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After months of rumors and uncertainty, the Shine Fights Promotion has issued a press release confirming that former pro-boxer Ricardo Mayorga will indeed be facing UFC and MMA veteran Din Thomas in his first foray into full-contact fighting at Shine Fights 3 on May 15th.

Interest is aroused any time a legitimate boxer with a well-known name takes the leap into MMA, but the colorful and confident personality of Mayorga and his raw, brawling style of throwing hands in the ring has grabbed the attention of fight-fans all over the world.  Whether you consider it appropriate, risky, or downright insane--the Nicaraguan scrapper will be plunged into the heat of battle with one of mixed martial arts' most talented, experienced, and well-rounded tacticians.  It is not surprising that Mayorga seems unfazed by the challenge.

They can't deny me in MMA, and I will destroy Din Thomas. I am going to smash him the way I smashed all the big superstars of boxing. To me, a fight is a fight in a ring, in a cage or on the street. Fighting is my middle name.

 

As both Thomas and Mayorga rarely find themselves at a loss for words, the venomous smack-talk between the pair started even before the close of 2009. Din Thomas drew first blood with the following quote from MMASpot.

Ricardo Mayorga just signed to fight in Shine. I think he is afraid of me. If he does accept the fight I will put him into retirement and send him back to his fruit stand in Nicaragua. He will be wearing a straw hat, smoking cigarettes, and selling bananas once and for all. This is MMA and I will beat him standing or on the ground. I will let him pick how he wants to lose his first MMA fight.

Shine Fights match-maker Ron Foster told The Garv that Mayorga simply laughed off the barbed comment; but now that the fight has come to fruition, the verbal sparring continues.  Responding to Mayorga's quip that he will "smash" him, Din responded with:

 

I respect what Ricardo has done in boxing. He fooled many opponents with that smoking and drinking shtick, but he won't fool me. I train night and day and I know he works hard also. But I will send him back to boxing, crawling back to boxing. He is about to get a violent education about the skills he needs for MMA, and they are skills that an old dog like Mayorga cannot learn. I will be taking this cat to school, trust me.

 

Finally, Mayorga discussed his journey from boxing into MMA.

 

I conquered the world in the boxing ring. All the while, I was puffing cigarettes and drinking beer. I won three world title belts, and I stood toe-to-toe with so many legends, beating some of them. Vernon Forrest, God rest his soul, was a great boxer, yet I beat him back twice. I cannot be denied, as I am a force of nature. Now I will shock the MMA fans, and I know so many of my fans from boxing will follow me as I expand my repertoire.

 

The venue for Shine 3 will be the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC.  The Shine Fights Promotion has also landed a pay-per-view deal with MultiVision Media, who will broadcast the live event on cable and satellite in the U.S. and Canada for $29.95.

Although changes may be made, here is the full expected fight card for Shine Fights 3 on May 15th:

Din Thomas vs. Ricardo Mayorga

Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. Falaniko Vitale

Hector Lombard vs. Alexandre "Cacareco" Ferreira

Luiz Azeredo vs. Luiz "Buscape" Firmino

Nick "The Goat" Thompson vs. Danillo "Indio" Villefort

Luciano Azevedo vs. Kyle Watson

 

Sources:  Shine Fights Publicist, MMASpot, BoxingScene

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