UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights (Video & Photos)Posted on October 27, 2011, 04:13 PM by Joey Santosus
UFC President Dana White, alongside the majority of Saturday's main card competitors, were in attendance today at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for the UFC 137 Pre-Fight Press Conference. The stacked card will be headlined by a Welterweight showdown between top contenders Nick Diaz and B.J. Penn, while rising Heavyweight prospect Matt Mitrione takes on Cheick Kongo in the co-main event. Also featured will be the legendary veteran Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic going head to head with Roy Nelson and a Bantamweight clash pitting former title challenger Scott Jorgensen against Jeff Curran.
To kick-off the presser, Dana White announced the newest addition to the UFC team, Jon Anik. Formerly host of ESPN's MMA Live, Anik will now take on the responsibilities of Play-by-Play for the promotion's 2012 FX events and play an unspecified role in future seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.
"One of the guys we've been agressively going after is from ESPN, and we've come to a deal with Jon Anik. Jon Akik will now start with the UFC as soon as we launch on Fox in January," White announced.
"I'm so appreciative of this opportunity," said Anik. "Thanks to Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White. I believe the UFC is as stong a brand as there is in professional sports. But, what really drew me in was the people behind it. This thing is a machine, a well-oiled machine. This is where I wanted to be and if I was leaving ESPN, this is where I wanted to go, with the Ultimate Fighting Championship."
Below are additional highlights from today's UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz Pre-Fight Press Conference:
• I'm happy right now. I had a fun training camp and Nick Diaz is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world and it's an honor to be able to step into the ring with him.
• I think I'm relaxed. I'm comfortable with the situation ,but I think me and Nick both have a lot of pressure. Nick was going to fight for the title and things got switched up. I think we're both in must win situation. So, I think we both have a lot of pressure on us come Saturday night.
• Yea, of course. With (Georges St. Pierre) being the Welterweight champ, there would be intrigue for me to take that fight. But, that's the last person to be worried about right now.
• I never felt like there was any bad blood (with GSP). I think someone quoted him saying that he didn't want to fight me before. Maybe I could be a bad match-up for him, my style. I haven't really thought about that.
• They did bring me down (to the press conference) an hour early. I don't know if that was a change in plan or on account of me. I don't mind being here. I am glad to be here. I would have loved to have been at the last press conference.
• (Myself and Dana White) had a talk about fighting in the UFC and doing press and everything. And I said my only problem with press is that it takes away from my training. I train harder than most athletes that I see out there. I need more time for recovery. ... I have no problem talking to anybody, that's what I am here to do, that's my job.
• Every fight in the UFC is important. If you get your a-- kicked you might get cut. I've done well against the guys I've fought so far, so now it's time to fight someone who is worth his salt. He's proved he's worth his salt time and time again. ... If I get my ass kicked then I know where I stand.
• I have a lot of confidence coming into this fight. If Cheick beats me then he beat the best possible product that I can put out there.
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic
• If you are asking me if I am planning a singing career, no I am not. Pat Barry released the video on YouTube and I will kick his a-- next time we I see him. ..
• I am 37 this could easily be my last fight in the UFC. Even if I win, this could be my last fight. I cannot afford anymore, especially this fight, I can not have my fight declared the most boring fight like it was with Frank Mir. I think fans will be satisfied.
• Why would I leave? There are exactly 37 or 38 reasons. That's how old I am.... Of course I could keep fighting, but every man comes to the point where he asks if he needs it anymore. I have two sons at home. I had a long and rich career that I can say was successful. Not in the UFC though, and I will never forgive myself for that. ... The UFC treated me like a king.
• Every fight is important. For this fight, everyone was talking about Cro Cop retiring. Apparently, if you lose twice you have to retire, so I guess I'm retiring too. We are just going to go out there and put on a show, and that's what people come to watch, two guys going at it.
Photos: Scott Hirano