UFC 129: St. Pierre vs. Shields Media Conference Call HighlightsPosted on April 19, 2011, 04:22 PM by Joey Santosus
Reigning Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre and former Strikeforce and Elite XC champ Jake Shields will headline the landmark UFC 129 fight card, set to take place April 30th from the sold-out Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The co-main event will feature a Featherweight title clash between division champ Jose Aldo and challenger Mark Hominick, while the legendary Randy Couture will go head to head with top Light Heavyweight contender Lyoto Machida.
Below are highlights from today's Media Conference Call, which included co-headliners Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick, as well as Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida:
• I feel really good going into this fight, even though its my first fight in the UFC. Even though I have my belt on the line, that's not a problem for me. In my mind, this is just another fight. This is my job and this is what I've got to do. Training camp was great, I feel strong and I trained as well as I always have. Really, if you get the job done in the gym, then there is no reason to be worried.
• There has really been no frustration waiting because I know that I am in the UFC and I knew that I was going to be fighting soon. I wanted to fight in January, but it didn't happen. Some things happen for a reason and now it is my time.
• There were two things that were bothering me, the C5-C6 in my neck and the main injury was in my right shoulder. There was no surgery, just rehab.
• This whole event has been such a once in a lifetime opportunity. Its been crazy and I am really just trying to enjoy the ride. Its such a huge event for Canada and for Ontario.
• This has been something that I have never experienced in my whole life. My life is flipped upside down with this fight. It seems like I'm an overnight success. There's never going to be another time in my life this busy, this hectic, and this much build-up.
• Jose (Aldo) is definitely well deserving of being considered one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and one of the best in the weight class. The thing is, everyone goes in there so intimated by what he's doing and I think I'm going to go in there and be the one guy that takes a step forward instead of backwards against him. I'm going to go out there and fight my fight.
• Jose is one of these fighters that are not just dangerous in one area, he's dangerous in every area. So its not like you just have to bring in a certain sparring partner, you've got to bring in the best in every aspect. So that's been the biggest thing, just making sure I'm sparring with the best in every aspect.
• I'm excited for the fans because every time the lighter guys go at it, they're going to get a great fight. It's just great that we're getting exposure fighting on these main cards.
• Nothing came about, its been an on-going transition for me. I want to go out on my own terms. I think that time has come. This is a fight I have been looking forward to for a long time and its finally going to happen. But, I think its time to focus on the other things that I have going on in my life. I've thought about it the last couple camps, and I made the decision this time.
• (This being the biggest show in UFC history) is certainly fun for me to be a part of, but it played no factor in my decision. Its one that's been coming for a while. I realize I've pushed it a lot further than anybody is going to push it and now is the time.
• They offered me a couple of other guys and I turned them down. Machida competes with such a unique style. Those are the kind of fights that are intriguing and interesting.
• I thought (the fight with James Toney) was pretty unique. To be the guy that was selected to represent Mixed Martial Arts was an honor for me.
• It's been an interesting camp and I've had to learn some new things. Machida certainly has a complex and unique style and its been fun to study that and try to figure out what I think will work. He's a tremendous fighter and a tremendous athlete, so hopefully our training camp has been on and we've got the right answers. But, we won't really know until the 30th.
• (Health) wasn't really a factor. That was one of the things I struggled with. I am healthy as ever, I feel great. I absolutely have the ability to continue to compete at this level. I just feel like I've stretched it and pushed it and I don't want to wait until I have health issues to think about and to weigh into training camp or into a fight. I don't want to wait until I have doctors telling me I can't fight anymore.
• I'm sure that the UFC is going to have ideas for other fights and they're going to try to entice me into fighting again. I anticipate all of those decisions and those thoughts. I see myself being with the UFC and Zuffa and being involved in some other way shape or form. I can see myself going back into commentating. We'll see what Zuffa wants to do and how they want to keep my involved.
• I'm sure the crowd is going to blow the roof off of that place (the Rogers Centre). Its going to be an amazing experience.
• Win, lose, or draw, it won't really factor into the equation. It's about where I am at in my life. I've been doing this a long time. It's about the journey and it's about the performance. As long as I go in there and have a good performance I'll be satisfied.
• Somebody asked me about retiring and having had it on my mind, I answered the question honestly. Once the cat is out of the bag, its out of the bag. This show is so huge though, that me retiring isn't really that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
• This camp has been no different from any other camp that I've had in regards to its intensity. I've done my job and I've done the work that I needed to do.
• We start shooting Expendables 2 on the 22nd of August and will begin working on (another movie) Hijack sometime in May.
• When I look back on (the Rampage Jackson fight), one of the things I could have changed is what I did to Quinton in the third round, if I would have initiated that in the second round, it would have been a different fight - maybe I would have finished the fight.
• When I came back to fight Quinton, I came back after my first loss, which was a knockout. I knew Quinton was very explosive and very powerful and I didn't want to take to many risks in the beginning of the fight. I felt that I won the first round, the second round could have went either way, and in the third round, I felt that Quinton may have tired out.
• Every situation and every fight is different, but the pressure always exists. Whether its the pressure of defending a title or the pressure of fighting a legend like Randy Couture and possibly facing my third consecutive loss, there's always pressure regardless. I try to focus on what I've trained and block out all of that pressure.
• It's an honor to fight someone like Randy Couture. He's helped build the history of this sport and helped build it into what it is today. To show my respect, I want to give him my best on that night.
• The biggest thing that I've learned is that you constantly need to be changing and evolving. A lot of people think that if its working, you shouldn't change anything, but I realize now that when you are winning and you're the champion, that's when you constantly have to be evolving because everybody is gunning for you. Whether you are winning or losing, you have to constantly be changing.
• The pressure still exists, but its in a different form now. After you've had a loss or two people start to humanize you. Before you are carrying the pressure of thinking that you can't lose. I feel a lot more at ease. I still feel pressure, but its not the same.
Photo: Randy Couture before his fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 91at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. Francis Specker