UFC 129 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video and HighlightsPosted on April 27, 2011, 07:04 AM by Anton Gurevich
UFC President Dana White, as well as the majority of Saturday's main card competitors, were in attendance today for the UFC 129 pre-fight press conference from the Heritage Court at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The landmark card will be headlined by a Welterweight title clash between reigning division Champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Jake Shields, while Featherweight champ Jose Aldo puts his belt on the line against Canada's own Mark Hominick in the co-main event. Also featured will be the legendary Randy Couture going head to head with top Light Heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida, in what is expected to be "The Natural's" final octagon appearance.
Below are highlights from today's Press Conference:
Georges St. Pierre:
• I've done everything that I could have done to be on top of my game. I did the perfect swing, I hit the ball, and now the ball is in the air. There is nothing more I can do. Training is over and I've done everything I can.
• Of course, you want to win and you want to finish your opponent. For this fight the bar has been raised very high, like never before. I know Jake Shields is a Champion, so this belt doesn't belong to me. It's in the middle. Jake and I are going to fight and the winner is going to take it. I know Jake is going to bring the best out of Georges St. Pierre.
• In terms of pressure, I've never had so much pressure in my life. Every fight is going to get bigger and bigger, but thats when I perform the best and Im trying to embrace the situation.
• The idea (to train gymnastics) first came from Faras Zhabi. The reason I am doing gymnastics is very simple. Any athlete from any sport competing against each other, the one that will have success is the gymnastics guys. No one can reproduce the movement of a gymnast, but a gymnast can reproduce anyone's movement. Gymnasts are the most athletic guys in the world.
• (Media commitments) are part of the game. Its bad in a way because I don't have privacy. Sometimes you want to be alone, but u can't. When people think about it, our job isn't just the night of the fight. Our job starts way before that. It's part of the job, my job is an everyday job. Not just when I fight.
• Of course, for me it's an honor (to fight in Toronto). I feel privileged to be able to headline this card. I'm very excited and I want to say thanks to the fans for their support. Its going to be a historical moment and one I remember for the rest of my life.
• I said (the media commitments) were overwhelming because I'm not used to doing so much media. Georges is doing the just as much though, so it's fair.
• I'm ok with (being the underdog). GSP is one of the best fighters of all time, so i have no problem with it. But I plan on going out there and shocking some people.
• I've done a lot of running early to get my weight down. How it affected my fight with Martin Kampmann exactly, I'm not sure.
• Cesar Gracie couldn't get into the country, but I will be fine.
• It's more of a motivating factor for me. I've been the underdog on several occasions and went out there and won. Some people get it in their head that they're the underdog and go out there and lose. I'm ready to go out there and shock the world.
• I watched (the Prime Time specials). I think they did well with the show. I watched GSP do gymnastics and it shows how great of an athlete he is.
• I'm not to worried about whether people are paying attention to me or not right now. What I'm concentrating on is Saturday night - putting on a great performance and then people will know who I am.
• Both Mark and I are strikers that like to move forward and like to attack. He's got his gameplan, I've got mine and we'll see who comes out the winner.
• Two great things are happening. I'm fighting for the world title and I'm having my first child. I'm prepared and I have a very strong family support with me.
• There's no question this is the culmination of the last 15 years of my life. To reiterate what Randy said before, passion is what drives us. I'm ready to rock on the 30th and bring that title back to Ontario.
• First and foremost it's the passion (that drives a fighter to succeed) and I think all of these guys up here have it. I don't think I can tell them anything.
• I've admired (Machida's) style for some time now and have seen a lot of guys struggle with him. I felt like my style matched up well with his. Those are the kind of fights you want as a fighter. It's been frustrating at times, figuring out his game. It's a very complex and interesting style.
• I'm very excited. This is what we do, this is what we live for. To be a part of this moment, a historical moment for the company, it's awesome.
• Well, I think we were all hopeful (the sport would reach such success). Myself and Dana included felt there was something special about this sport and the athletes competing in it. Thanks to ZUFFA and the hard work they've done with their staff, we've went from weighing in at the Holiday Inn, to what you're going to see on Friday. It's a remarkable journey.
• (Xtreme Couture Toronto) is kind of home away from home, I worked out there last night. I've been coming to Toronto for a few years now and I've always had a great warm reception here. I was excited to get a chance to be a part of this card, and then for it to blow up the way it did, that was just the icing on the cake.
• I think every fight and every situation there's a lot of pressure. Whether its the pressure of defending the title, or the pressure of making your debut. I feel very good for this fight, I've trained really hard and I'm prepared.
• When you are the Champion, you have a target on your back and everyone is aiming for you. Now that I'm no longer the champ, it has freed up my time and allowed me to focus more on my training. But don't get me wrong, I intend to get my title back.
Photo: Tracy Lee | CombatLifeStyle.com