UFC 129 pre-fight press conference recap and highlights


The UFC held a pre-fight press conference today for its monumental "St. Pierre vs. Shields" event at Toronto's Direct Energy Centre in Ontario, Canada.

UFC president Dana White as well as participants of both main event title fights, Georges St. Pierre, Jake Shields, Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick, were in attendance. Also present were former champions Randy Couture and Lyoto Machida.

All fighters, as well as UFC executives Dana White and Tom Wright, were available for questions from the media. Poor Brazilians Jose Aldo and Lyoto Machida were asked a grand total of three questions ... combined.

The most interesting thoughts are posted after the jump.

Dana White on Randy Couture's retirement: "I've heard this before and I've seen it before. I think he feels disrespected for not being ranked in the top 10 at 205-pounds. He is absolutely 100-percent a top-10 light heavyweight fighter in the world."

Dana White on topping this event: "This is just another step. Is every show going to be bigger than this one? No. The expo and all the events going on this weekend will help educate people about the sport. People have been asking me how I'm going to top this since Ken Shamrock against Tito."

Dana White on the impact of a UFC event: "One of the things about UFC events is that the 55,000 people coming to this event aren't from Ontario. Most are coming from all over the world and they eat at restaurants and stay at hotels. When we pull out of here on Sunday, believe me, they won't be able to wait for us to come back."

Tom Wright following up with statistics: "We're predicting somewhere in the economic impact of $30 to $40 million."

Georges St. Pierre: "This is the most pressure I've ever had in my life. Every fight is going to be the same now. I'm at the best when I feel like I'm right on the edge and I'm about to fall off. That's when I perform my best and I try to adapt to the situation."

Georges St. Pierre: "The idea for training gymnastics came from my trainer Firas Zihabi. The reason why I'm doing gymnastics is very simple. Gymnasts are the most athletic athletes in the world and I'm doing it to keep my body healthy and train my routine. I'm not doing conventional strength and conditioning like most fighters."

Jake Shields: "Georges St. Pierre is one of the greatest fighters of all time so I have no problem being the underdog. I'm ready to shock some people. It's a motivating factor for me."

Jake Shields: "I ran a lot to get my weight down for this fight. I'm gonna be a completely different fighter this time [than in the Kampmann fight]. Cesar Gracie couldn't get into the country so he won't be in my corner but I'll be fine."

Jose Aldo: "I'm not worried about whether people are paying attention to me right now. I feel they will know me after my performance on Saturday night."

Mark Hominick: "I was a heavy underdog before. I was a 5-1 underdog in my UFC debut against Yves Edwards and I knocked him out in the second round."

Mark Hominick: "This is the culmination of the last 15 years of my life. There hasn't been a moment when I wake up in the morning that this fight hasn't been on my mind."

Randy Couture: "I feel my style of fighting matches up very well with (Lyoto's) style. It was frustrating at times breaking down his style with how he moves but I was very happy to have this fight."

Randy Couture: "I have a gym in Toronto and it's been very nice. It's been like a home away from home. I've always had a warm reception here. I was very excited to have a chance to be on this card."

Lyoto Machida: "When you're the champion, you have a target on your back and everyone is aiming for you. After a couple losses, it's actually freed up my time and allowed me to focus on my training. Don't get me wrong, I do want to get that title and that target back though."

UFC 129 emanates from the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Saturday, April 30, 2011. For the complete fight card and line-up click here.

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