Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a special media conference call today (Nov. 16, 2011) to promote UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson," which is scheduled to take place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 19, 2011.
"Shogun" Rua is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and is coming off a quick first round destruction of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one winner and fellow former champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in Brazil.
He'll be challenged by Dan Henderson, the former simultaneous two-divisional champion of Pride FC who recently became the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. Henderson is coming off a monumental knockout victory over Fedor Emelianenko this past July and re-signed with UFC in the fallout.
Wanderlei Silva was a legend in Pride FC and is still a fan favorite in the UFC. He recently had his run in the middleweight division stopped short by the heavy-handed Chris Leben and accepted a bout against Cung Le in place of the injured Vitor Belfort, staving off retirement for at least one more fight.
Le was the Strikeforce middleweight champion and possesses a very exciting arsenal of diverse strikes, which helped turn him into a superstar in California. He's been distracted by a career in movies, but a bout in the UFC was enough to call him back to mixed martial arts (MMA).
Join us for complete LIVE updates of the UFC 139 conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.
1:07 p.m. - We're getting started and all fighters are present.
Cung Le: I've had a long layoff but I've stayed in shape and just training on a regular basis. As soon as I got back in February, I got right back in the gym. Fighting in the UFC is an honor and I'm excited.
Wanderlei Silva: I was champion for a long time and I'd love to be on top again. I love to have good and exciting fights and that's the reason I train so much. I hope to make my fans happy.
Dan Henderson: It's pretty much just part of business but it does feel good to realize that this is probably where I'm gonna finish my career, in the UFC. I'm excited about it and the fact that they got a pretty big Fox deal is even more exciting for me as well.
Dan Henderson: I'm not gonna worry about what's next fight now. As long as I do what I need to do inside the cage, the rest will take care of itself. Moving forward, I need to make sure to get it done in the cage first and worry about everything else later.
Dan Henderson: I feel like I've got a lot of fight left in me. I'm excited about Shogun and this is something the fans have been looking forward to for a long time. He's a tough opponent and definitely a huge challenge for me to get past.
Mauricio Rua: I think I'm 100 percent recovered from my injuries. As a fighter, I like to stay active, stay busy, fight often and keep a rhythm. Thank God I'm recovered from my injuries and hopefully I can keep this going.
Mauricio Rua: I think certainly this is a marquee fight for me, a very important fight. Dan Henderson is a legend in MMA. He was a champion in Pride and a champion in the USA. My focus is not on the title right now, just all on Dan Henderson.
Wanderlei Silva: I never give up. I fight for 10 years of my life. I'm healthy and I passed all the tests with my doctor. I'm feeling good and I'll prove that on Saturday.
Dan Henderson: I think obviously, I like to represent Strikeforce well by being their champion but first and foremost I need to represent myself and what I've done in my career. I don't feel any extra pressure to perform coming from Strikeforce at all. I think the consensus is that Strikeforce had some top champions and all.
Cung Le: I'm excited to be a part of this fight card. For me to fight Wanderlei Silva, I'm not worried about anything else but this fight.
Wanderlei Silva: I don't have that on my mind. I think I'll fight again.
Dan Henderson: Just like anyone, I have set goals for myself and one of those goals is to obtain a UFC belt. That's definitely on my list but in order to do that, I need to get past Shogun and have a good performance.
Dan Henderson: I remember it was a tough fight (against Ninja Rua). It was a war and I expect the same thing from his brother.
Mauricio Rua: Certainly that was a great fight between my brother and Dan Henderson. I watched it a number of times and it was a very competitive fight. My brother helped me prepare for Dan Henderson and hopefully it will be a great fight. I have really good memories of it.
Dan Henderson: I'm aggressive through a whole fight and trying to finish the fight. I don't know if it gives me greater incentive to do anything. I've just got to make sure to stick with my gameplan and beat him in all aspects of MMA.
Dan Henderson: A loss is a loss. I guess I can get knocked out by anybody else but I've been lucky enough to not get hit on the button in any of my fights.
Wanderlei Silva: What happened the last fight can happen with everybody. You can't tell Cain Velasquez he has to retire now because he lasted one minute. This happens to everybody. I want to fight again and again and again.
