CHICAGO -- Although there's no spot currently for him on the card, UFC
veteran Shonie Carter
says he won't stop his campaign to take part in the Jan. 28 UFC on FOX 2 event.
Carter is asking for a one-fight deal with the UFC to compete on the undercard of what will be the biggest MMA card in his hometown of Chicago.
On Wednesday, Carter attended the UFC on FOX 2 press conference not as a fighter, but a journalist.
"It actually hurts to be here and be a journalist and thinking fight at the same time," Carter told MMA Fighting, standing on the floor of the United Center. "These young men, I've watched them when they were rookies. They grew up watching me and I have the upmost and profound respect for all of them and I don't ever quit. I believe in fighting the good fight and until that first bell rings, or until the weigh-ins are over, I am going to campaign."
At the press conference, UFC president Dana White replied to a reporter's question about Carter by saying "I think he needs to talk to [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva," before sending out a "Good luck, Shonie."
Carter has tried to no avail, but is holding out hope for an opening.
"I have reached out to [Silva] and he said the card was full," Carter told MMA Fighting. "But I'm still working out like a mad man."
On paper, Carter doesn't deserve consideration on the card, having lost six of his last seven fights. And Carter, who is best known for a spinning backfist knockout over Matt Serra at UFC 31, hasn't competed in the UFC in five years.
But to Carter's credit, the former WEC champion has been a staple in the Chicago martial arts scene for over a decade and is a well-liked figure in the sport.
Carter explains fighting at the United Center would be a special moment for him and a thank you to all his hometown fans. Carter grew up in the West Side of Chicago and he currently lives so close to the arena that he's just two bus rides away.
"11-and-a-half minutes, I timed it," Carter said with a laugh.
While it might be a long shot, it's not stopping Carter from trying.
"I'm going to keep bugging [Silva]," Carter said. "Until he says yes."