The UFC held their pre-fight press conference for UFC 146 today. The event was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In attendance were all 10 of the main card fighters, which include Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Antonio Silva, Roy Nelson, Dave Herman, Stipe Miocic, Shane del Rosario, Stefan Struveand Lavar Johnson.
The fighters were questioned by the media and mediated by UFC broadcaster Jon Anik.
Below are highlights thanks to MMAmania.com.
Junior dos Santos
- When I had my knee injury, that was a problem for me in that fight but I asked for my physical therapies and I needed to be ready for the fight. “Make me ready for this fight.” I brought him with me to the fight and I was feeling good and that was perfect for me. That’s it.
- Yeah, it’s true I went to sleep with the belt after I won the title. It was a special moment for me. My dream become true that day so I sleep with my belt. My wife was not here so it was ok.
- I want to keep this belt for a long, long time now. That’s why I work hard every day. My first title defense now against Frank Mir is gonna prove that. I did an excellent camp in Brazil now and I want to be different. I want to be a part of the history of the heavyweight division.
- Actually, I have plan B and plan C but my plan A is working so I will keep doing that. I keep the fight standing because I’m confident that way.
- That was more about the fight (saying he has no heart).
- This fight is not about revenge for me. My satisfaction is defending the belt and giving a better life for my family. It’s not revenge for sure. It’s an amazing sport and you never know what’s gonna happen in the fight. Nogueira made a mistake and Frank was able to capitalize on that moment. My job is to put Frank in bad moments and not give him a chance to recover.
- It’s very gratifying to get to do what I love and have everyone supporting me.
- It’s pretty much what you saw in those images. It’s wonderful to have those people celebrating with me as a champion.
- I actually forgot about the knee so it’s 100 percent.
- Frank Mir is a submission artist and I have to respect that for sure. I will. I’m very confident in my hands and I believe I can knock him out. When I believe in something, I can make that happen and I really believe I can knock him out. I don’t care if he’s better on the ground or I’m better in the standing. In MMA, you never know what’s going to happen, but my objective is to win this fight by knockout.
- In Brazil, we have a lot of good jiu-jitsu guys so it was no hard for me. I trained with some good southpaw guys too and I did a good camp in Brazil, I think the best camp I ever did.
- Mental preparation is I try to be confident with myself and be positive and bring him to my strategy and capitalize on good moments in the fight. I have my coach, when he starts to talk with me and how the fight is gonna be for me, I feel very good. I feel, “Wow, I’m gonna destroy this guy.”
- I’m very happy now and I think MMA is the most effective sport in the world and it would have to be 100 percent focused on this sport. I love boxing and I want to do a boxing fight but I’m not thinking about the 2016 Olympics for boxing.
- Having the experience gives me the advantage but once the cage doors shut, it’s all the same.
- I was preparing for a fighter with great cardio and was a great boxer already. Both Velasquez and dos Santos are right handed, but that’s more difficult for dos Santos to prepare for as he had to switch from a righty in Overeem to a lefty for me.
- The problem is that there is always a select few group in everything in life who speaks with emotions. They don’t watch tape or study or analyze. They make their opinions with their emotions. The stupid people are passionate with what they’re talking about, very loud and angry. Just because you’re the loudest, doesn’t mean you’re the majority.
- I didn’t beat Roy Nelson because he’s no good. Roy is a very tough guy. I beat him because I’m a little bit better. You don’t win because your opponent sucks, You win because you’re good.
- What Junior was trying to do was increase his abilities to be known outside. It sells more tickets. His camp and people around him are trying to get him to sell the fight. His marketability outside the Octagon, our media is notorious for reporting hot topics. He’s been asked about it multiple times, it’s always brought up. I didn’t take it personally. I have too much footage of me proving it otherwise. In the Nogueira fight, I got caught and went out victorious. In the first Brock fight, I wasn’t winning that on the scorecards before I came back. Even the second Brock fight, he was beating me in the first round, but I tried to come back and knock him out with that knee.
