With the MMA world still clinching their collective gut after having the wind knocked out of their sales with yesterday’s unfortunate news regarding Georges St. Pierre‘s injury and subsequent removal from UFC 137, the show must still roll on and so it will with BJ Penn and Nick Diaz serving as the October 29 event’s headliners.
Both welterweights, former training partners who originally preferred not to face off in the first place, will speak publicly for the first time since being bumped up to the top slot during a conference call scheduled for this afternoon at 2:00 PM EST. As always, Five Ounces of Pain will be tuned in and reporting results back live to readers.
Main card competitors Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo will also be on hand to discuss their heavyweight bout.
Read below for a full rundown of conference call highlights including interesting nuggets of information and scintillating soundbytes…
– Not on the conference call for some reason, no reason given in introduction other than to say they were trying to get him on the line
– Cesar Gracie is said to be searching for Diaz but hasn’t located him yet
– Diaz is on the line and says he had no idea there was a call, hadn’t spoken to anyone in a week and he woke up with his phone being dead
– Didn’t know anything about the call until fifteen minutes ago
– Doesn’t focus on things outside of training so hasn’t been phased by all the things leading up to the bout / “When it’s time to fight, I fight. It’s really about me not about what’s going on in the world.”
– Sees Penn’s case for him being the sport’s best boxer
– Not happy about fighting Penn who he considers a friend and who he has trained with
– Would have preferred to fight GSP because he came to the UFC to fight for the title
– Thinks Penn is a better technical all-around fighter than GSP. Also believes that Penn looks better at 155.
– Has regrets about losing his title shot but puts the blame elsewhere on why he didn’t make the press conference.
– Says that he fighters harder, does better, and looks better than anyone and that no one can beat him.
– Doesn’t care about the Strikeforce title and is willing to give it to Penn / “I never put that belt on anyway. It doesn’t matter to me.”
– Willing to fight five rounds but says, “It’s whatever.”
– Excited to be working with the UFC on opening a new gym in Waikiki, Hawaii
– Is open to doing a five-round fight if the price is right
– Says he hasn’t heard from Dana White or anyone else regarding the main event status or it being five rounds
– Enjoys watching Diaz’s antics and respects that he doesn’t change, is always himself
– “He always shows up to the fight though…”
– Was excited to hear he was headlining the card
– Hasn’t changed his style to suit Diaz
– Credits Diaz’s boxing as being good / “The best boxer in MMA today.”
– “I would love to get another title before stepping out of the game.” (on subject of getting title-fight by beating Diaz)
– Jokes the only time Diaz will “bother” him is when he’s getting punched by him in the ring
– Isn’t sure what he would have done in Condit’s shoes since the fighter in him would want to scrap and the businessman would want to fully prepare for a major bout / “It’s a tough choice, you know? For Condit he made the right choice. I really don’t know the answer to that question.”
– Doesn’t fault the UFC for how they’ve treated Diaz but would have liked to see him face GSP
– Expects Diaz to talk smack to him during their fight as he typically does against adversaries, says there are no friends inside the Octagon
– Would love to win belts at either 155 or 170 pounds but isn’t concerned with it happening, feels title-shots mainly have to do with timing
– Said he wanted to originally fight Jon Fitch when he heard Diaz was out of the headliner but that Dana White told him Fitch couldn’t fight until December
– Would “jump at the chance” to fight again for the lightweight championship
– “There’s nothing wrong a main event being five rounds.”
– Doesn’t care how big the fight is, that the only important thing is that he doesn’t get beaten up too badly in public
– Wasn’t motivated by Kongo beating his friend Pat Barry, they’re all professionals and it’s not personal
– Knows he can’t underestimate Kongo at any point based on the heart shown in the Barry fight
– Jokes about being prepared for Kongo’s signature low blows
– “If he’s kicking my ass standing up I’m gonna try and get him pregnant.”
– Doesn’t care about what’s next for him because he doesn’t get paid to worry about that
– Isn’t interested in discussing strategy, wishes Mitrione luck next weekend
– Focused on improving his boxing and wrestling