The majority of Saturday’s main card competitors were in attendance today at the Fort Mason Center’s Golden Gate Room in San Francisco, California for the UFC 139 Pre-Fight Press Conference. Light Heavyweight legends and former champions Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson will headline the stacked card, while “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le will go head to head in the co-main event. Also featured will be a Bantamweight title eliminator between top contenders Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles and a Welterweight clash pitting Martin Kampmann against Rick Story.
UFC 139: Rua vs. Henderson Pre-Fight Press Conference Highlights (via MMAMania):
• As a fighter and an athlete, it’s tough to say what went wrong against Jon Jones because we train our best. I would say being sidelined for one year was a problem. It’s tough in a one man sport so I would guess that’s what the biggest difference and biggest reason for that fight.
• Dan Henderson is a fighter that I respect and admire a lot for a long time since the Pride days. As a fighter I want to fight the best so I expected that fight to happen for a long time. I have to prepare myself for everything. I prepared for all aspects because anything can happen in a fight. I know it’s a tough fight and I hope my preparation can help me in the fight, trusting the skills and work that I did in training camp.
• I enjoyed my fights in Strikeforce and the organization treated me well. I’ve got no complaints and no regrets about leaving the UFC in the first place. I had no idea if I was coming back or not until I heard Dana bought Strikeforce because he missed me. I was satisfied there and with that being said, I’m happy to be in the UFC as well especially with being able to have match-ups like this one.
• I’m only concerned with this fight and making sure I’m focused on that. With any fight where the winner could be a possible title fight, it all matters on how the fight ends.
• The last fight was a learning experience. I made some mistakes, paid the price, and suffered a lot. It was important and made me think a lot about what happened and I made some improvements. I’m ready and prepared for the fight.
• I studied his game after they asked me for fight with him. Nobody kicks like him in MMA. He’s a really good fighter and I hope we make a good show.
• I believe AKA has a lot of top athletes in the camp. Just in the area, from Gilbert Melendez to Jake Shields, there’s a lot of great fighters here. That’s why the sport is so popular here (in the bay area).
• I’m just glad to be part of the UFC and be on this card. If I’m not recognized yet, people will for sure know me for my kicks after this fight.
• I learned (from my loss to Dominick Cruz), whenever you do PR and you’re talking to a large crowd that’s not familiar with mixed martial arts. They say, explain it like you’re talking to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and I need to do that with the judges. I have to be more decisive. It’s hard to say what the judges are looking at. If a guy tries to take you down but isn’t doing damage, does that count? If you knock him down and get jabbed and pointed, what is more important?
• I would say, (Dominick Cruz) wasn’t that difficult of a fight for me besides the fact that it’s five rounds. He’s swift and I wasn’t having too much trouble hitting him, I just wasn’t throwing as many punches. I need to throw more punches and I only had three takedown attempts. I need to have higher output and trying to finish it. He’s not scary. I’ll fight him any day every day.
• If anyone that’s been a champion and risen to the top of the sport. You’re dealing with a strong mind. All the champions and all the guys who are on the fringe of being champions have heart. He’s got that and he’s got dangerous weapons. I know what his weapons are and I’ll have to make sure I’m more dangerous.
• I definitely think it’ll clear up any question on who fights Cruz next. We’re both top of the weight class. If you look down the roster, I don’t know anyone else it could be besides the winner of me and him.