The UFC held the official pre-fight press conference for this weekend’s UFC 135 event today with Jon Jones, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck all in attendance.
Check out our keynotes from the presser below.
– Rampage says he’s glad Jon Jones is underestimating him and he’s going to be surprised on Saturday night.
Jones then denies that he’s ever said that he’s overlooking him and says that would be a very ignorant thing for him to do.
– Rampage believes that his training camp has been his best ever as he was motivated going into it. He also got a lift from the fact that he was training at a brand-new state of the art gym in Colorado.
– Matt Hughes training partners for this fight: Jeremy Horn, Robbie Lawler, Pat Miletich, BJ Penn, Demarques Johnson.
– Rampage is not surprised that he’s been counted out in this fight, and says it’s happened before such as when he fought Chuck Liddell and went on to win the title.
– Rampage believes Jones is unique and “a creative kid”, but he’s faced tough guys in all disciplines of the sport before including tall strikers and high-level wrestlers so he’s not worried.
– Jones believes he has “a fresh chin” and he is intent on keeping it that way which is why he trains hard on his defence.
– Dana White doesn’t think that a win for Rampage would qualify as a major upset, pointing out that the former champion has fought the biggest names in the sport all over the world. Jones agrees.
– “Jon Jones can talk all he wants, he hasn’t really fought anybody yet,” says Rampage. Jones interrupts, asking Rampage if that’s not disrespectful to his last opponent ‘Shogun’ Rua. Rampage tells him that Shogun was not in good shape for that fight. The two then bicker back and forth including Jones pointing out that Shogun has just beaten Forrest Griffin, someone who Rampage also lost to.
– Koscheck says he wanted to fight at 185lbs simply because all the big name fighters at 170lb already had fights and he wanted to fight somebody that would motivate him. He asked for Chris Leben and Wanderlei Silva as he thought they would be fun fights for the fans.
He’s now happy with the fight he’s ended up with though as he’s been calling out Matt Hughes for years. He also adds that he likes to test himself and he feels that coming in against a former champion on 19 days notice fits the bill nicely in that regard.
Koshcheck reveals he walks around between 193-197lbs and though he’s a little short for middleweight he thinks he could make an impact their, particularly with his wrestling. Dana White also adds that he feels comfortable with him fighting in that division if he chooses too.
Koscheck jokes that usually it’s his fight that has all the drama, but on this occasion he’s been overshadowed by Jones and Rampage.
– White says Jones Vs Rampage is the kind of fight that everyone is interested in and he’s been getting lots of stars calling him to try and get tickets to come and see it.
– Koscheck didn’t have any difficulties after his orbital fracture healed and got straight back into training.
– White dismisses the idea that Hughes has ducked Koscheck over the years. He says that Hughes has never turned down a fight.
– Hughes says he hasn’t made a decision on whether he’ll retire or not, but he doesn’t want to fight into his forties and won’t sign for another four or five fights if he does decide to continue fighting. He’ll sit down and talk to the UFC about his future after this fight.
– Jones doesn’t believe anything has changed since he became champion except that he now expects more from himself and pushes harder to be the best in training.
– Dana White confirms that Golden Glory’s Jon Olav Einemo is back with the UFC. He also adds that the UFC have been talking about coming to Sweden in 2012, though nothing is decided yet.
– Koscheck jokes that he’d like to have stirred up a bit more controversy but 19 days notice just wasn’t enough time. He does however add that he has a lot of respect for Hughes and what he’s accomplished in the sport.
– White doesn’t know what weight classes will feature in the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
– Dana implies that no decision has been made on Strikeforce’s future yet, saying that the ball is in Showtime’s court.
– A fan asks how he can get noticed in the TUF tryouts. Jones jokes that he should “grow an afro and dye it green.”
– Jones says he wants to be the first fighter to finish Rampage in the UFC.