Fronted by Luke Thomas. FANTASTIC work.
I just got back from the UFC 87 Press Conference at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was the UFC's very first public press conference.
The attending fighters were Huerta, Lesnar and GSP, mirrored on the opposite side of the podium by Florian, Herring and Fitch, respectively. A surprise participant was Quinton Rampage Jackson, who climbed up on stage along with Dana White when Dana was introduced.
The fighters were individually introduced and said a few words about how excited they were to fight in Minneapolis and gave some arbitrary fight hype. The biggest pops were for Huerta, Lesnar and GSP, with GSP, perhaps surprisingly, getting the biggest pop. His popularity is undeniable and he may be approaching superstar status in MMA.
Dana then took to the podium for questions and the first journalist asked if Rampage could approach the podium. Dana complied and Rampage received a very nice pop. He more or less spoke on his own without being asked any questions, saying that he was "healthy" and that he's "alright". His whole time at the presser he was smiling and laughing. At various points, he gave GSP bunny ears, gave Herring his sunglasses to borrow and flexed his muscles. He also mentioned that everybody in his life is "over my shoulder, saying 'Are you eating? Are you drinking? Are you sleeping?'". Same old jovial Rampage. Hopefully he is doing as well as he appears to be.
Dana then addressed Rampage's recent breakdown, noting specifically that he was evaluated for 72 hours and that he was found to be mentally stable. His episode was found to be a product of his "fasting for three days", "sitting in the sun out by his pool", "..not eating or drinking water, just drinking energy drinks and not sleeping at all". This is more of what we've heard until now, but it was from Dana's mouth, to the public, with Rampage in attendance (mimicking Dana's fingers counting those reasons just over his shoulder, no less).
The last thing truly of note was that GSP was ice cold. He wasn't smiling, he wasn't laughing, he was all business. One reporter told GSP "You normally aren't so stern" and "Why the serious demeanor?" to which GSP replied "The last time I defended my title, I didn't approach it the right way" (Serra). He also earlier noted that this time he "trained to fight an army" and that "there is no way one man can stop me if many cannot".[UPDATE] by Nick Thomas - Click here for the video: Part 1 and Part 2.