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UFC Fight Night 26 Conference Call Highlights

UFC Fight Night 26 Conference Call Highlights

A new era of UFC programming is set to be ushered in this weekend when the organization helps kick off FOX Sports 1 this Saturday night. Highlighting the official unveiling is, of course, the star-studded lineup for UFC Fight Night 26 topped by a light heavyweight match-up between Chael Sonnen and Mauricio Rua.

Before stepping foot in the Octagon, Sonnen squared off against “Shogun” on a conference call with media earlier this afternoon. Heavyweight opponents Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne also participated in the fun as did UFC President Dana White.

Read below for a rundown of the call:

Chael Sonnen:

– Confused, not upset, about culinary union trying to keep him off the card
– Moving back to 185 pounds based on his interest in fighting Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, no other reason
– “I will be going straight ahead and he will be too. Not only is that how we fight, we both have our skills and we’re gonna bring our skills. But in addition, we’re the main event and you can’t play around when you’re in the main event.”
– “I won’t ever pick on a guy weaker or smaller than me, though in the case of Wanderlei Silva I have.”
– “All fights are ‘must win’.”
– Still hungry for another crack at Anderson Silva
– First time he’s ever trained with a different camp in the UFC
– Loves his job as a broadcaster and even turned down a raise because he doesn’t believe he’s actually having to work
– Will consider retiring after he has achieved his goals including fights with Belfort/Wanderlei
– “I will be one of those guys who has to be pulled out of this sport…”

Mauricio Rua:

– Says brother “Ninja” Rua is doing fine and has just purchased a gas station
– Sonnen’s relatively polite behavior during the build towards the bout hasn’t deterred him from wanting to win as convincingly as possible

Alistair Overeem:

– Isn’t thinking about a future title-shot / “For me it’s just important to get that win.”
– Wasn’t depressed after loss to Antonio Silva but took some time off to get his focus back

Travis Browne:

– “It’s a great honor to be a part of this card.”
– Doesn’t think Overeem’s experience will play a major role in the match-up

Dana White:

– Not worried about the ongoing negotiations between FOX Sports 1 and Direct TV because the situation is out of his control
– Says culinary union’s approach to combatting the UFC is “transparent” and “ridiculous”
– “Alistair Overeem is not on the call yet. We’re still looking for him.”
– Calls Boston a great place to hang out and eat with friends but not a great place to put on fights due to regulatory issues
– Sees Matt Brown getting a Top 5 opponent if he beats Mike Pyle