Keep in mind: Gabriel Gonzaga was enormously difficult to understand. If I missed something when he spoke, the error is mine and mine alone.
UFC 74 Conference Call Notes
1. GSP says Kos is not an easy fight and that he wanted a tough opponent. He believes Kos is currently the #1 contender in line for the belt besides Matt Hughes. Says the loss is the best thing that ever happened to him.
2. Kos says he has respect for GSP like he does for every fighter.
3. Randy says Gonzaga is well-rounded. Gonzaga remarks that Couture is a "tough guy" and ready for a five round fight.
4. Randy says he still gets excited when he fights. Says he doesn't fight to win titles anymore, just to have fun. Says he has nothing left to prove. He's competing because he can and wants to. When asked about how he felt the first time he fought, Randy says he almost pissed his pants. Says his career has been a blast and continues to grow.
5. Dana says he still believes GSP is the most talented athlete in the sport, but says the guy who he visited in the dressing room prior to his fight with GSP is not the real person. Questions "which GSP" is going to show up to this fight.
6. GSP says he has no excuses for his loss to Serra. Remarks that his sports psychologist told him it's not the best team that wins in sports, but the team that performs the best that day. Says Serra fought better on the night of UFC 69. Says a rematch with Serra would be a dream come true. Ends by saying it's not the old version of GSP that's going to show up, but a brand new version. Vows to never let his personal life get in the way of his job.
7. Dana says the UFC is talking to Wanderlei Silva, but the "deal isn't done yet."
8. Gonzaga says he takes his struggles growing up in Brazil with him into competition, whether it's BJJ or MMA. Says he doesn't feel like a star, just a fighter and that his daily routine really hasn't changed.
9. Randy says he and the members of his gym have enjoyed training with Wanderlei. Reminds everyone he's been training BJJ for 10 years and has a ground gameplan. Says he's been working with top BJJ guys in his preparation.
10. GSP says he didn't realize he was "the" champ. Says he forgot who he was and what his priorities actually were, but it took losing the title to realize that. Says he's more motivated than ever and being the challenger helps that. Says there's a smile and swagger on his face when he trains now.
11. Dana says that there's no big announcement planned for UFC 74.
12. GSP says Sherk is a different person than Kos. It's a different style, different fight. Says fighting is like poker: it's a secret and you don't show your hand.
13. Kos says GSP is not overrated, which he proved by becoming champ. Says, though, that this is business and that if GSP wants to be champ again he'll have to get through him.
14. Randy believes MMA has the potential to be an Olympic sport.
15. Says Clay has a big opportunity with a win over Marcus Aurelio.
16. Kos says he doesn't train for one specific fighter, just fights in general. Says he'll show a strategy UFC fans haven't seen before. Says the fighter who wins this will be the one who makes the least amount of mistakes.
17. Dana says it's great for the UFC to have Brandon Vera back. Remarks that it was funny how Gary Shaw was "shooting his mouth off" like Vera was going to sign with him. Says the UFC is working on Latin American expansion right now.
18. In response to the idea that GSP is on the comeback trail, Kos says it's just another day at the office. Says he's been competing since he was 4 years old and has thousands of wrestling matches. Says he's sick of training and ready to fight. Says he doesn't care what people say about him.
19. Randy says that his greatest challenge with Gonzaga is that Gabriel's got no holes in his game. Says he juggles all of his professional priorities with help from his staff at Xtreme Couture who helps him carry the weight.
20. Gonzaga says Randy's age is only a factor in that Randy's got more experience and it probably helps him a little bit.
21. GSP says the "changes" he's made are new boxing partners and trainers, new management, etc. He says the pieces of the puzzle are back together.
22. Kos says there's nothing about GSP that concerns him and that he's been competing forever. Says he's glad things are good in GSP's life and that he wants the best GSP there is.
23. Dana says he's not happy about the Sherk-steroid situation, but that he's waiting on the athletic commission before he makes any decisions.
24. Dana says Randy's still around because he's a unique individual and freak of nature. Has nothing but respect for Couture. Says HBO is going to happen, but its been the longest, hardest deal to put together. When asked what the problem has been, Dana says, "I'm the problem."
25. Dana says the UFC is fortunate because not many of their events suck. Says Patrick Cote had a bad night the last time he fought (against Scott Smith). Says Kendall Grove is going to help him have a better fight by pushing the pace. Says as soon as hockey season is over the UFC will head to Canada.
26. Randy says the most impressive thing about Gonzaga is the way he won his last fight. Gonzaga says the most impressive thing about Randy is his heart, patience, and that he's still fighting at age 44.
27. Dana says the HBO shows will basically be like the pay-per-view shows. Says he's adamant about giving big fights to fans for free a few times a year. Says the first European pay-per-view (UFC 72) was handled incorrectly by airing it live. Says he "fucked that all up."
28. Dana says he's going to hold a big meeting with fighters in mid-October to discuss regulatory issues, such as steroids. Says if you had the government test the NFL players like they do MMA fighters, "there would be no football." Says you have to be a moron to use steroids.
29. Randy says he got most of his business ventures started when he retired, but has a good system in place that helps him manage responsibilities. Says he has no illusions at 44 and knows "Father Time" will eventually catch up with him. Says he trains better now by listening to his body and resting when he needs it.
30. Kos says people have been booing him since The Ultimate Fighter 1 and doesn't care. Says he hopes people think he's still a wrestler, but that people know when he comes to the Octagon he brings new skills.
31. Gonzaga doesn't think Randy is the underdog. Feels like the match-up is even.
32. Kos says he doesn't watch tape, just trains. Says he's prepared to fight the best GSP - "the one that whipped Matt Hughes."
33. GSP confirms he's parted ways with Stephane Patry, but says it's nothing personal.
34. Dana says Brandon Vera has a brand new UFC contract - didn't remember how many fights were on it - and his most likely opponent will be Tim Sylvia.
35. Dana says Fedor will get an immediate title shot.
36. When asked to rank Gonzaga relative to his other opponents, says he can't because they've all been tough and all brought something different to the fight. Says he feels great and is not in pain.
37. Gonzaga says he's not worried about being the first Brazilian UFC Heavyweight champ, just wants to focus on the fight.
38. Kos says he's confident in his takedown ability and wrestling his whole life. Says he feels like he can take anybody down.
39. GSP has studied Kos a lot and respects his abilities but is better than he is in every aspect of the game. Says he will also be the better fighter that night.
40. Randy says he's been in longer fights than Gonzaga and that will help him in this fight.
41. Dana says Arlovski will be fighting soon.
42. Dana says Rich Franklin is like Couture in that he's one of the UFC's big stars. Says the Rich we saw in his last fight (UFC 72) didn't look like the Rich we all know. Says the Rich we'll see in his next fight will be much different.