The UFC held a press conference today to officially unveil their ‘UFC On FOX 2’ event which will take place on January 28th in Chicago.
Read our keynotes from the presser below and scroll down to watch he entire video for yourselves.
– All three fights are for No.1 contender status in their respective divisions according to Dana. Evans Vs Davis decides who’ll face the winner of this weekend’s Jones Vs Machida fight. Sonnen Vs Munoz will go on to fight Anderson Silva, and the winner of Bisping Vs Maia will then take on whoever emerges with the belt after that.
– Chael Sonnen predicts another notch in the win column when he fights Mark Munoz.
– ‘UFC On FOX 2’ was always planned to be a triple-header. Michael Bisping had no injuries in his fight at the weekend and jumped at the chance to appear on the FOX show against Demian Maia.
– Dana says part of FOX’s strategy in signing the UFC was to help build up Fuel TV which is not yet as widely distributed as FOX’s other channels. Fuel will be a must-have station for UFC fans though and White claims there’s already been an 11% increase in the number of homes they are in as a direct result of the UFC’s deal and he expects that to jump considerably as 2012 progresses.
– Sonnen claims that Anderson Silva won’t fight him and says “don’t fall for the hype that he will.”
– In regards to perhaps fighting Silva who is a friend, Munoz says, “it’s nothing personal, it’s business – I want to become a champ.” He also points out that he’s friends with Sonnen too.
Sonnen admits Munoz is on the top of his list of guys he didn’t want to fight – not just because he’s a friend, but also because he’s never beaten him in competition (they competed in wrestling years ago). Nevertheless he and Munoz agreed to fight and will set an example to everyone else that you can fight whether your opponent is your friend or not.
– Dana deflects a suggestion that Chicago’s Shonie Carter (who was in the crowd) should fight on the card, saying he should ask Joe Silva about that.
– Bisping says he’s very happy to be fighting on this card and doesn’t expect the same level of trash-talking from Demian Maia, describing him as “a classy guy.”
– White says there was no particular reason for coming to Chicago, but they did want to go to a big fight city since this was a major event on FOX. He expects that there will be some Chicago based fighters on the card.
– Asked who is the best wrestler on the stage, Sonnen is the only one to pipe up and say, “there’s only one way to find out.” Dana then jokes that he expected Michael Bisping to say it was him. Bisping takes up the mantle and says he doesn’t know about wrestling but he’ll kick everyone’s ass on the stage including Rashad Evans, Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz!
– White confirms that with GSP is injured and out of the UFC 143 Superbowl show next year, meaning that it will be headlined by Nick Diaz Vs Carlos Condit. He gets a round of applause from a fairly healthy attendance of fans attending the presser when he says that it’s for the interim title.
– Rashad Evans assesses Phil Davis – “he’s pretty explosive, he’s got good wrestling and he goes for it.”
– Dana expects big things for The Ultimate Fighter on FX saying that they are great at marketing their shows. As for the FOX events, they pulled great numbers for their first show and he expects them to grow in the future.
– Anderson Silva should be ready by the summer to defend his belt.
– Evans definitely wants to fight Jon Jones rather than Lyoto Machida, saying “I really want to put my hands on him.”
– Bisping has a few choice words for Dan Henderson who recently said that Silva’s injuries would vanish if he was offered a fight with Bisping. The Brit said, “Henderson’s just like Chael, they both have a problem with submission defense. Just because you blew your shot at Anderson Silva, don’t come talking smack about me.”
– Dana says that traditionally the same night that boxing and UFC’s events appear, both shows end up with good ratings. He speculates this is because fight fans stay at home and watch both, treating it as one big ‘fight night’. He also notes that the Miguel Cotto fight at the weekend coincided with an impressive 2.5 million tuning in to watch the TUF 14 finale.
– Maia admits to feeling the pressure to get submissions as people expect him to tap opponents out every time he hits the mat. He says he focused more on boxing for a while, but now he’s going back to his roots and work on his BJJ more. He hopes to pull off a submission against Bisping and acknowledges that due to the fact that this is a fight on FOX that, “me and Mike need to put on a war.”
– Sonnen believes that Munoz is the best and most decorated wrestler he’s faced. However he points out he doesn’t think of himself as a wrestler, but rather as a fighter.
Sonnen says that FOX should be thanking him for being on the card because they’ve been saying they’ve had the American Idol for years and now they finally have him.
– Dana expects the FOX deal to really help grow their fanbase and says that their existing TV deal with Spike TV was more restrictive in it’s reach. He states that FOX “really nail” big cities and markets with their promotion which is something they haven’t had before.
– Munoz says he wants to be MMA’s equivalent of Manny Pacquiao.
– Dana denies that they are worrying about something like a vicious KO happening during a FOX broadcast. He points out that in Munoz they have one of the most vicious ground and pound strikers in the business, while Evans also has some of the nastiest KO’s in the UFC’s history on his record so they are not running away from it.
– White describes this season of TUF as “a home run” thanks to the heat between the coaches and the great talent on display. He expects TUF 15 to also be “a killer season” thanks to the new live format.
– Rashad does put value in his experience edge in this fight, particularly in terms of a mental edge since he’s competed in big shows like this in the past whereas it’s still newer to Davis.
Davis on the other hand feels that he’ll make up the experience difference just by the fact that he’s “a champion at heart” and always finds a way to win – that’s what he’s good at.
– Dana will be making an announcement “very shortly” about a possible 125lb flyweight division coming to the UFC.
– Bisping wants to make up for the fact that he had a lot of time off due to coaching TUF so he was happy to have this fight back-to-back with his last one at the weekend.
– Sonnen isn’t hugely confident that he can take Munoz down or outwrestle him, but he feels that it’ll be just as tough for Munoz. He’s had fights in the past where he’s not been able to take the fight to the mat and he doesn’t have a problem with that, he’ll just have to fight him “the old fashioned way.”
– When asked how he’ll finish his fight Evans says Davis needs to be knocked out. Davis fires back by noting that he had heard Jon Jones claim that Evans doesn’t have much of a chin. The two fighters then go back-and-forth with Evans doing most of the talking, saying that Davis will get hit first and then making an off-color and unnecessary remark referencing a recent story to do with Penn State (where Davis comes from).
Watch the full video from the presser below.