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UFC 129 Conference Call Highlights: Couture, Machida, Hominick, and Aldo

The UFC is less than two weeks away from the biggest show in promotional history in the form of UFC 129, a card set to draw the largest North American crowd for a MMA event since the sport’s inception.

Today the company held a conference call featuring a number of prominent fighters set to face off in Toronto on April 30 including MMA icon Randy Couture and former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, as well as featherweight title-holder Jose Aldo and top contender Mark Hominick.

Five Ounces of Pain was on hand for the proceedings and was able to glean the following interesting soundbytes and/or nuggets of information…

Randy Couture:

– Wants to go out on his own terms and believes that time has come regardless of outcome against Machida (“It’s time to focus on the other things I’ve got going on in my life after this fight. I’ve pushed it pretty far. I don’t think anyone is going to push it as far as I have over the last fourteen years.”)
– Says it’s exciting to be part of a show as huge as UFC 129 but that it wasn’t a factor in his decision to hang up his gloves, says it’s been “coming for awhile”
– Says he turned down other fights and specifically requested Machida
– Was honored to have represented MMA against James Toney
– Calls Machida a “tremendous fighter and tremendous athlete”
– “I feel healthy, I feel great. I can still compete at this level. I just don’t want to stretch it. I don’t want to wait until I have that injury and have doctors telling me I can’t fight anymore. I want to enjoy the rest of my life right now, I don’t want to wait too long.”
– Anticipates the UFC will try and talk him into at least one more fight after this bout but will burn that bridge when it arrives
– Can see himself go back to commentating on broadcasts at some point in the future
– Doesn’t think a win will change his mind (“Win, lose, or draw doesn’t factor into the equation.”)
– Said his previous retirement was different because of the personal things going on in his life such as the divorce and contract issues, says he’s very happy right now and his life couldn’t be going any better
– Says this fight and show are so huge his retirement isn’t “that big of a deal”
– Motivation remains high regardless of his future status, says camp was as intense as any he’d ever been through for a fight
– Starts shooting Expendables 2 starting tentatively on August 22

Lyoto Machida:

– Believes if he had taken the same approach towards Quinton Jackson in the first/second rounds as he did in the third he would have likely finished the fight
– Was hesitant to pull the trigger against “Rampage” and take the risk of engaging after suffering a knockout loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua prior to the bout
– Feels no extra pressure based on having back-to-back losses, tries to block out non-fight factors and focuses on his training, what he wants to do in the fight (“Every situation is different, every situation has pressure. There is always pressure regardless of the fight.”)
– Says it’s an honor to fight someone like Couture (“He has built a history in this sport. He has built this sport into what it is today. Out of respect, I want to give a great a performance.”)
– Biggest thing he learned from his losses was that he constantly needs to evolve and keep changing
– Feels pressure to win but not on the same level as he did before while undefeated

Mark Hominick:

– Is throwing out the first pitch at the Blue Jays vs. Devil Rays game later this week
– Trying to take in the whole experience of how huge the show is and mentions his wife is due to give birth within a week of the event as well
– Isn’t intimidated by Aldo’s performances though feels he’s well-deserving of the accolades he’s received (“I’m going to go out there and fight my fight.”)
– His first pro fight was in front of 6,000 people with Georges St. Pierre debuting on the same card but says nothing can fully prepare him for the huge crowd in Toronto until he experiences it
– The win is what drives him, not the impending birth of his baby girl or any other outside factors
– Sparring with the best possible guys in every aspect because of how multi-dimensional Aldo is
– Excited about the UFC adopting WEC’s weight-classes and that lighter guys almost always turn in entertaining performances. (“Pretty amazing that everyone is getting exposed to the weight-classes.”)

Jose Aldo:

– Feels very good going into this fight, not concerned about it being his UFC debut and in his mind it is just another bout. (“If you get your job done in the gym there is really no reason to be worried.”)
– The main injury that kept him out of action was actually related to his right shoulder, not his neck, and there was no surgery involved


– Show is expected to gross $10 million according to UFC officials
– Confident UFC 131 will sell out in Vancouver

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