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“UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2″ Conference Call Highlights

The UFC‘s annual Fourth of July Weekend show is around the corner and, as has historically been the case, looks to be packed with potential based on a number of exciting match-ups and a title-fight between rivals. Set to scrap at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on July 2 at UFC 132, bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz looks to avenge the only loss of his career against top contender Urijah Faber with heavy-handed 185ers Chris Leben and Wanderlei Silva also set to meet in earlier main card action.

The four fighters will be on hand today at 2:00 PM EST for a conference call with media and Five Ounces of Pain will be here to report back to readers with interesting nuggets of information or noteworthy soundbytes. Read below and enjoy!

Dominick Cruz:

– Won’t let emotions factor into their fight as much as he dislikes Faber / Whether in a fight with someone you respect or don’t respect he still tries just as hard
– Says the only difference in Faber since their first fight is his haircut but in his case he’s improved in every facet including physical strength
– It’s more exciting than usual to headline a UFC card and been given an opportunity to represent bantamweights for the first time as a champion in UFC history but at the same time the preparation is the same / “There’s just a little more incentive to win, that’s all. I do a lot of mental preparation to be ready for this fight and I’m confident in the fact I’m better than most people. I’ve had the best stage possible to prepare for this fight being that I was in two main events for WEC.”
– Is very proud of being a Hispanic champion and can’t wait to represent the Mexican-American community
– Says it’s exciting to see how popular the lighter WEC weights have become since joining the UFC
– Has learned how important media is in terms of getting widespread respect and beyond that all he can do is continue to fight well and that winning will handle the rest
– “Fighting fixes everything.” (Faber jokes, “That’s the opposite of what my Mom used to tell me but we’ll see.”)

Urijah Faber:

– Also feels he is not an emotional fighter and that “beating the crap out of each other is good therapy” / Expects to shake Cruz’s hand after things are said and done
– “For the record, the last time we fought we didn’t become friends afterwards.”
– Wasn’t fully training when they first fought in WEC and says he has never stopped getting better
– Isn’t stressing about the fight’s place on the card though acknowledged “there’s a little more attached to it” because of it being a UFC main event
– “The bottom line is I’m the best 135-pounder in the world and this is my chance to prove it.”
– “Dominick dances a lot but he also throws a lot of punches.”
– Says Cruz throws pity parties and gives himself credit for a lot of little things / Will see how “cool” they are depending on how Cruz reacts to losing at the event

Wanderlei Silva:

– The fight is really important for him, that it’s been a hard year for him
– Is glad to have an opponent who will stand in front of him rather than run / “I think we’re gonna have a great show!”
– Wants to give fans a good performance after having shown him so much love during the time he’s been out with injuries
– Knows everybody wants to fight for the belt because it’s a great opportunity but is excited about Leben because he “fights like a machine” and isn’t worried about the future
– When Dana White asked him why he wanted to face Leben he said it was because “The Crippler” was a tough guy and fought like him, that they could make the best fight of the night and maybe the year (Leben exclaims, “Let’s get that bonus!” with Silva replying, “Of course!”)

Chris Leben:

– Fighting someone like Silva provides motivation in itself but the fact he lost in his last fight to Brian Stann is really fueling him to prepare
– Thinks he got too comfortable after his win streak entering the Stann fight and underestimated him but “The biggest thing that affected me was my diet. I got heavy and had to cut too much weight. This time I’m waking up at the right time, I’m eating a bunch of crappy-tasting food that’s good for me…”
– “Regardless of win, lose, or draw I want to at least put on a fantastic show for the fans.”
– In terms of having called Silva out last year he says on one hand he should be careful what he wishes for but on the other hand the fact he gets to fight “The Axe Murderer” and his dream comes true / “As far as that goes I’m stoked!”
– Remarks that this is his nineteenth fight in the UFC
– Says his role in the sport has been a continuous learning curve on all levels inside and outside of the ring
– “I’ll be honest with you – I don’t like fighting. *laughs* I love the training. I think anyone who tells you they do (like fighting) is probably lying. There’s nothing more motivating than the fear of a coma.”
– Credits Silva with inspiring him to be a fighter, says he tried to emulate him when he was younger
– Spoke to a therapist after his loss to Stann saying, “I’m full of issues, dude!” when asked about specific reasons
– As much as he respects Silva, “It’s pretty easy to switch gears once they’re swinging at you. I pretty much react, not think.”

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