA, one in particular who appears closer than most to potentially realizing his dream is Dennis Siver.
Siver, a 32-year old out of Mannheim, has won four fights in a row including a victory over former contender Georges Sotiropoulos and could find himself a win or two away from a crack at Frankie Edgar’s strap.
The 19-7 kickboxer will edge ever closer to an elusive title-shot if he can get by Donald Cerrone this weekend at UFC 137, a task Siver sees as being a challenge but one he is supremely motivated to overcome.
“I want to be the first German UFC champion. That really motivates me. This is my fuel, my motivation, to make my fans happy seeing me winning,” said Siver in an interview with the UFC’s website.
As far as Cerrone, who has expressed a great deal of confidence in his ability to put Siver away, the soft-spoken striker had nothing but respect for “Cowboy” but added a hint of caution around the notion of underestimating him.
“Cerrone is a very dangerous opponent because he is able to fight and attack from every conceivable position. He doesn’t tire and will stay on you relentlessly. This is going to make for an exciting and interesting fight. But when an opponent dismisses me, it only motivates me more. The list of those who haven’t taken me seriously is long and littered with rude awakenings.”
However, Siver ultimately sees the two lightweights putting on an entertaining show during the Spike TV preliminary pairings this Saturday night (8:00 PM EST) no matter who comes away with the victory.
“I respect Donald, he’s a great fighter,” Siver began. “We both like to bang so I sparred a lot. But of course I did my wrestling and BJJ training as well because you never know where a fight will go. May the best man win (that) night.”
While his chances of winning a UFC championship remain to be seen one thing is certain – Germany couldn’t have a better representative in the hunt.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC