UFC 134 conference call updates and LIVE blog today (Aug.16)

via i33.photobucket.com

In the wake of one of the UFC's most entertaining free events ever, the top mixed martial arts promotion is gearing up for UFC 134, which is taking place at the end of the month (August 27, 2011) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Headlining the pay-per-view will be the return of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva as he looks to avenge his last loss, a disqualification to current number one contender Yushin Okami.

Former UFC Light Heavyweight champions Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Rua will also be fighting in a rematch nearly four years in the making for the co-main event.

Silva, Okami, Griffin and Rua will all participate in a special UFC 134 media conference call today (August 16, 2011) at 12 p.m. ET.

MMAmania.com will deliver up-to-the-second live updates of the conference call which also includes UFC president Dana White after the jump:

Brian Hemminger here. The call is scheduled to begin shortly.

Dana White doesn't respond when asked about Ben Henderson begging to give his teammates a shot in the UFC.

Dana White: This sports has exploded here and it's a very big deal. We have a 14,000 seat arena and 350,000 people were asking for tickets so we're pumped about this card. 

Mauricio Rua: I'm very happy and excited to be fighting in Brazil.

Dana White: We're looking to make this a regular thing coming to all the cities of Brazil.

Anderson Silva: I prepare for the best fighters in the world and I promise to show up and be prepared to fight.

Anderson Silva: It's good to fight Yushin Okami and the first time was a great experience in the cage but this time I have experience. I didn't expect a rematch until the rematch was made.

Anderson Silva: I'm just focusing on my next fight, not about how the last fight ended with Okami.

Dana White: Yushin Okami is the best fighter to come out of Japan. He didn't build this mythological reputation beating cans but he actually fought tough guys and he earned a fight against the pound for pound best fighter in the sport.

Dana White: From what I hear, the reports down there, the fight between Vitor and Anderson Silva was huge and that was a big jumping off point before coming to Brazil.

Mauricio Rua: I always followed MMA/Vale Tudo as a kid. I loved fighting movies like Van Damme and action movies like Rambo. The sport didn't used to be accepted when I got started and it's great to see the reaction now.

Mauricio Rua: I'm ready and happy. Very, very excited. The people that like the sport here, like it and the people that don't, don't. I'm very excited for the people that are UFC fans in Brazil.

Forrest Griffin: There's no pressure to prove anything in the rematch, at least not to me.

Dana White: This fight will happen in Brazil and right after this fight happens, we have the title with Rampage and Bones. Rashad is set to fight the winner of that and the winner of this fight could be set for a title shot.

Dana White: For us, a lot of guys work their way up and you've got to get back in line to get that title. Shogun is probably two fights away from being considered again. There's just too many factors to get in play.

On where his win over Shogun ranks in his career.

Forrest Griffin: It's below winning TUF which is the biggest thing I've ever done and winning the belt which is the second biggest thing I've ever done but it's probably number three in my career. It allowed me to get my title shot. You can't get any easy fights here at the top of the light heavyweight division.

Mauricio Rua: Ultimately we always get sad from the losses that we suffer but as athletes we have to deal with it. Obviously Forrest is a very good fighter, he'a  tough fighter. Being a top fighter, I knew I would get a shot at him again eventually. I think this is a great fight for the fans because Forrest loves to fight and he's very tough. I think this will be fantastic.

Dana White: As you go into every market, it's different. We've faced a lot of different challenges in the United States than in different countries. They're all different in different ways with different governments and different reactions. You learn things every day.

Dana White: There's no doubt about it, Brazil will be a gazillion times easier than the UK and Europe has been. Their economy is the fifth largest in the world or projected to be soon. There's so many talented guys coming out of there and not just talented guys but icons of the sport. It's a fighting culture down there.

Dana White: A lot of times, it's just timing. It's one of those things that you can never really plan. If we're gonna go to Brazil, it makes sense to have Anderson Silva on the card just as it makes sense for when we go to Canada to have GSP on the card. 

Dana White: It all worked out. The guys that are on this card are guys that really wanted to fight in Brazil. Every time we do a card in somebody's hometown, people ask to be there. It all worked out.

Anderson Silva: It's very emotional to think about fighting back here in my home in Brazil. I've fought all over the world and not only in the UFC but I've found that all this hard work that I've done has led up to this moment. It's great to be fighting in my home country and to be recognized for the work I've done. I'm very excited to be fighting here in Brazil.

Yushin Okami: It's huge to have Sonnen around and training with him I've learned so many things from Chael's experience.

Dana White: You never know. I always hope for exciting fights. We've a good run of five or six great shows that have been incredible. They're so fired up to have the sport coming back. I think the Yushin Okami / Anderson Silva fight, both these guys, Anderson's fighting for his legacy and Okami's fighting for respect. 

Anderson Silva: I don't have pressure. Okami is a good fight. This is a great opportunity for me, for Brazil. This is a great opportunity for Brazil. I'm very happy, very excited. The pressure? I don't have pressure. I train for a long time. I train for the best guys and I fight the best guys in the world. I don't have pressure.

Anderson Silva: After this fight, I will go back for training. Vitor, Okami, Chael Sonnen, Dana will decide who's next.

Forrest Griffin: Guys maybe at their core don't change but he looks a lot different. That was his first fight in the UFC, his first fight in the cage and his first fight without kicks on the ground. It's different.

Mauricio Rua: It was a very bitter defeat to Jon Jones and I was very sad but I really trained a hard to overcome that feeling and I'm hoping for a great performance.

Mauricio Rua: I only think about giving my best performance and winning this fight. I don't think about pressure and worst case scenarios. 

This concludes today's conference call.

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