UFC 77: 'Hostile Territory' conference call highlights (Audio)

UFC 77 web site now live

Prior to the major news about the resignation of UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture yesterday there was a conference call to promote the sold-out UFC 77: "Hostile Territory" event in Cincinnati, Ohio, that takes place next weekend on October 20 at the U.S. Bank Arena.

UFC President Dana White, UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and Brandon Vera all participated on the call.

"Mr. Sunshine" sent us over a very cool post that includes edited audio snips/highlights from the actual call. It gives our readers a pretty cool inside-look on what goes on behind the scenes prior to a major pay-per-view (PPV) event.

Dana White:

  • The middleweight fight between Yushin Okami and Jason MacDonald is not for a number one contender slot in the division. UFC president Dana White mentioned that there were "a lot of guys in the mix" for a title shot and that is is still possible that Dan Henderson will compete at 185 pounds.
  • Tim Sylvia, Brandon Vera and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, according to White, are among the top fighters in the division and all three will more than likely be considered for a title shot with wins in their next bouts.

Tim Sylvia:

  • Sylvia is feeling great -- back surgery went awesome and his pain is all gone. Someone is "going to sleep" during his bout with "The Truth."
  • Sylvia believes that Vera's lack of activity in the last year will not come into play in the fight. Both will come to bang. His stand up is good and he's got a lot of good assets. He's ready for a tough fight.
  • Win or lose Sylvia wants to fight again in early 2008.

Brandon Vera:

  • Being married to another fighter is "pretty cool." His life is much easier at home. Hardest part is watching her get in the ring.
  • His layoff sucked. But he has been training and keeping himself motivated. Took a trip over to Thailand. He now pays more attention to details inside and outside of the cage.
  • Sylvia's size causes a big problem. Timing and range is much different. Something he has trained for with other big guys. It's the smallest heavyweight in the division against the biggest.
  • He's prepared well and is ready to see what happens.

Anderson Silva:

  • Silva is more experienced than the first time he fought Franklin last year. Doesn't feel he's any better -- just more experienced.
  • Once the Octagon door closes it won't matter where the fight takes place. He is not intimidated about it happening in Cincinnati. Fans can expect a phenomenal fight. Both fighters are going to leave it all in the Octagon.
  • He has not underestimated Franklin. Silva has trained really hard and he is motivated to put on a good show for the fans. He owes it to the fans and the UFC to put on a good fight.
  • Silva doesn't feel that the UFC wants Franklin to be champion. This is an important bout for both fighters. It's going to be the fight of the night if not the year.

Rich Franklin:

  • Does not have his trademark black eye ... yet. However, his lip did get "busted open" during training.
  • His training has changed quite a bit. To get away from the media circus in Cincinnati he has moved his entire camp into the mountains of Wyoming. Refreshing to get out of the city and there is nothing to do but train in Wyoming.
  • Training four to five hours per day.
  • Anderson is number one in the weightclass and he wants to fight the best guys. He wants to perform well and set things straight in his own mind.
  • He realizes now that in the initial fight he didn't put enough time in to study Silva. This time there was a lot of emphasis on breaking down film.
  • Anderson showed resilience on the ground against Travis Lutter. He's very versatile. Showed great poise in win over Nate Marquardt.
  • Had a really sore nose after loss to Silva.
  • Unsure whether or not training in high altitude will help him during the fight because it is the first time he has really tried it.

Remember you can listen to all of this audio right here.

In addition, UFCmania.com will have LIVE online blow-by-blow coverage of the event next Saturday. To check out the complete UFC 77 fight card click here.

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