Thursday's UFC 139 pre-fight press conference was held at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Highlighting the panel was former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, alongside middleweight co-headliners Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le. Bantamweight contenders Brian Bowles and Urijah Faber were also present. The conference was streamed live on MMA Nation.
UFC 139 takes place on November 19, 2011 at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California. For more analysis, follow MMA Nation (@MMANation) and Shaun Al-Shatti (@shaun_alshatti) on Twitter.
Here are partial notes from each participant.
- I am very happy to see the UFC achieving this status. I am very happy as professional to see the sport reach this level.
- As a fighter and a person, we are always training to improve.
- Dan Henderson is a guy I respect for a long time, since the Pride days.
- I prepared myself a lot in boxing, wrestling, Jiu-Jistu. All aspects because anything can happen.
- When we train, we are used to training more than the three rounds for the fight. We keep training hard.
- There were two main aspects that pushed MMA into popularity in Brazil. First, the UFC invested a lot in media in Brazil, a lot of PR. Second, Brazil has a lot of idols in MMA already.
- I enjoyed my fights in Strikeforce and the organization treated me well. I have no regrets. It was a good business decision.
- I heard Dana bought Strikeforce because he missed me.
- I'm happy to be back in the UFC. Especially with being able to have match-ups like this one.
- (Whether he is the next Randy Couture) I hope not. But you never know, I love what I do as long as my body holds up. The biggest adjustment over the lat few years was toning down my training.
- It's been a long time coming. The UFC getting on Spike was one step, and the Fox deal is just another huge moment.
- The difference is two rounds. Same as three rounds, I'm going to go hard, go 100%. You've got to keep a pace.
- I'm only concerned with this fight and making sure I'm focused on that. If it's a boring fight, and nothing happens, no one probably wants to see us fight for a title.
- I think this game just started. In time this sport will be number one in the world.
- The last fight was a learning experience. Made some mistakes and paid the price. But it was important because it made me think a lot and make some improvements.
- Nobody kicks like (Le) in MMA.
- After my last fight, I really wanted to fight again soon. I trained a lot.
- This sport changed a lot. The level of the opponents changed up. You can't go, go, go.
- The second UFC on Fox will be even bigger.
- AKA has a lot of top athletes in the camp, from Gilbert Melendez to Jake Shields. Just in the area there's a lot of great fighters here. That's why the sport is so popular here.
- I don't really mind, I'm just glad to be part of the UFC and this card. I'm excited, so if I'm not really recognized I will be after this fight.
- I'd like to see American ratings like the Brazilian numbers.
- I'm cool with that role. It is what it is. Some kids are the cool kids in school and popular, and you don't know why. I'm alright with keeping my head down, training, and winning fights.
- (On Cruz vs. Faber) Typical Cruz fight, he's dancing around hitting you. It's hard to hit him. It was a really tough fight but I think it was the right decision.
- We're both top of the weight class. The winner of us has to be fighting Cruz next.
- Cruz is a guy who wins because he's really awkward and you can't get your hands on him. It's not him being fast. But he's found a way to make it work.
- Its only a matter time before mixed marital arts and the UFC is the biggest sport in the world.
- I asked how much Dan Henderson runs and I was told that he hasn't run in 13 years.
- They always say, whatever you do PR, and you're talking to a large crowd that doesn't know MMA, explain it like you're talking to kindergarteners. I need to do that with judges. I have to be more decisive. It's hard to say what the judges are looking at.
- I know what his weapons are and I'll just make sure mine are more dangerous.
- I'd rather take a guy that believes no one can beat him up than a guy that knows a lot of technique but isn't sure.
- I wasn't having too much trouble hitting (Cruz), I just wasn't punching enough. I just need to do more, have a higher output, try to finish, and still score points on the way.