Tuesday, September 8, 2009

UFC 103 Media call recap

Recap courtesy of MMAHotstuff

Hey everyone! Here are my notes from the UFC 103 Media Call, featuring Rich Franklin, Virot Belfort, Mirko Cro Cop, and Junior Dos Santos. This should be a great event!

  • Main Event is Franklin VS Belfort at a catch-weight of 195
  • Co-Main Event is Cro Cop VS Dos Santos
  • Franklin states that fighting at 195 was not his idea. It was requested by Vitor. At this time since Franklin is not in the title hunt at 205, he's willing to fight at 195 if the UFC has exciting fights for him and the fans want to see it.
  • Vitor is training out of Extreme Couture in Las Vegas, and is planning on fighting at 185 in the UFC. He's weighting 195 right now, and 185 is his weight class.

  • Vitor states that he is honored to be fighting Franklin and believes he was a great champion and is a legend in the UFC. He's happy to be back in the UFC where he started his career.
  • Vitor has learned from all the experiences in his life, good or bad, and is at a very content and happy place in his life right now.
  • Cro Cop has followed Dos Santos' career and believes he is one of the "young lions" of the heavyweight division. He is looking forward to this fight and believes it will be a very tough fight.
  • Cro Cop is looking forward to being very active in the UFC. He expects to fight again in the beginning of January, 2010. Needing a few weeks off after a fight, and 10 to 11 weeks to train.
  • Franklin's focus right now is fighting, and not acting. Asked about pursuing his acting career, he chuckled. Apparently during his downtime Franklin enjoys playing the drums.
  • Franklin's interest right now is in putting on exciting fights for the fans. He feels eventually he'll make his way back to a title run, and it will be a great "Cinderella story" for his career before retirement, but right now he's interested in focusing on exciting fights.
  • Vitor sees the middleweight division as being very tough, but that is the weight he's going to fight at.
  • Cro Cop feels much better in the cage now, and has a cage to train in at his gym. He feels like he's back to the old Cro Cop and is excited.
  • Cro Cop does not want to comment on any rumors of him possibly wanting to fight anywhere else. He's clearly wanting to stay with the UFC, and is happy to be there.
  • Franklin speaks about what it's like to be recognized now and have to sign more autographs. He states that there are days he wants to be left alone, and on those days he tries to stay out of the public eye. Ultimately he knows the fans pay his salary, and he knows what it's like to be a fan and looking up to a sports figure, so he always tries his best to be available to the fans.
  • Vitor makes a good point stating that the fans never know if you've had a bad day, so you must always treat your fans well and realize they pay your salary. He learned this valuable lesson from his old soccer coach in Brazil, who was a popular sports figure.
  • When asked about the rumors that he was going to PRIDE after his last fight, Cro Cop states that he was free to go where ever he wanted after his last fight, and he wanted to fight in the UFC. He stated that any true fighter today should want to fight in the UFC because it is the best organization in the world, and the true global organization.
  • Cro Cop was asked what he thought about Fedor's decision to go to Strikeforce, and stated that he "really doesn't understand his attitude". He knows the UFC offered him the best possible deal today, but he does not know Fedor's reasoning. He doesn't think Fedor is afraid, but he does not know. He respects his wishes, but would definitely like to see him in the UFC.
  • Franklin was asked if he would go back down to 185 if Silva were to lose or vacate the title. He answered that he thought it would feel like, or be perceived that he dodged a bullet, and he doesn't want fans to think that.
  • Franklin thinks that Vitor possesses the same threats he did when he was in the UFC before, his explosiveness and power. He knows he must push his game plan and not let Vitor get his game plan going.
  • Cro Cop believes that if he wins his next two fights, the third will be a title shot. But of course everything will be up to Dana and what the UFC wants.
  • Cro Cop is happy to be back in the UFC because it's the only real global promotion, and presents the greatest challenges for him.
  • Franklin does feel that there is some unfinished business with Henderson, and wants to fight him again, but also understands that there was not a great amount of fan interest in that fight / re-match, so he understands the need to switch to Vitor.

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