Wednesday's UFC 137 media conference call was hosted by UFC Director of Communications Dave Sholler and featured former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, as well as heavyweight co-headliners Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo. To the surprise of many, Nick Diaz was absent at the introduction of the call. However, the entertaining former Strikeforce champion eventually found his way in, entering the fray after 30 minutes and immediately ripping through a candid series of rants.
UFC 137 is scheduled for October 29, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more analysis, follow MMA Nation (@MMANation) and Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaun_alshatti) on Twitter.
Here are partial notes from each participant. Full audio is coming.
- Nick is Nick. He's going to do what he does. For me, I enjoy watching what he does. He always shows up to fight.
- (On a five round fight) I'm more than happy to do it, but this is a job. I want to be compensated accordingly.
- I'm very excited to be in a main event. It's been a wild ride.
- I really feel that Nick is the best boxer in mixed martial arts today. He has the highest punch volume. He can stand up with anyone.
- (If he would like another title shot) I don't want to speak to soon but if Dana wants to grant me that opportunity, I'd be very gracious for the offer.
- I found out I was on the main event on BJPenn.com just like everyone else.
- I'm a fan of Nick Diaz. I was a fan of his before he was in the UFC. I enjoy his antics.
- I'd love to stick around as long as Randy stuck around. One day I want to fight 100 fights and the next day I don't want to fight anymore. I think a lot of other fighters feel the same way I'm just more vocal about it.
- It goes hand in hand. Nick is a great character of the sport. He is who he is. That's Nick Diaz. It's something to talk about. I don't want to say it's good for the sport -- no-showing the press conferences -- but it's 1,000 times more interesting.
- (If Diaz would have beaten Georges St. Pierre) I don't know.
- It's a job and at the end of the day we all have to go to work.
- As far as the title shot, it's all about the right time. Who's injured, who's available. I don't worry about it.
- I'll fight Jon Fitch anytime. I'd love to fight him again.
- Nick Diaz is not present on the call. Per the UFC's Dave Sholler: "Nick Diaz is not on the call. We are working on getting him. He was expected to be here."
- Sholler: "We've been in constant communication with Caesar Gracie, and he is looking for Nick at the moment."
- (Diaz after joining the call) I didn't even know that was a call. No one called me in the last week. Simple as that. I just heard about it 15 minutes ago. My brother came over and woke me up.
- I don't know what's going to happen to me. I try to live everyday like it's not a big deal. I'm just going to do what I always do. When it's time to fight, I go fight.
- (On Penn's assertion that Diaz is the best boxer in the UFC) It's reasonable. I've had more boxing experience than most people in the UFC.
- (On fighting B.J. Penn) No, I'm not happy about it at all. I'm fighting this guy who was my friend. I was supposed to fighting this other guy. That's kind of just how I feel.
- I'm just doing what my manager says. I'm working out in the gym and they just tell me do this and do that.
- I would have preferred to fight GSP of course. That's why I started this, to fight for the title. Money and the title. I came to fight for money. I came to fight for the title.
- I think B.J.'s a lot better fighter than GSP to be honest. He's a lot better at jiu-jistu and boxing. All the way around.
- (On losing his title shot) Of course I have regrets. I missed out on a ridiculous amount of money.
- I've got all these business people and big money people making deals. Somebody is making 100 grand, or some ridiculous amount, to tell me what I'm supposed to do. You'd think someone would tell me to be at this press conference or I won't make sh*t.
- Someone could have gave me a call about this conference call. I'm not sitting here with my thumb waiting for a phone call. I'm waiting for training.
- I fight harder than these guys. I do better than these guys. I look better than these guys. Nobody can beat me.
- I don't care about the Strikeforce belt. I never even put it on. B.J. can have it.
- (On making his fight with B.J. Penn five rounds) It's whatever. It's really not up to me. Either way is fine.
- It doesn't matter if I'm the co-main or main event. I've competed at the NFL and I've competed in front of 100,000 people in Michigan. You just don't want to get beat up by Cheick Kongo.
- (On Kongo's comeback win against Pat Barry) All it showed me was that Cheick's resilient. He has a ton of heart. If he's in trouble, he's still active and you really have to work to get that finish against him.
- If he's kicking my ass standing up, I'm going to try to get him pregnant.
- I learn a lot from past mistakes. I'll be in good shape. We'll see.
- I learned from the fight against Pat Barry. He dropped me from a left hook that I didn't expect. I think now I'm getting better and I'd just like to meet tough kids.