Today was the conference call for UFC 159. The call featured main event fighters Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as well as co-main event fighters Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher. Dana White was traveling and was not on the call.
Here are some notes from the call.
- When asked about the story Dana White told where he was almost punched at the Ultimate Fighter finale, Sonnen said that there were a lot of people around and his focus was in five different directions. The fan got upset and went to punch and security took him out. Sonnen said he didn't like to see the fan leave and had very good and expensive seats.
- Jones was asked about fighting in New Jersey being as close to New York as he can get right now and Jones said that it would mean a lot to him to fight in Madison Square Garden where Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson fought. Also, Jones specified that he has gotten a lot of support from the New York area with his family having strong ties to Syracuse.
- Jones was asked about Dana's statement that Jon told him that he wanted to "hurt Chael" and basically he refused to talk about it and said that his emotions are not overly involved. Jones also said he's familiarized himself with Sonnen and it's "just another situation" and he plans to remain calm, relaxed and composed, no matter what an opponent says before the fight.
- Jones was asked what the Sonnen fight does for his legacy and he simply said that it ties him with Tito Ortiz for most title defenses. Also said that he has focused on his "bottom game" in case Sonnen is able to get him to the ground. He said that his wrestling doesn't get any respect and might want to take Chael down. Stressed that the focus was on Bader's wrestling, Rashad's wrestling and Matyushenko's wrestling but never his.
- Sonnen says that there is pressure to perform and legitimize the fight. But then Sonnen said that Jones is the best ever and could beat up Tyson and Ali in the same day.
- Jones said he wants to tie Ortiz for 205 title defenses, then take the record in November and then will entertain superfights or heavyweight fights. When asked if a fight with Anderson Silva would be up first, Jones responded "I said what I said."
- Michael Bisping said that he wants to beat Alan Belcher to get into the win column (Belcher said the same) and both men want to win to get in the title picture. Bisping then said that a win over him would be "by far the best win of Alan Belcher's pathetic career" following it up with "no one gives a fuck about Alan Belcher." Belcher said that this means Bisping better not lose to him and then basically brushed it off with "we'll see."
- "I think Jon is considerably better than Anderson." said Sonnen, and then he said again that he stomped Silva twice. Which is...a reach.
- Sonnen says his opinion of Jones changed in a second after meeting him. Basically stressing that he's a great guy and a champion.
There was plenty of other nonsense throughout the call, such as Jones being asked about the Boston bombings, which he gave about the only answer possible...that it was a bad thing and he doesn't like to give terrorists attention.
All in all, a fairly uneventful conference call. We'll have audio of the call up shortly, so make sure to check back.
Update: Here's the audio