The UFC today held their pre-fight press conference for UFC 126: Silva Vs Belfort which takes place on Saturday night.
See below for full notes from the presser.
– Dana says that fans he’s been speaking to are clearly excited about the Silva Vs Belfort and Griffin Vs Franklin fights, but at the same time, “Everywhere I go people are asking me about Jones and Bader, man.”
– White confirms the preliminary bout between ‘Kid Yamamoto’ and ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson will air live on Facebook.
– Anderson Silva is keeping his answers brief, but he does describes Belfort as, “a worthy opponent.”
– Ed Soares isn’t translating for Silva as he usually does, though he is at the press conference. Instead a new gentleman I’ve not seen before is doing it, and he must be new to this as he’s clearly extremely nervous and isn’t doing a particularly good job. It goes from bad to worse for him when Dana White asks him to translate something a reporter says in Portugese, and he claims he didn’t hear what was said. “Interesting,” Dana replies, looking a little perturbed.
The translator then makes a mess of deciphering Silva’s next reply, and Dana asks Soares to take over the translating duties, which he does for the duration of the presser. Embarrassing stuff.
– Regarding Silva’s sometimes erratic behavior in the cage at times recently, Belfort says it’s hard to predict what will happen, so he’s simply trained in all aspects of MMA in order to be prepared for this fight.
– Regarding criticism of his mental strength – Belfort says that something happened to him a few years ago (finding religion) that changed his mentality, so people who only know him from his past don’t know what he’s like now.
– Belfort says Randy Couture and Ray Sefo will be in his corner on Saturday night.
– Ryan Bader shrugs off Jon Jones recent comments that he had become “obsessed with him,” and says everyone has his own method of preparing for a fight and he respects that. He says that he too watched videotape of Jones at times, but that he didn’t get into it as deeply as Jones obviously had.
– Jones says this isn’t the most excited he’s been coming into a bout. “it’s just another fight,” he says, adding, “I fight their body, not their name.”
– Silva agrees when asked if Vitor Belfort is one of the great fighters in Brazilian MMA history.
– Silva disagrees that his fight with Belfort could potentially be considered the biggest of the decade. Instead he boldly states that if he was able to fight himself, that would be the biggest fight.
– When asked about the sacrifices he makes to be a fighter, Silva says there’s a lot of sacrifices, but that the main thing is he’s doing something that he loves, and that he gets to be around a lot of his friends while doing it. Vitor says that you have to sacrifice in order to succeed.
– Rich Franklin says he’s not thinking about what a win would mean in terms of his title prospects, noting that he has to give his full attention to his upcoming fight on Saturday night. Griffin agrees.
– Griffin says that his hope for the fight is that it proves to be as good as it looks on paper, or as he puts it, “all the ingredients come together to make a great cake.” He adds as an afterthought that he’d also like to win too!
– ‘Kid’ Yamamoto says that he’s excited to be fighting in the UFC at last, and be up on the stage with some of the best fighters in the world.
– Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson says he’s excited to be fighting in the UFC, and the bantamweight adds that when he was growing up he thought he wouldn’t get the chance to do so since back then the promotion didn’t cater for his weight class.
– Forrest says that a positive side to his long injury layoff was that it made him hungry to fight again.
– Bader says he likes “going in as the underdog and proving people wrong.” Assessing Jones he says that he’s “very talented,” and that he needs to be wary of his reach and of giving him time to go on the offense.< The press conference then comes to a conclusion with the fighter staredowns, and the face-off between Silva and Belfort would certainly fit into the category of “intense,” to say the least with Silva looking very confident as he got up close and personal with the challenger.