I'm still not sure how I got so lucky, but the UFC sent me an invite to participate in the Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin media conference call for UFC 116. I figured this was a big enough deal to create a live blog of everything as it goes down. I've done my homework and I've got some pretty good questions prepared. My only fear is that all my questions get asked before it's my turn and I'm left there with nothing to say like an idiot. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy.
2:02 pm - Ok, I'm officially on hold waiting for it to start. I've got to say, I'm digging the classical music.
2:05 pm - BTW if any of you have any (good) questions you want asked, just leave them in the comments section and I'll make sure to give you a shoutout when it's all over.
2:09 pm - Still on hold because they're "admitting additional participants". You'd think all the sportswriters and reporters would want to be in the call on time especially considering who is going to be on the line today.
2:14 pm - I'm officially no longer digging the classical music.
2:18 pm - Ok, we're in business. Carwin says that it's more that he wants to be in control of when he does the interviews for the media rather than always getting random calls throughout the day that disrupt his training and family life.
2:21 pm - When asked if he'll watch the Fedor fight, Lesnar said he didn't even know he was fighting.
2:22 pm - Brock says that being so ill helped him take a different approach in life. He is really focused on his family now and he really felt he was on his deathbed after losing 42 pounds and not even being able to eat. He wasn't even sure if he wanted to fight again.
2:24 pm - Brock says that he wanted to come back better than ever, so that's why he hired some new boxing coaches.
2:27 pm - Brock says there are very few places in the world where you can lay it all on the line, and the octagon is one of those places. I just can't wait to get in there again, this is what I do. I'm very humble that I've been given a second chance.
2:29 pm - Whoops, I asked Shane about Randy Couture bringing him in to prepare for his fight with Lesnar at UFC 91 and was immediately interrupted when they said that Randy had asked Shane to come in but it never actually panned out. I had this whole spiel planned where I'd ask Shane if he felt betrayed that Randy was now working with Brock and how he felt about it, god dammit. I ended up asking Shane who specifically he had brought in to help him prepare for Brock's size but I do not remember his answer at all because I was still reeling from my mistake. I'll have to check the transcript or audio later.
2:30 pm - I regained my senses and asked Brock about training with Couture and if he helped him take his game to the next level. Brock immediately sparked up talking about Randy, comparing him to the legends of the sport like Royce Gracie and he said that when Randy says something or shows you something, you listen and he thinks he learned a lot.
2:32 pm - I lastly asked Brock that if the UFC had been as big 10 years ago as they are today, would he have been fighting instead of joining the WWE after getting out of college. Brock said that it's hard to think about the past, but regardless of how things were back then, he's so incredibly thankful for how things have panned out, he feels blessed.
2:35 pm - Brock says that he doesn't even need to cut weight for this fight. He weighs 265 pounds right now and he feels great.
2:38 pm - Shane says he weighs about 275 right now, and the weight cut should be easy. He's not surprised about Brock weighing less, says the extra weight they carry around is not as big of a deal as the other weight classes and that he feels at his best when he comes in at the heavyweight limit.
2:42 pm - Shane says not too much has changed in his life, being a small-town guy. He still has many of his friends from earlier in his life and keeps the same support group. The main difference is all the extra exposure.
2:43 pm - Brock has a lot of confidence in his wrestling and a lot of confidence in his coaching staff. He thinks he's coming into this fight very well prepared.
2:44 pm - When asked if this is the toughest fight of his career, Brock says that he hasn't had an easy fight since he started competing in the octagon. Randy Couture had more wrestling credentials than Shane and Brock combined. "I got thrown to the wolves right away while Shane was given some easier matches to build him up."
2:45 pm - Brock: I don't get nervous for these things anymore. I think I need to focus on going back to what's worked best and that's using my athleticism. I'm going to go in and hope for the best but I'm very confident that I'm gonna win that night.
2:46 pm - Shane: I'm a never-give-up person. I want to get in there and I want to fight, that's my mentality and my attitude. My fights don't go to decisions and I'm proud of that.
2:48 pm - Shane: It's unfortunate that Fedor never signed with the UFC, but I'm not focused on him right now. Brock sarcastically said "good for Fedor, he's going to retire the greatest champion of all time (laughs). Yeah in his own little world. Yes, I think I can beat him, I can beat anybody."
2:50 pm - Brock: With my Diverticulitus, I had to teach myself the hard way what was good for me and what was bad. I've had to learn to control myself, I used to like going out to eat and having a good time. Now we just stay at home and I'm in control of what goes in my body.
2:52 pm - Brock: You know, if it wasn't for the WWE and the visibility I got, worldwide, I wouldn't be as prepared as I am now. Counting the WWE this is like my 25th pay per view and I've done tons of interviews.
2:54 pm - When asked if being a "heel" in the WWE helped him prepare for getting boos, Brock said "Well, you know the last thing you want to hear is crickets, so at least they are responding to what you're doing in the cage."
2:55 pm - Brock: I've surrounded myself by huge guys with great wrestling credentials, Jon Madsen, Chris Tuchscherer, Cole Konrad and even Randy Couture. I've actually been putting a lot of work in with my jiu-jitsu in all this time off.
2:57 pm - When asked what food he's missed most that he can't have anymore Brock said "a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles at 10 pm"
2:58 pm - When asked if his feelings towards the media have changed, Brock said "No I still dislike all of you" and started laughing. He feels great because he just finished his training camp and it's a good day.
3:01 pm - Last question, Brock says that Randy really helped him with the mental preparation. He loves it when someone tells him what he's doing wrong because he already knows what he's doing right. He loves hearing what he does wrong because those are things he can improve.
3:02 pm - Shane says as well as the the big guys he's been training with, the smaller middleweights and light heavyweights from Team Jackson have been giving him plenty of fresh looks and he thinks that's something Brock won't have.
Ok, that's the end of the call. That was really awesome. I am kinda pissed at myself for not knowing that Randy Couture never actually used Shane Carwin as a training partner to simulate Lesnar for his UFC 91 title fight, Brock jokingly told me "that's why you cant' believe everything you read on the internet", but I thought I got some good answers to my other questions. Hope you guys enjoyed this.