Ultimate Fighting Championship will be holding a media conference call today (Dec. 7, 2011) in advance of the promotion's second major network event, UFC on FOX 2: "Evans vs. Davis" which will take place next weekend on Saturday, January 28, 2012.
The conference call will begin at 2 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening: Rashad Evans, Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping, Demian Maia and Chris Wiedman.
Rashad Evans is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and recently came back from significant time away to defeat Tito Ortiz in the main event of UFC 133. He's been the de facto number one contender for over a year now but injuries have kept him from challenging for the belt.
He'll be challenged by Phil Davis, an undefeated UFC prospect who was a four time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and 2008 national champion. He currently holds a spotless MMA record and is looking to take it to the next level by battling Evans, the man he was originally slated to fight at UFC 133 before injuries got in the way.
Chael Sonnen has made as much of a name for himself with his gift for gab as he has with his talent in fighting. The mouthy ex-realtor gave Anderson Silva his toughest test in the UFC to date and has been clamoring for another shot. His opponent, Michael Bisping rose to the occasion when Mark Munoz went down with an injury. The Brit is riding a four fight winning streak and the winner will be earning a crack at the 185 pound title.
Demian Maia is one of the strongest and most dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in the UFC. While the submissions haven't been coming lately, he has won three of his last four including a dominant top control victory against Jorge Santiago his last time out. His opponent, Chris Weidman, is one of the most promising middleweights in the UFC. He stepped up on extremely short notice and will be putting his undefeated record on the line in what is a huge leap forward in competition for the former All-American wrestler out of Hofstra.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC on FOX 2 conference call after the jump.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET.
Chael Sonnen opens with a rib against Michael Bisping, saying the the lame hold music was "Michael Bisping" music.
Phil Davis: I've worked on my stand-up and my overall MMA game, not just to be a stand-up fighter. I've worked on everything and putting it all together. That's more what you'll see this fight.
Phil Davis: Definitely this is the right fight for me right now. I'm five wins in, who else is there left to fight?
Michael Bisping: I finished my morning workou tand I was having lunch preparing for Demian Maia and I got the callf rom Dana that Mark Munoz had hurt his elbow and if I wanted to replace him. The winner was gonna fight Anderson Silva in the soccer stadium. I couldn't turn that down. I was already preparing for a tough fight in Maia and a lot of that crosses over into this fight and I'm ready.
Michael Bisping: If I knew I was fighting Chael earlier, I would have brought in more wrestlers instead of jiu-jitsu guys. I've been working with Jake Shields and more, so a lot of that crosses over. Maia wants to take me down and submit me and that's a similar gameplan for Chael Sonnen. It's not about what my opponent is gonna do, it's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna win.
Rashad Evans: I thought Bisping was pretty good with his wrestling in our fight. He was very squirmy and hard to hold down but Chael's a different wrestler than I am altogether. Mike is a hard person to keep down and try to hold down and he's been improving on his wrestling every fight but Chael is good at what he does. It's hard to say really who has the advantage.
Michael Bisping: Thanks for the comment Rashad, but I don't like the word "squirmy."
Chael Sonnen: I came from a wrestling background. I never know who's gonna show up. My dad and I would wake up early Saturday morning, jump into a car and drive across the country for a tournament. You never know who's gonna show up, you win a match, some guy wins his match and 20 minutes later you're fighting him. In MMA, you get three fights a year and that's the easiest thing. As far as an opponent change, who cares?
Chael Sonnen: I can guarantee you Anderson Silva and I will never cross paths again. Our business is done. We will not fight under any circumstances. He will not get in the ring with me ever. I thought the plan was if I got by Munoz and Michael got by Maia, the plan was to create an interim title between him and I. Anderson's not going to fight anybody.
Chael Sonnen: Nothing's changed. I never understood, Bisping wants a title shot and people are saying he doesn't deserve one but he's beat up everybody in front of him. He fights anybody they've asked him to fight. He fights big fights and he's the main event or co-main event every time and he gets his hand raised every time. I'm not delusional. I'm a pretty smart guy but Bisping gets the job done. For someone to say that he shouldn't get the opportunity, even when he beat everybody at light heavyweight. I'm not gonna act as if the guy's not a great fighter. He is.
Chael Sonnen: I think they're sincere, they mean it, but behind the scenes they tried to put me and Anderson together four times and four times he said no. I called him out publicly and in Brazilian culture, if you get called out, you fight. I calledhim out and he put his hands over his mouth and hid behind Charles Barkley. He told Lorenzo Fertitto "no" face-to-face.
Michael Bisping: I'm always looking for the biggest fights possible. A fight with Demian was a very very tough test and he's a hell of a fighter. I jumped at the opportunity for Sonnen. This is a bigger fight with bigger implications. Chael is at the top of the division and people have been saying I don't fight the top guys. I have no injuries, I'm in shape, I'm on weight and it's all there. If I win, fantastic. If I lose, I don't deserve a title shot anyways. It all just depends on what happens next week.
Demian Maia: It was quick. In like two hours, they told me I was not going to fight anymore and two hours later they said Chris had accepted the fight. He's tough and he makes up for the experience. He's never lost, he's a good wrestler. I was preparing to fight a striker and now I've got to fight a wrestler. You never know who you're gonna fight like Chael said so I don't care. I'll just go there and fight.
