Friday's UFC 136 media conference call was hosted by UFC Director of Communications Dave Sholler and featured UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and number-one contender Gray Maynard, alongside UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and number-one contender Kenny Florian. Also present were middleweight co-headliners Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann.
The call was split into two sections, with the first pertaining only to the title fights, and the second revolving around Sonnen and Stann.
UFC 136 is scheduled for October 8, 2011 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. For more analysis, follow MMA Nation (@MMANation) on Twitter.
Here are partial notes from each participant. Full audio is coming.
- It's just coming up with another game plan. It's the same guy so he's fresh in your mind, but you've got to come up with new stuff.
- I've been training for the same opponents for the past two years now with B.J. Penn and Gray. I'm used to it at this point.
- The extra time took care of my back. I almost had a full training camp before I got hurt so it was like I didn't miss a beat.
- The (public) respect will grow the more I do. I try to go into any fight with a chip on my shoulder.
- My biggest thing in every fight is to come in a better fighter than before, and I believe I accomplished that.
- The draw hurt a little bit, I'm pumped to have it again and I can't wait for the 8th.
- I've come close to a lot of goals, but there's also a lot that I've accomplished.
- It was easy to get back (after injury). I love to train. I only took off about 3-4 weeks because of the scope on my elbow but the whole time I planned out the camp I would have and it was all good.
Jose Aldo (through translator):
- The Hominick fight could not have gone much better. (Aldo) was thrilled to just be in the UFC and fighting for the belt.
- He's really just focused on his own training. The opponent doesn't matter as long as they're in there and well prepared.
- There will be a point where the weigh cut (to 145) will be impossible and he will have to move up to lightweight, but that's not right now.
- The weight cut process is the same as he usually does, but before the Hominick fight they focused on gaining muscle mass, so that weight cut was more difficult.
- A lot has changed after UFC Rio. A lot more respect for the fighters. Soccer is always going to be number one in Brazil but MMA has moved into number two.
- I was only able to see the first episode (of TUF 14) but it looks like they're a talented group of guys.
- There's a little bit of a transition trying to find fast training partners, especially for a guy like Aldo. But there was never too much of a difference (with the weight classes). I was never a true middleweight and was a chubby 178 pounds.
- I think the cut went good and I've trained my ass off for this fight, so I'm ready.
- I've made a lot of mistakes and I'm happy for them. They've allowed me to improve as a fighter.
- Aldo is very unique. A fast, explosive guy. He's similar to B.J. but more of a kicker. He's definitely a unique opponent, so I had to prepare differently for him.
- Do I think I'm going to be the stronger guy? I don't know. it's one of those things you never know until you get in there.
- Generally I don't think he's faced a guy who's as well-rounded and experienced as I am.
- I'm just always very, very impressed by how people (in Brazil and Mexico) respond the sport. They love it. It's a matter of just really educating the public wherever you go. Mixed martial arts really provides a lot of excitement and a ton of respect.
- I feel pretty good. I get sick before every fight. I think it's a common thing when you start getting run down. I think it's when you screw with your calorie intake. But I'm there right now, but it's nothing I'm not used to.
- I hear some guys say they're excited (before fights), and I'm jealous of that. I'm never excited to go fight another man. I have a little more of a matter-of-fact approach. I'm happy to be back, but I'm not excited.
- I've always been grateful of opportunities, but I think I'm a little more grateful now.
- I'd like to say that (the problems) haven't changed me. I look for battles. I'm in the public eye, in the public sector. Some battles you come out a little dusted up, and some you come out a hero. That's just the way it is. I'm moving forward, I'm helping contribute to my community. You upset the wrong people above you, and every so often they'll flex their muscles.
- I don't like to be away from competition. I didn't train until the last ten weeks, but I worked out everyday. There's a difference.
- Nobody wants to fight Brian, but somebody's got to. We're just in the same weight class, it's not a deep pool, and he just keeps whipping everybody. With everything going on in the world, the fact that we have to compete for fifteen minutes isn't that big of a deal.
- Anderson (Silva) ducked Okami for years but he finally went out there and made it look easy. But if you're asking if I would ever concede that Anderson is better than me, I would say no. Look at the tape. Mine and his skills are vastly different. I also think he ducks opponents constantly. Still, at some point I think fairness has to kick in and you have to tip your hat to him.
- The fact of the matter is, whether I like to admit it or not, that Anderson's done a better job than anybody. He's done a better job than me.
- (On Jason Miller vs. Michael Bisping) That's a good fight, and I think Bisping's the favorite, and should be. Miller has been out for a while but definitely has the skills to beat him. He's bigger and stronger now. I'll cheer for Miller, but I think if Miller beats Bisping, it's an upset.
- My dad worked hard everyday. He was a plumber, and he never complained once. So I would never disrespect him by complaining about any of this.
- The fact that this bout has been dubbed the number one contender bout is really the reason for all the attention.
- I'm not surprised (that Chael hasn't been talking trash). I believe that Chael is very genuine when he says that if he has a problem with someone, he'll say it. But if he doesn't then, then he won't.
- This is the first training camp I've had where I let go of my real estate job. I was vice president of a real estate company on top of being president of Hire Heroes USA. The charity grew so large that I couldn't manage our portfolio at the same time.
- Coming from Chael, who's career dates back to when I was in high school, it means a lot to hear that respect. Chael doesn't mince words. If he says something he means it.
- We don't get a choice from the UFC. This was the first fight where I got a phone call and was told 'this is who you're fighting.'
- I've been training wrestling for some time now, but since the Phil Davis fight it's become most of what I do.