The conference will begin at 4 p.m. ET live from the Brooklyn Bridge at New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the home city of the event.
B.J Penn is one of only two multi-divisional champions in UFC history, having captured both the welterweight and lightweight titles in his time with the promotion. He's currently embarking on a career renaissance at welterweight, having won his trilogy with Matt Hughes and drew with number two ranked Jon Fitch earlier this year.
On the opposite side of the podium will be Nick Diaz, the former Strikeforce welterweight champion who vacated his belt to sign with the UFC and challenge Georges St. Pierre. The GSP fight was scrapped but Diaz is currently riding a 10-fight win streak, which includes three successful title defenses in Strikeforce. He wants to impress the UFC brass and earn a shot at UFC gold..
New co-main eventers Cheick Kongo and Matt Mitrione will also be in attendance . Kongo is coming off one of the craziest comebacks of 2011 against Pat Barry at UFC on Versus 4 earlier this summer while Mitrione has continued his undefeated streak, moving to 5-0 in the UFC with a recent second round knockout of Christian Morecraft at the same event.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 137 press conference after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. eastern time. The big question is, will Nick Diaz show up this time?
4:09 p.m. - We're live, and Nick Diaz is present! Also in attendance are Roy Nelson and Mirko Filipovic.
Dana White: On this Sunday, UFC Primetime will air on FOX after the NFL. Check your local listing for the exact air time for each market. I'm announcing here today that we've come to a deal with ESPN's Jon Anik. Jon Anik will start with us this Saturday.
Jon Anik: What drew me to this organization is the people behind it. I'm very excited to get things started. My first day is Saturday, I'll be there at UFC 137. If I was leaving ESPN, the one place I'd leave it for is the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Dana White: It's been one of the weirdest cards ever that I've ever dealt with. When the fights got switched and we got to where we are today, this fight could be a main event fight and I'm excited that it stayed together. This is a big fight. Nick Diaz was lined up to fight Georges St. Pierre and now he's fighting B.J. Penn and it's a big deal.
B.J. Penn: I'm happy right now. I had fun training, a fun training camp and Nick Diaz, 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.
Dana White: Jon Anik will be the play-by-play guy on the FX fights and he'll be a part of the Ultimate Fighter and lots of other programming. With our schedule the next couple years, he'll have plenty to do.
Dana White: I think as you get older and with the amount of fights you've had, there's an experience factor. You become more relaxed. B.J. has been one of the best in the world for his entire career and the fact that he has a lot of experience definitely helps.
Dana White: I think that anybody in this sport that can go undefeated for a long time, it's not easy. The best always fight the best. You're always going up against great competition. If you look at how many times you fight a year, it's almost three a year. It's a great accomplishment.
Dana White: The similarities between these guys is their both crazy and their both warriors. If you watch how these guys walk to the Octagon and what they're like when they're in there. This is gonna be a war.
Dana White: The first one I approached was Cesar Gracie. That was the first call I made and he loved the fight and here we are.
Dana White: I was talking to the MGM guys. The fight held together and the ticket sales, the thing sold out and it was fantastic. If this was a boxing event, this would have collapsed and we would have had to reschedule it but nope.
B.J. Penn: I think I'm relaxed, I'm comfortable with the situation but I think me and Nick both have lots of pressure. Nick was gonna fight for the title and things got switched up. My pressure comes from, I love to do this. I love to fight mixed martial arts. I love the UFC and I want to do that for a few more years. Nick wants to prove that he's here to stay. We've both got a lot of pressure for us on Saturday night.
Matt Mitrione: I've been fortunate. I've had some really good and experienced coach and a great amount of knowledge to impart on me. I worked with Ray Sefo and Neil Melanson and Randy and then I went down to Fort Lauderdale to work with Rashad and Tyrone Spong. You can't get much better than that.
B.J. Penn: It's great to have Jason Parillo back. We see eye to eye on a lot of things. It's awesome to have him back. I expect great things. He can really simplify things for me when I start making things too complicated for myself. It's all good all around.