Cung Le: No, there's no stipulations that I have to fight so much per year. That's why I signed the contract. I've got a dual career with fighting and doing movies and that's what I'm doing this weekend.
Cung Le: This is a great match-up between myself and Wanderlei. He comes to fight, I come to fight and we're gonna have a really good fight on Saturday. This is a really good fight to watch, the whole card is. It's gonna be a great card for all fans to watch.
Dan Henderson: I haven't given a whole lot of thought to Jon Jones. Since I've been matched up with Shogun, that's been my focus. Jones is very unorthodox and it could be a fun type of fight for me but I haven't given it a whole lot of thought in terms of gameplan but none of that can happen unless I get a win on Saturday.
Cung Le: The last time I came off a movie set was the end of February and I was back in the gym every day training until now. Right now, all my focus is on Wanderlei and whatever movies are lined up or isn't, I'm just focused on my fight right now. I'll sit down with my team afterwards but right now, it's Wanderlei Silva.
Dan Henderson: I'm very happy with how things went. I've got no complains and no regrets at all. For that part of my career, I was fortunate enough to be in a situation where I was when my contract ended. I wasn't satisfied with the offer I had from the UFC at the time and then I went and talked to Strikeforce.
Dan Henderson: I wouldn't have signed the deal with the UFC if I didn't like it. We're all hear to get along and make some money at the same time and give some good fights to fans. I think they're happy and I'm happy.
Dan Henderson: My career is the same as what it's always been. I'm very versatile in terms of what weight class I fight and that can change.
Dan Henderson: It all depends on timing and who's matched up with who. Obviously, fighting for a title is something I'll think about after the fight.
Cung Le: I think, it's really hard to answer that because I'm a fighter first before I'm an actor but if this fight wouldn't have happened, it could have went either way. I could have maybe hung up the gloves and focused on a movie career. Everything happens for a reason and I'm fighting for the UFC and I"m honored to have this opportunity.
Cung Le: Right after the last Scott Smith fight, I wanted to fight right away. I was in good shape and didn't take much damage but Strikeforce doesn't have as many fights at the UFC so I put it all on hold. Then the UFC bought Strikeforce and I felt like maybe this was my opportunity to fight for the UFC. Now I get to fight a legend like Wanderlei for my UFC debut. I'm excited.
Cung Le: The UFC is the top of the food chain and they're the one who has really put MMA on the map and it's always exciting to fight. It's like going from the CFL to the NFL. That's how I see it.
Dan Henderson: A lot of guys weren't in the situation I was in in terms of already having an established career. Just having the timing work out to where my contract was over at a highlight part of my career. I think I was just fortunate enough to do it. I don't burn bridges and I don't have any hurt feelings and didn't take anything personal about them offering me enough money or anything like that. I thought I was worth more and wanted to explore more options and I did.
Dan Henderson: Everything's up in the air right now. I'm not enthused about cutting weight. It is what it is. If I was to cut weight, there's only one match-up right now that I'd do that for. Things change with different fights and different opportunities. I'm open to whatever.
Wanderlei Silva: It's a really good fight. I saw his tape and studied his game. It's so hard to find some guys that fight like him. We brought in guys from Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts to gameplan for him.
Cung Le: My relationship with Scott Coker dates back all the way to '98 when I first signed with him. When he built the company and the UFC wanted me to fight for them, he gave me his blessing. I started following Wanderlei when I followed Dan Henderson in Pride. He had one of the longest win streaks in Pride and I wouldn't want anything less for my UFC debut.
Cung Le: At first, Scott and I, we're pretty good friends so I was thinking I'd just end my career with him in Strikeforce but when the UFC bought it, I saw it as more of an opportunity to fight for them.
Cung Le: It's awesome. It's like full circle. I had my first MMA fight in San Jose and now my first UFC fight is in San Jose. It's great but there's also more distractions. I've had friends from high school coming out of the woodworks for tickets.
Wanderlei Silva: I think we'll have a great match. We have a stand-up style. I hope we put on a great show for the fans in San Jose and the fans around the world.
Cung Le: This is a great match-up for the fans. Striker versus striker. it's gonna be like an all-star team with so many great fights on the card.