The UFC held a pre-fight press conference for this weekend’s UFC 137 event today and if you didn’t get a chance to see it we’ve got full notes from it for you below.
– Dana White opens with a reminder that the UFC On FOX: Primetime special preview will air on Sunday night.
– White also announced that TV frontman Jon Anik has been signed from ESPN to help be a part of the UFC’s coverage on FOX. Anik will by the play-by-play announcer for the UFC events on FX and will also have a role on the live version of The Ultimate fighter going forward along with a number of other roles.
– Dana describes UFC 137 as “one of the weirdest events ever” due to all the pre-fight issues they’ve had.
– BJ Penn says he’s happy with where he’s at right now, has had a fun training camp and sees it as an honor to have the chance to fight a talented opponent like Diaz.
– “BJ’s been one of the best in world since the moment he burst onto the scene,” White states.
– White describes both Penn and Diaz as “warriors” and says they are “crazy” which makes it a great fight.
– Penn does believe both men have pressure on their shoulders coming into this fight, with Diaz trying to get back to a title shot while he himself wants to continue fighting at the highest level for several more years.
– White reveals that Lorenzo Fertitta is working on bringing the UFC to France and hopes to sort that out after the UFC goes to England next month.
Japan, France, China and India are their focus for new markets at the moment.
– In regards to being the underdog in this fight, Diaz believes that may just be down to people believing that people who are in the UFC are automatically better than other fighters. He hasn’t given it much thought though and doesn’t pay attention to what people are saying.
– Penn would like to fight GSP for a third time and believes it would be intriguing. He’s only focusing on the fight in front of him for now though.
– Roy Nelson doesn’t see this as a bigger bout than any other despite the potential threat of being cut if he loses. “Every fight is important”
He also takes a verbal jab at the critics by noting that Cro Cop has only lost a couple of fights in a row. “Apparently if you lose two fights you have to retire.”
– Cro Cop says he’s going to kick Pat Barry’s ass the first time he sees him for putting up a clip on YouTube of the pair singing!
– Cro Cop goes on to reveal that he may retire whether he wins or loses against Roy Nelson, believing that he’s getting to that age where it makes sense to hang up his gloves. He says he’s relaxed about it and doesn’t feel any pressure.
– Diaz says his main problem with doing media work is that it takes away time from his training. As a potential solution he’s asked to get more media coming to him rather than the other way about, but says it’s hard to get media to come to Stockton where he lives.
Diaz mentions that he trains harder than a lot of the other fighters out there. A reporter soon after asks how the other fighters on the podium feel about that. Mitrione then tells the reporter off for trying to stir up trouble.
– Mitrione reveals that he asked to have more time to prepare for this fight with Cheick Kongo as he wanted to work on developing his skills as he’s not had much time to do so in his whirlwind career so far since TUF 10. He says the UFC were happy to grant him that request.
– After he retires Cro Cop says he’ll focus on raising his kids which brings a round of applause from the audience. “I think that’s the best thing I can do.”
– White mentions that he’s hoping to tie up a mystery deal in New York by Friday, but says it isn’t related to getting MMA legalized there.
– Former NFL player Mitrione believes he can beat “anybody with a belt” in a 40m and maybe even a 100m dash despite being a heavyweight. He also wants to challenge Urijah Faber to a mile run.