- Both of us are most dangerous in the first round. All my submissions have come in the first and his knockouts have come in the first. Like all people, as a fight wears on, it’s more difficult to keep the pace and energy that you have in the first two minutes.
- There are no absolutes in life. Off track record, he has more knockouts than I do and I have better submissions than he does. I guess my answer to that question is, “No shit?”
- I don’t know if this is common knowledge, we have a lot of good boxers around in America. We have more champions in boxing, yeah, who’d have thought? It’s amazing! (sarcasm).
- I’m always mentally prepared. I’m always ready for the mental chaos. I go to the cave with the penguin all the time.
- Everybody just looks at your last performance. Nogueira caught me with a right hand but the fact that I knocked Cheick Kongo down, beat Mirko on the feet, beat Antoni Hardonk is getting forgotten. I have one or two knockouts and Junior has five. When people make things up, I just look at stats. How many times did he throw a jab in the first round? What did he do here? My face is on the line. I’m the third highest percentage of striking for any heavyweights in the UFC so that means that there are a lot of guys that suck in the UFC if they’re already behind me.
- As far as influence, I’ve had great coaches. Sergio Pena gave me my black belt and I train with Robert Drysdale but as far as inspirational figures, Nogueira is someone I studied. I wanted to be like Nogueira, a heavyweight who can fight off his back and someone I watch no who’s in the UFC today is Fabricio Werdum. It’s funny when people ask me if I”m the best jiu-jitsu guy in MMA, I think it’s Fabricio Werdum.
- Dan Hardy’s a great guy and he pushed me in this training camp a lot. I make no moans about hating to run but in this fight I ran a lot. Dan brings that work ethic here. There wasn’t one time that I drove out to go run where he wasn’t already out there waiting for me.
- You can’t dwell on the past. You have to learn from it, move forward and take that into your training and your next fights and get better as a person and as a fighter.
- There’s never any pressure. I just know what I have to do out there. No matter what, I want to have exciting fights. I have no pressure to win.
- I’m 100 percent. With this training camp, I rested my body heading into it and each week I picked it up and I feel like I’ve got my body back to where it was before.
- This is a big opportunity for my professional life. My opponent is a very tough guy. He’s number two in the world. I train a lot and I’m ready for this fight.
- I worked with Mike Dolce for this fight. I dropped 20 pounds five weeks ago. I stayed from 270 every to move faster because my opponent is very fast and moves a lot. He has fast hands and moves good. Now my shape is better, I move faster and I will try to win this fight.
- I’m going the old Gracie way. If we had no time limits, I’d definitely win all of them.
- As long as the fans are happy, it doesn’t matter [if I win]
- My last fight I lost but it was my first fight where I kept my hands up and looked like I knew what I was doing in my striking, so that’s a good start.
- I did MMA before I started boxing. I did some amateur fights and me and my coaches took a year and a half off to work on my skills. It’s worked out pretty well so far.
- My dream to be a baseball player didn’t work out but I’m happy to be here today in MMA.
- Mirko’s a legend. I’m grateful to be here and plan on staying here for a while.
Shane del Rosario
- It’s all come full circle. I put the injury behind me and I felt I had one of my best training camps. I’m honored to be here.
- My manager texted me that Mark Hunt was out of the fight and I was worried that I was not fighting. I called him up and I got the word that Lavar stepped up so I thank him for that.
- The training camp was pretty much done. I had nine weeks of really hard training. I changed a little bit in my mind because he’s taller but they’re both strikers.
- I’m 24 and when I’m gonna retire, I’m hopefully gonna have 50-60 fights in the UFC.
- I’m not worried about losing. I’m still in shape, training hard and I feel like I’m well-prepared for this. I think I’m a good match-up for Stefan.
- My biggest improvement in my game has been my speed. I’ve been working on my speed and accuracy instead of just trying to throw as hard as I can.
Thanks to UFC.com for the video below.
**Scroll to the 27:40 mark for the start of the Press Conference