Although it's been a bit overshadowed by the injury plagued UFC 133 this Saturday, the promotion will return with its fifth Versus show in less than two weeks on Sun., Aug. 14, 2011, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Headlining the free event will be an expected stand-up war between welterweight bangers Dan Hardy and Chris Lytle, who enter the match in desperate need of a victory having lost a combined four fights in a row.
Miller is riding a huge wave of momentum, winning seven consecutive fights in the UFC lightweight division, while Henderson, the former WEC lightweight champion, was successful in his first fight with the promotion. The winner of this bout will have a huge say in who will be the next 155-pound title challenger.
MMAmania.com will deliver up-to-the-second live updates of the special conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here on standby. The call is scheduled to begin very shortly.
on the move to Las Vegas:
Dan Hardy: I know it's a bit cliche but it's been the best training camp so far. I trained here for a bit, spent a couple weeks at Rough House and I came back here for the last four weeks working with Roy Nelson, great wrestlers and great jiu-jitsu guys. I've been sparring with Evan Dunham and Gilbert Yvel and it's been good. There's a lot of talent in Vegas and it gives me a look at a lot of different guys. I feel ready. I've got to get things back on track and this is the place to do it.
Dan Hardy: That's something I've got to work on for the rest of my career. I've already taken those steps and I've made a lot of improvements in the last four weeks. I feel comfortable wherever the fight goes. Obviously everyone knows where I want the fight to be and they know where they want Chris [Lytle] to be as well.
Dan Hardy: If I look at the fights, if I break down each of the three fights. GSP was one of the best in the world and that was a learning experience for me. The Condit fight, my arrogance got the best of me and I got caught and it was my own fault. Against Johnson, he was a strong wrestler and I just wasn't ready for it. Coming out to Vegas has made things a lot easier. I normally have to go around to multiple gyms but here everything is right around the corner so I have time to rest. Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone and I think I got a little too comfortable in England.
Chris Lytle: Dan's a really tough fighter and he's doing a lot of good things right now preparing for me. I'm expecting a great fight. If I do beat him, I wouldn't delay the political career. It's something that's important to me and I've thought about this a lot. I live there, I care about there and after this fight, I'll reevaluate everything and see what happens. I wouldn't have formed an exploratory committee about running if I wasn't serious about it. I'm a busy guy, I train full time, I'm a firefighter and I'm serious about it.
Dan Hardy: It's unusual territory for me, I've never been in this situation before. At this level, that's just the way it goes sometimes. You get in there and give everything you've got and sometimes the outcome is out of your hands. Anything can happen at any minute. I love fighting for the UFC and I love fighting in this sport. I don't want to let those fans down that want to see me in the UFC. I've just got to go with the flow, prepare myself and if I think about it too much, it'll just get me down and stop me from performing at my best. Right now I feel unstoppable and the three losses are more of a motivational tool more than anything else.
Dan Hardy: I think this is the kind of fight the fans want to see. I'm not expecting to hear any boos in the fifteen minutes. I love fighting, I love the competition, the risk taking and the gambling throwing punches at everybody. I want fun fights and for me, Chris Lytle is a guy I can look up to. He's a guy I can fight like and having the opportunity to share the Octagon with him is an honor. I want somebody that wants to get that paycheck and take it home.
Jim Miller: In my opinion, you've got to look at every fight as the most important fight of my career. With the wins I have, if I'd lost one of them, I wouldn't be in the situation I am now. I'm just preparing for this fight and nothing else.
Ben Henderson: I agree with [Jim]. If you lose any of your fights, you've got to start over. I view all of my fights that way.
Jim Miller: I want the tough road. I want to fight the toughest guys. If I feel like I can be the UFC champ, then whoever they stick in my way on the way up to that point, I need to beat them. If I pull out a win on the 14th, and they throw me in there against someone else, then so be it. I like to stay active and keep fighting, have that motivation through and through and light a fire under my ass. I just want to get better every day. I'm gonna keep fighting and treat every fight like it's the big one.
Ben Henderson: I didn't take it personally when [Miller said the WEC lightweights would be weeded out quickly]. That's his opinion but I definitely remember that.
Jim Miller: The WEC guys are tough guys. What got me is the 10 guys coming over to the UFC thinking they'd roll right in here. They're won just as many as they've lost and the biggest win they've had was Ben's victory over Mark Bocek. This is a tough division and we'll see how it goes on the 14th.
Jim Miller: No one's told me exclusively that [if I win I'm next in line]. If Guida had finished Anthony [Pettis], he could be next in line for a shot. It all depends. If they bring over Melendez from Strikeforce, so much can happen. It's such a fluid division and there's a bunch of guys that have built themselves up. I'm not gonna focus on that and just focus on the task at hand.
Chris Lytle: Somebody's come up with a new state of the art gym in Indiana and that's not true. There was a new gym opening and a new gym closing not too far after that. The group I'm with is a group of nomads, we're always finding a great place to train. It'd be great if it was a situation where we could all do it in one place but I don't have time to open a new gym. I'm used to that and I have great training and the training camp right now is all about me. I have a sense of loyalty to these people for helping me out for such a long time and I'm ready to go.
Jim Miller: I don't know a win would guarantee me a title shot. Ben is a tough fight and a win over him would mean a lot and would have a lot of weight behind it. You never know what's gonna happen. There's been so much going on at the top of the lightweight division with Frankie having to fight B.J. after beating him and then the draw and both of them getting hurt. There's just so much going on and to get frustrated by it would be silly and add too much stress. I just have to relax and take things as they come, try to fight the best and beat them.
Ben Henderson: For sure, this is the toughest fight in my career. I seem pretty blessed so far. I did have a setback a couple fights ago but I got back on the winning track. Jim is definitely the toughest guy, he's a wrestler and I'm expecting the toughest fight of my career, going 15 minutes hard at an insane pace.
Dan Hardy: I'm changing my colors lightly. I'm going slightly different this time. Not wildly different but something to give myself a fresh feel. It's more for me than anything else.
Dan Hardy: My preparation is all about hitting Chris. I'm not expecting much of his punching power.
Chris Lytle: I've been planning on hurting his hand against my face, maybe breaking both hands. I've been working with Matt Mitrione and having him repeatedly punch me in the face as hard as he can. Seriously though, my gameplan lasts until I get punched once and then I just try to get him. I know he comes to bring it and he's got a very good left hook so I'm trying to keep my right hand up. I want to try to take glancing blows instead of clean shots and that gives me an opportunity to hit them back.
Ben Henderson: Everything's the same, just the fan recognition now. A lot of people didn't know about the WEC. I think not having to always sit there and explain what the WEC is and how it relates to the UFC, I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore. No qualms about it, the UFC has the toughest 155 pounder in the world and I'm here to showcase the things I do and what I can bring to my table.
Ben Henderson: I have no idea where a win places me. That's up to my managers and coaches. I don't really care. If you're on the right track and getting your hand raised, that's all that matters. Whether your number 20 or number two, the key thing is getting your hand raised and looking impressive.
Ben Henderson: I think Miller is definitely going to bring a unique style if the fight goes to the ground. I think I'll be ready for it. To be honest, I think our styles are very similar. We're both former collegiate wrestlers who got into MMA afterwards. He's been transitioning to jiu-jitsu and I'm on a similar path. The stuff he does in jiu-jitsu matches and the MMA cage are a lot of the same things I do. I feel this will be something that I'm ready for.
Ben Henderson: It could lead to more striking standing up. While Jim and I are pretty even on the ground. I think my ground game will come out on top.
This concludes the conference call