The UFC 123 post-fight press conference has now concluded and you can read the keynotes from it below.
– Dana White says he likes BJ Penn at 170lbs and felt he looked like “the old BJ,” something he says Penn has been lacking in his recent fights at 155lbs.
– White says Sotiropoulos looked great. Adds that he was troubled with the stand-up in the first, but got the upper-hand when they went to the ground. Later White says that Dennis Siver is going to be next for the Aussie.
– Sotiropoulos feels that Lauzon pushed so hard in the early stages of the first round that it caused him to slow down later in the fight.
– Dana White appears somewhat frustrated with Rampage for considering a rematch with Machida, saying that he agreed with the judges and thought Rampage won the fight by two rounds to one. He doesn’t seem to be impressed with Machida’s third round performance, saying that it takes more than four of five punches to win a fight.
– Penn says for the first time in his career he’ll leave it up to Dana whether he fights at 155lbs or 170lbs next. White feigns shock upon hearing that news.
– Penn says after hearing people question whether his heart was still in fighting he “really wanted to show people his fighting spirit and what I’m all about.”
– Penn says he’s been waiting for years to replicate the quick win he had over Caol Uno, and that was why he ran out of the cage, but that he decided to return as he didn’t want to be disrespectful to Hughes.
– Dana says the Detroit crowd was awesome and had the place rocking. Says they’ll definitely be back. Later he pays tribute to the city and says it’s not as bad as the press make it out to be.
– Dana confirms there won’t be an immediate rematch with Machida. He’s non-committal on whether Rampage gets the title shot though.
– Rampage also appears to now be less than enthusiastic about the rematch. He says his trainers thought he won two rounds and so does Dana. “This ain’t my show homie I just fight here.”
– Rampage says the fight was almost canceled a couple of days ago after he caught a bug from his kid and was throwing up, etc and that made his weight cut difficult. He adds that he still fought because he felt he couldn’t let Dana White down despite the fact they don’t always see eye to eye.
– Rampage says he just wants to give the fans what they want to see and that thinks the fact that he keeps it real is perhaps what makes people support him.
– “It’s different looking at Machida to fighting him,” Rampage admits. “I’ve got more respect for his style now, I wish I could move like that.” Despite that he admits he still wouldn’t like to watch him fight.
– “I wanna get back in as soon as possible,” Penn says. He goes on to Add that he wants to fight as much as possible in the net few years and possibly retire when he’s 35.
– Phil Davis says he’s happy to call his submission the ‘Mr Wonderful,’ after Joe Rogan suggested it. In answer to a question from the press he says he’s only been training MMA for 24 months and jthen jokes that he might have one more fight and then call it quits. He then answers more seriously, saying that he wants to go right to the top “and then some.”
– Sotiropoulos says it’s been a great year for him and he’s getting better and stronger with every fight.
– Asked about the talented young fighters like Davis, Jon Jones, etc at 205lbs, White says “The level of talent’s only going to get better and better [as the sport continues to grow.]”
– “We’ll probably do around 30-31 fights next year,” White estimates.
– BJ says he thinks both him and Hughes have evolved over the years. He adds that if the fight had went longer who knows what might have happened.
– Dana says Hughes definitely took this fight very seriously and it was a big win for BJ.
– “I’d rather keep a guy that has a dogfight [and loses] than a guy who circles for three rounds and wins,” White says.
– Brian Foster says his strategy was just to punch Matt Brown in the face, adding that he wasn’t happy with some of his opponent’s disrespectful comments prior to the fight. He admits he gassed a little in the first round but felt better in the second.