UFC 142 goes down on January 14th at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and today the organization held its media conference call.
On the call today were UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and undefeated challenger Chad Mendes, as well as co-headliners Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson.
Below are highlights from the conference call thanks to MMAnation.com
- Happy to be fighting “where everything started” but still has to focus on training and preparation.
- It doesn’t make a different what time the fight is at. Training properly is all that matters.
- Maynard really helped him prepare for Mendes’ wrestling. Was an honor to have him at Nova Uniao.
- “Nobody’s perfect. Everyone has holes in their game, including (myself)… Was able to find a few things” to exploit for Mendes.
- Not afraid to fight Jose Aldo in his backyard. Best way to prove he’s the best.
- “I don’t care who he trains with. I train with some of the best guys in the world and have been wrestling since I was five.” Believes Aldo working with Gray Maynard won’t help him.
- “This is definitely the biggest night of my career.”
- Saw a UFC 142 poster with his face on it in Times Square and had a surreal moment. “This has happened so fast… I’m living the dream.”
- Doesn’t think Jose has any cracks or holes in his game, but has areas he’s not as strong at.
- Sat down with Urijah Faber and feels confident about his gameplan.
- “I’m in the best spot possible. If anything, Jose has all the pressure. He’s fighting at home. He has the belt. I’m the young up-and-comer.”
- Thinks fighters try to get in there and stand in front of Aldo too much. Doesn’t think any of the guys have had the wrestling ability to get anything done.
- Believes Aldo has “great takedown defense,” but thinks his style of shot will be harder to defend.
- Happy to fight in Brazil, but “the Octagon is the same anywhere.”
- Believes MMA will pass soccer in Brazilian popularity. “It’s already happening.”
- Feels ready and is taking one step at a time. Not thinking about Wanderlei Silva, only focusing on Johnson. “I’m enjoying every moment possible.”
- Hard to pick his favorite fight. Really enjoyed Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz.
- Does not look to God for UFC wins, only for help in daily life.
- Tries to stay away and not focus on comparing UFC events, but calls UFC 142 “historic.” Says, “When I started we weren’t recognized as athletes. Now we are mainstream. Now we are athletes.”
- Can’t predict what would happen if Chael Sonnen travelled to Brazil to fight Anderson Silva.
- It’s a honor to fight in Rio, “where this all began.”
- Weighs 215 pounds right now. “I feel great. Everything is where it needs to be. I’m peaking at the right time.”
- “Right now middleweight is where I am,” doesn’t mind 185 pounds because he can eat more.
- (When asked if he is done a 170 pounds) “So far.”
- Training in Florida with the Blackzilians.
- Motivating to fight a legend that he grew up watching.
- Wants to fight as long as possible. Would be “blessing and an honor” to fight as long as Randy Couture.