The UFC held a press conference today in Brazil to officially announce their UFC 134: Rio event which takes place on August 27th.
Read below for full notes from the media gathering.
– Dana begins by reading out some of the fighters who will be competing at the event, and introduces the six fighters on stage, including Anderson Silva, Mauricio Shogun Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Forrest Griffin, Yushin Okami and Brendan Schaub.
Describing Silva, White claims that he’s “the best mixed martial artist…ever!” which brings a round of applause from those in attendance.
– Silva says he’s very happy to be fighting in Rio, and believes it will give him extra motivation to be fighting in front of his home fans. He describes the feeling among the Brazilian fighters going into this fight as being like the Brazilian football team versus the rest of the world.
– White admits it’s about time that they came back to Brazil given that this is in many ways the home of MMA and has so many top fighters. “It’s a long time overdue, we should have been here sooner.”
– Despite rumors Dana doesn’t appear to have any plans to bring in a Brazilian to be an octagon girl for the event.
– Nogueira says he couldn’t miss this chance to fight in Brazil and reveals this will be his first chance to compete in his home country.
– Dana white confirms that Brazil will become a regular venue for the UFC, not just with big events but also with Fight Night events. The plan is to go all over the country, not just Rio.
– There’s some bizarre questions coming from the media. One guy asks Dana to go to a nightclub with him this evening, while a girl asks if there’s ever been a finger submission in the UFC?!?
– Silva feels that his fight has increased significance for both fighters due to the Brazil Vs Japan angle, with Brazil being considered a real force in MMA at this time, while Japanese fighters have been struggling recently.
– Forrest Griffin doesn’t believe it’s going to be an intimidating fighting in Brazil, in fact he says he’s looking forward to it.
Brendan Schaub thinks that a mixture of the hostile crowd and the fact that he is fighting Nogueira will prepare him for anything he may face in the future.
Okami is not phazed by not having the home advantage either, saying that he’s used to fighting in foreign countries.
– Shogun believes Griffin is an “excellent fighter” but that he feels if he implements his gameplan he will win.
Griffin states that Shogun is an improved fighter from the last time they fought. He also notes that the last time they fought it was Shogun’s first fight in the UFC, while this time around it’s Griffin’s first fight in Brazil, so he feels that evens things out.
– Dana dusts down his ‘Fighting is in our DNA’ speech as he explains why they are taking the UFC on a global basis. Again he confesses that they should have came back to Brazil quicker than this.
– Schaub says he’s not afraid to go anywhere with Nogueira, but he feels he has the advantage on the feet. Despite that he says BJJ is his passion and that he might just be “crazy” enough to test himself on the ground against the BJJ specialist.
– Griffin’s humorous advice to Okami against Silva – “Whatever I did, don’t do that!”
– Big Nog says he wants to fight the best, and that makes Schaub a better opponent than Mirko Cro Cop since he’s on a winning streak and is rising up the heavyweight ranks.
– Silva states that he’ll stay at middleweight and hopes to retire there, pointing out that many of his team-mates fight at 205lbs and they strongly believe in not challenging in each other’s divisions.
– Dana says the judges they will bring to Brazil will be the one’s they feel are the best and will hopefully reduce the chance of bad decisions.
– Dana reveals that Anderson Silva is going to be doing a commercial in the U.S for Old Spice and is also taking to Burger King about doing the same for them.
Leading on from that White states his belief that Brazil should be embracing Silva as a true superstar, and he believes that after this event that will be the case.
– Nogueira says he would fight Cain Velasquez, but not Junior Dos Santos who he describes as “a great friend” who grew up training in his gym. “It is impossible for us to fight against our brother.”
– White is hoping that they will be hosting the UFC: Rio weigh-ins at Copacabana beach.
– Silva says he has “high expectations” for this event since it’s been a long time since he had a chance to fight in Brazil. He wants to show that Brazil is “a real power on this sport.”
– Shogun feels that the winner of his fight with Griffin will be close to a title shot, and it’s his dream to fight for the belt again.
– Silva brushes off the idea that Chael Sonnen training with Okami is a big deal, and says that it is normal for fighters to train with whoever they think can help them best.
– Dana isn’t ruling out the Silva Vs GSP fight, or even a Silva Vs Jon Jones fight despite the Brazilian appearing not to be keen on a move back up to 205lbs. For now though he feels Okami is “the man” and deserves his shot at the title.
– Silva believes that like in Soccer, Brazilian fighters have to go abroad because there isn’t the same support and structure in their homeland as there is elsewhere.
Nogueira says that with the UFC event there is now better sponsorship and he hopes that in the future if this continues Brazilian fighters will be able to stay in Brazil to train and fight more often.
– “Boxing has a lot of problems and they are not doing anything to fix it,” White says in answer to a question about the rise of MMA and fall of boxing. He also states that MMA is a more exciting sport and that once you start watching it it’s hard to go back to boxing.
– “Chael Sonnen is nuts,” Dana admits when asked what he thinks of Sonnen’s controversial remarks about Brazil.
– White isn’t against having women fight in the UFC, he just feels that at the moment there are not enough quality fighters to create a whole division.
– Shogun says that he sees every loss as a lesson and it helps him to evolve. Nogueira agrees that a defeat gives motivation and he notes that he’s known for rising from adversity.
– There won’t be a fan expo at UFC: Rio.
– Silva says his biggest motivation to keep fighting and winning is that this is what he is good at- training and fighting. He also credits Nogueira who he describes as the leader of their team and claims that he keeps everyone grounded.