I'm not trying to steal anyone's thunder, but are any of you guys on the conference call tomorrow morning at 9 AM pacific with Dana White, Anderson Silva, Okami, Forest Griffin, and Shogun Rua? If not I could throw in some quotes that people would find interesting or insightful into this thread. I'm in the Las Vegas Media and figured any way to share some good content is a good thing. I just started to cover MMA on my show and love how friendly the UFC is with the media.
ThanksThese things never start on time damnit. This was pretty unorganized, but a good conference overall
On the Importance of going back to Brazil
Dana: Very important, Brazil has exploded as far as getting into MMA and the UFC. We were a little gun shy there. We have a 14,000 seat arena, and we got 350,000 inquiries about tickets
Anderson: I'm very happy to be fighting in Brazil where I was born. I'm very motivated and want to give back to my fans that give me support not only in Brazil but also all over the world. People in Brazil are very excited, people come up to me all the time and tell me that they are very excited about this event. It is very emotional to think about fighting back in Brazil. All of the things that I have done have led up to this moment. I am very motivated to fight in front of Brazil, my home country.
Shogun: I'm happy, my team is happy. It is a great opportunity for all of MMA, and I'm excited. There is some pressure that comes along with it, but I am only concentrating on the positives and I am very proud to be apart of this.
Will Brazil become a regular destination?
Dana: Yes we are working on going to all of the major cities in Brazil.
Anderson, Can you compare Chael Sonnen and Yushin Okami's superior wrestling skills?
Anderson: I train for the best fighter in the world. I don't know how to compare them, but I prepare for the best.
Yushin, What were your thoughts of Anderson during the previous disqualification?
Yushin: I thought that it was just an accident, I don't really want to talk about the past I'm focusing on the upcoming fight.
Yushin, Drawing comparison to the Japanese Women's Soccer Team, Are you thinking about the greater good for Japan or is this more for your personal accomplishments?
Yushin: Japan is going through a very difficult situation, and I would love to do anything to help uplift them and aid the recovery effort.
Dana: I just want to make it clear that Yushin is the greatest MMA fighter to EVER come out of Japan. His list of accomplishments are real. He did not compile such a great record by fighting low level fighters and I just want to make it clear that he is the best Japanese MMA fighter in the world.
Dana, this is a very important event for Brazil but would you say this is important for Latin America as a whole?
Dana: Yes this is a market we want to get into, and eventually we want to have fights all over Latin America
Forrest, with all the talk about Shogun not being 100% in the first fight, is there any pressure for you to prove anything in the rematch?
Forrest: No not really, sorry for the bad answer... he looked pretty good to me last time.
Dana, Can you talk about the importance of this upcoming fight (Griffin vs. Rua)?
Dana: We've got a log jam and the light heavyweight division is going again. Rashad looks spectacular, he's the #1 contender and along with these guys we've got a long list of great guys. The winner of this fight would absolutely be in the title mix. Shogun is probably 2 fights away from being in a title spot again.
Forrest, How do you look back at the first Shogun fight? Is it up there with your biggest accomplishments? Did you like the idea of a rematch?
Forrest: I wouldn't say it was my top accomplishment, but it was very big for me at the time, it's what got me my title shot. I would say this is still a really good fight for me. There are no "easy" fights as far as the top guys in 205 go, so it'd be a tough fight no matter what.
Describe the efforts of building a following in Brazil and how it differs from getting interest in the US, UK etc. Also, do you think it'd be easier to expand the UFC in Brazil with their flourishing economy and MMA talent?
Dana: Every market is different, you have different governments and different politicians with different countries. Absolutely it will be easier. It's where this whole thing started and it is a fighting culture down there. There economy is I think the 5th biggest and things are exploding down there.
Dana, when you announced the event taking place in Brazil, was Anderson Silva a no brainer to put him on the main event? with all the Brazilian fighters out there was it difficult choosing who would fight in front of the home crowd?
Dana: A lot of this is just good timing, but just like when we went to Canada and had GSP on the card, it is a no brainer to have Anderson fight. It worked out there wasn't too much debate as to how to shape the card.
Dana on the card
Dana: Yushin is fighting for respect and Anderson is fighting for his legacy. Griffin/Shogun will be a war. We've had about 5 great cards in a row and I fully expect for this one to be just as exciting
Anderson, in your opinion, if you beat Okami do you plan on having a rematch with Belfort or anyone else?
Anderson: it is Dana's decision. I just fight.
Shogun, you're coming off of a difficult loss, are there any mental or physical lingering problems?
Shogun: It was certainly a difficult defeat, I have trained really hard and hopefully I can prove that I have overcome everything.
Shogun, would you say this is a crossroads fight in your career? You are on a rough patch, but at the same time you are close to a title shot if you win.
Shogun: I don't think about that, I only think about what I can achieve and conquer and don't think about worst case scenario