After as strange a build up to the event as can be remembered in recent years, UFC 152 is less than two weeks away from unfolding in Toronto where two titles will be defended and a middleweight contender will emerge while another talented 185er heads to the back of the line.
Headlined by polarizing light heavyweight champion Jon Jones putting his gold up for grabs against legend Vitor Belfort, the September 22 show also features flyweights Demetrious Johnson-Joseph Benavidez battling it out to determine the division’s first king and Michael Bisping-Brian Stann scrapping in hopes of earning a title-shot with a dominant win.
A conference call promoting the event is scheduled for today at 2:00 PM EST with . Jones, Belfort, Johnson, Benavidez, and UFC President Dana White are all expected to participate in the conversation. As usual, Five Ounces of Pain will be on the line while delivering highlights back to readers in real time.
Read below for a rundown of notable quotes and other interesting tidbits:
-Im in a position where everyone hangs on my every word. Its flattering at times, but at the end of the day I’m staying focused on the goal.
-Never really paid attention to Vitor before. I saw him fight live in Brazil, and sat with his dad. Also, we fought the same night when he fought Anderson Silva.
-On business perspective:
I think it will be great, I think a lot of people will get together to watch this fight. I think people love Vitor and the old school MMA fans will come out, and especially the fans in Brazil.
I learned not to look at the odds. I realize the dangers in this sport, and anyone can win at anytime. I focus on giving me the odds of winning.
Every fight has pressure, and the Evans fight was the most stressful. Im happy, I really am. I have a great staff and great people around me. I feel like I’m right where I should be. I’m looking at the positives in this.
- I believe if I didn’t have christ in my life, I would be a hot mess. I don’t think god cares about a UFC fight.
On first decision:
-With Rashad, part of me saw a guy I was sparing against. My killer instinct wasn’t there. I was more focused on just winning the fight. I never hurt my teammates, but I’m not saying I took it easy. Something in my bones wouldn’t let me finish him. Also, Evans is a great warrior.
-I am anxious to get this behind me and Dana. People are starting to realize I am not a UFC executive. No champions would have taken the fight. Me holding a personal beef against Dana gets me nowhere. If Manny Pacquaio was fighting Floyd Mayweather and one of them got hurt, would they just fight Miguel Cotto? No he wouldn’t.
-At the end of the day, people will do whats right for themselves. I do acknowledge people wasted their time, a lot of people, and the event never happened. I had to do what was right for myself. Dana did what was right for himself. The whole world is affraid to ask the question or say, “dude(dana), you are the one who cancelled the fight. I make a lot of mistakes, I was never trained for PR. I say what I feel. I am just me. I am not perfect, I’m not going to take anything back. The only thing I did that was classless was calling Henderson an old man.
-I’m not here to be friends with fighters. If you talk to me about fighting, it will come off as being cocky. I am the nicest person ever. I do things for everyone from fans to my team. I am not a villain, that’s not who I am as a person. I never had an official PR training and I don’t want one.
- This is a journey for me. I have peace in the process and the the joy in journey. I have been fighting for 17 years, and I have great fights in my career. I am an old school guy, and I saw the cancellation-I felt sorry for the fans and I reached out to Dana and Lorenzo and asked for the fight. I said, I was willing to do it. I fight for the pleasure of fighting. I enjoy this. I have had the pressure in the past, now I am just having fun. I never thought I’d still be fighting at this level. I am an old lion in the midst of these young lions. I am still in the jungle. I love these challenges.
-I have such a bunch of respect for Jones, and I don’t judge anyone including Jon.
-Its an honor for me to fight Jones. I love the guy.
-I am doing this for the organization, and I saw the cancellation I spoke up. I’m my own manager. Jones was 9 years old when I won my title. I am going to compete, and to win. I am not thinking about what weight class I will be in. This is my journey. That’s my legacy and enjoy the journey.
-Jones is the new phenom.
-We have to evolve, and use the wisdom and experience.
-I was in Brazil, but I was lacking sparring partners. I came to blackzillians and its a great fit for me. We have the Brazilian culture here, and it feels good. Its like Disney land for me.
-I’m not worried about the odds, I don’t even care. I am going to go there with the mentality to do my best. Thats it
-Pure excitement for me, and my motivation is at an all time high. This is what I was looking for for my whole career. the cherry on top is that its the first ever.
-It will mean a lot to bring the belt back to team alpha male. You can always look at our squad as see its one of the best, but we are missing a title. I am a product of them. If they would have won their title, it would have meant the same.
-I got my eyes on the prize. My goal is to be a UFC Champion. That’s all the matters.
-Super excited. I’m speechless. There is a reason why Dana opened up the flyweight division, and we will definitely deliver.
-I feel great. I was misdiagnosed. I was told to rest for a month, I didn’t have time-they gave me a an anti inflammatory and all the swelling went down.
-I don’t regret anything and I don’t take anything back. We haven’t seen each other yet, and me and Jon need to sit down in Toronto and talk. Jon is a good guy, and we will talk face to face.
-Not a lot of people are jumping up and down to fight Bones, Vitor said he would take the fight. We like that.
-Sonnen didn’t have a chance to train for this fight. I’m glad he stepped up like that, but it made more sense because Vitor was in camp and ready. We didn’t chose Vitor he called us, and we excepted. If you don’t think this fight will be good, dont watch it.
-Machida wanted another shot, but he turned the fight down. We moved down the line, and Vitor called us and wanted the shot. He was a champion at heavyweight and at light heavyweight. He has fought everybody. If Belfort shows with that power, this is a dangerous fight for Jones. If you don’t think this fight will be good, dont watch it.
-We have a stacked card, a lot of good fights and two title fights.
-Obviously I think Jones is one of the best fighters in the world, but the canceling of 151 hasn’t made him any more famous than he was before.
-Dana has left the call.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC