Phil Lanides sent along the following::
Indiana (USA): What started out as simply a potentially great fight has evolved into a blood feud between MMA Big Show Welterweight Champion “Relentless” Roger Bowling (6-0) and former UFC bad boy War Machine (10-2). After having to pull out of a fight against Machine twice due to injury, Bowling is being forced to defend himself against all kinds of verbal attacks from his proposed opponent. “Twice we have been scheduled to fight now and twice he has suddenly gotten injured two weeks before the fight! If you’re scared to fight the War Machine, don’t sign on the dotted line,” Machine told Fighters.com (in the only printable portion of the interview: http://www.fighters.com/08/22/war-machine-versus-roger-bowling-cancelled-again-this-time-for-good). Now Roger is calling out his nemesis, and MMA Big Show President/Promoter Jason Appleton is doing everything in his power to make the fight finally happen. “[speaking of War Machine] I'll bump his win bonus by a grand, and pay him half his show money in advance. No excuses,” says Appleton. “[War Machine] makes it sound like Roger having to pull out due to an injury is somehow a big loss for him. The reality is, I set up the fight for him on XFC, and even though Roger is out, he still got an opportunity and a payday out of it [at the September 5th event]. Now it's time to settle this score between these two once and for all.”
Bowling is a serious blue-chip prospect whose career is gaining steam and garnering attention from the big leagues of MMA, and Appleton, who is also Bowling’s manager, set up a fight between “Relentless” and the outspoken fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver for Big Show’s June 20th “CONVICTION” event. Unfortunately, Bowling severely injured his hand before the fight, breaking his wrist and tearing a thumb tendon in a work-related accident. The fight was rescheduled for the September 5th co-promotional effort between Florida’s Xtreme Fighting Championships and Big Show, but once again, fate intervened, and Bowling’s broken knuckles, suffered during his recent win, were deemed too serious injured by doctors for him to fight. Then the verbal jousting began. “Relentless” has been quiet on the subject until now. “I feel horrible that I let my friends and family down. I had a lot of people with flights booked to Florida, people were planning entire vacations around this [last] fight. I really wanted to fight him anyway, but I am glad I have people around me that care enough to stop me from doing things I shouldn't, because I would have fought him with one hand if I had to.” Bowling didn’t stop there: “It's easy to talk trash about someone while saying you won't fight them,” stated the champion.
Appleton takes it a step further: “I think War Machine was afraid of Roger going into the fight, and he's using Roger’s injury as an excuse to never have to fight him in the future,” he explained. “I know he called around to the various gyms in the area trying to find out if Roger had any weaknesses, and then he tried to see if Roger would meet him at a 175 lbs. catch weight. War Machine tried everything. Point blank, War Machine knows he won't beat Roger and this is the perfect opportunity for him to back out completely while trying to save face. If he wasn't, he would be eager to get in there with Roger, not make excuses about why it will never happen.”