Dana White: We're hoping to get a deal with France, we're going to Japan and Brazil and our targets right now are China and India as well.
Matt Mitrione: Every fight is important. If you go out there and get your ass kicked you could get cut. Not to rip on the people that I've fought, but it's time to fight a guy who's worth his salt. If I get my ass kicked, it wasn't worth it but if I do well against him, I'll know where I stand.
Nick Diaz: This is the UFC, that has a lot to do with that. I think people may consider the fighters in the UFC to be better, stronger fighters so that's why I'm an underdog. I haven't thought about it to much. I don't pay attention too much to that.
Nick Diaz: I never felt like there was any bad blood with Georges St. Pierre. I think someone quoted him on saying he didn't want to fight me before. It could be a bad matchup for him, my style.
B.J. Penn: With him being the welterweight champion, there would be intrigue for me to take that fight but that's the last person to be worried about right now.
Nick Diaz: They did bring me down an hour early. I don't know if that was a change of plans or that was because of me. I don't have any problem being here. I'm ready to move forward.
Roy Nelson: Every fight's important. For this fight, everyone was talking about Cro Cop retiring so apparently if you lose two fights you've got to retire. Maybe I have to retire now too.
Mirko Filipovic: To tell you the truth, if you ask if I'm planning a singing career, it's not true. Pat Barry released it on YouTube and I will kick his ass if I see him next. I wish you will see the new Cro Cop but unfortunately I'm 37 and this could easily be my last fight in the UFC. Win or lose, especially if I lose. I cannot afford anymore, especially for this fight that my fight was the most boring fight of the evening like it was with Frank Mir. I think me and Roy will have a good fight and the fight will be exciting.
Mirko Filipovic: There's 37 or 38 reasons I could leave. My stamina and conditioning is the best. I'm 240 but I trained really hard for this fight, six months and of course I could keep fighting but everyone asks themselves, "Do I need it anymore?" I have two kids at home and I will be fighting for 20 years soon. When I came to the UFC I was treated like a king, even today I am treated like a king but I just didn't make it. Unfortunately I got injured and it all reflects especially in your head. You think different. I'm relaxed and especially with this potentially being my last fight. I'm relaxed. There's no pressure on me. I don't want to underestimate him. This would be the most important fight in my career and it's why I prepared so hard for myself and I'm just looking for it.
B.J. Penn: I guess all I gotta say is never say never. That's all I can say. The past is the past and just look forward to the future.
Nick Diaz: We had a talk about fighting in the UFC here now and doing the press. I said my only problem with doing press is it takes time away from my training. I train harder than most guys fighting in the UFC and I spend hours making recovery too and it really throws off my week and could throw my whole month off which is a big deal to me. I asked if I could maybe get some help and some of the press could come to me so it seems like I dislike the press and I do less press. I enjoy the right type of press and as long as it's not B class and not random websites trying to get footage or quotes or a story from me, I have no problem with anybody. I'm just doing my job.
Reporter asks if other fighters have a problem with Nick saying he trains harder than them.
B.J. Penn: He does train hard.
Matt Mitrione: Why would you try to start something with that? Why would you try to dig that up? Shame on you! That's bogus. (crowd cheers).
Nick Diaz: I don't mean anything against the other fighters. They're all great athletes. No excuses but it is a lot of hard work coming in with the style I come with and coming in at top condition.
Nick Diaz: I didn't make this far by not listening and not doing what I'm told.
Matt Mitrione: When I got offered this fight with Cheick, I told Mr. Silva to give me as late a date as possible so I still had time to grow. Things that Cheick was good at four years ago are things I still haven't learned yet. When I told them I need a little bit of time to work on something, they're cool with that.
Matt Mitrione: It's a good thing, I've been fortunate that I've had people interested in my career. I've had a lot of confidence in this fight. If Cheick beats me, all props to him.
Mirko Filipovic: I will do my best to prove [that I'm still the Mirko of old.]