Demian Maia: I've been fighting against wrestlers before and I just have to go back to my roots. Michael is a striker but I have time to make the adjustment and Chris doesn't have the time to adjust to me too so we're in the same line.
Demian Maia: I saw him when he fought Tom Lawlor in November and I was impressed with his submission so I'm not surprised when I found out I was fighting him. I knew who he was.
Chris Weidman: When I got the phone call from my manager, I just thought it was such a huge opportunity. At first, he told me I was gonna fight in March or April, he was gonna get pulled off this card and then they called back and said Maia really wanted to fight on this Fox card and I was so pumped up to fight Demian Maia, I didn't care when it was. I have a lot of respect for him and I'm excited to test myself.
Chris Weidman: I don't think it would have mattered who it was. You only live once and some people never get an opportunity like this given to them. In my mind, this is truly the first Fox card, there's three fights and this is history in the making. I wasn't gonna let someone else take this opportunity.
Chael Sonnen: I would definitely resist that this is easier. I've never had an easy fight in the UFC and I've never had a harder fight. I prepare, I leave the gym when I can't even stand. I leave the gym exhausted and I leave the Octagon exhausted. I will use every bit of energy I've got regardless of opponent. There's no easy fight and there's no hard fight. You give it your all every single time.
Chael Sonnen: Prior to fighting Brian Stann, yes, I was given the guarantee. Prior to my return from my hiatus, I was given the guarantee. I have no reason to believe this guarantee will be legitimate.
Chael Sonnen: It doesn't matter where you fight, Brazil, Vegas, anywhere, you fight in the Octagon and that's what matters.
Chael Sonnen: It's been four offers and why he won't do it? I can only thing to guess because I stomped him the first time and I'll stomp him the second time. I'm moving on. If I become number one contender and I get past Bisping, I'm gonna sit down with Dana White and talk about Jon Jones or Georges St. Pierre. I wish Bisping would be for the interim title because we're the only two with the balls to fight.
Michael Bisping: As Chael said, the fight was only made a few days ago and I've got to pull my energy into preparing for the fight. That's not the important thing, the important thing is the fight. Forget the trash talk, forget all that, tune in for the fight. Who cares about the trash talk?
Chael Sonnen: The fight just got announced. It got sprung on us like three days ago. This is my first media opportunity since the fight go announced. First thing's first, before you pick on Michael Bisping, you've got to get ready for Michael Bisping. I really haven't had a microphone in my face or anybody to talk to and I don't think I've pulled the rings on him. I don't think Bisping behaves like a coward or carries himself in a bad way. I don't see a lot of stuff I don't like so I'm not gonna make something up.
Chris Weidman: I haven't really got to showcase my striking yet. This might be an opportunity to do it, I don't know yet. If the takedown is there, I'm gonna look for the takedown and submissions no matter who I'm fighting. I'm excited to show off everything and obviously everyone has respect for Demian Maia. I'll see where I fall with that.
Rashad Evans: It's a little bit different in respect that we work a lot of jiu-jitsu but more than anything, Mike Van Arsdale is the head coach so we stick to fundamentals and things I'm good at. One thing I've learned is you can't forget where you're strongest at. I do a lot of jiu-jitsu but my focus is on my wrestling.
Chael Sonnen: One thing we do a good job of in our sport is we test guys. We test guys every time, every show and I think there's a tremendous misunderstanding and I went through this myself. Legal versus banned, there are phone book sized pages of perfectly legal substances that you can ingest fight in front of a police officer that are illegal for the sport. That's where some of the confusion is. Fighters need to educate themselves on that. Just because something's legal, doesn't mean it's not banned. The real trick is it changes state by state. What's good in California isn't necessarily good in Nevada. Fighters need to be proactive, take it into their own hands and make sure they understand that just because a doctor prescribed it to you doesn't mean it's not banned. Banned and illegal are very different.
Rashad Evans: I think with the hard training and stuff like that and with the athletes that we've got, we'll make the mark on our sport. If we do it in the gym, it shows in the fight. More people start to notice and get on board when they see our success, so I expect our gym to grow a lot.
Rashad Evans: Jon's the champion and he's on top of the world so he gets to make those choices. I don't own a special spot. it's a privilege to be number one contender but I'm yet to fight for the belt. If the UFC has another contender to put in there, by all means, that's what they have to do and I'll just do what I have to do which is get another title shot.
Phil Davis: After I beat Rashad on the 28th, they won't have anything to do for me other than the champion. If Henderson gets the shot, that works into my plans. I get a rest and whatever happens, happens, and I'm up next.
Rashad Evans: You can't beat me man, you ain't ready. I'm gonna smash you dude. I looked into your eyes and you ain't ready. You just a boy. You aren't a real fighter.
Phil Davis: You shouldn't be concerned about that title shot, it's not gonna happen this time around.
Rashad Evans: We'll see what happens when the lights hit you. When you get hit in the mouth things change. When you got hit in the mouth by Little Nog, you didn't know what to do.
Rashad Evans: Come one, come all, it doesn't matter who they put in front of me it doesn't matter. The fact that this kid thinks he can beat me really bothers me.
Rashad Evans: There's some people who wouldn't fight if they weren't paid to fight and Phil is one of those people.
Phil Davis: You can say what you want to over the phone, but when we get in the cage, you'll see how you feel in there. I'm gonna remind you with every shot what you said.
Lots of muffled arguing and bickering between Rashad and Davis ensues.
That's a wrap folks, hope you enjoyed the call.