Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a media conference call today (Oct. 4, 2012) in advance of UFC 153 which will take place next Saturday night (Oct. 13, 2012), at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Silva is the current UFC middleweight champion, having won the title from Rich Franklin back in 2006. Silva is widely considered the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. He's still undefeated in the UFC today after winning a rematch against heated rival Chael Sonnen earlier this summer. He stepped up and volunteered to save UFC 153 after injuries occurred to nearly everyone in the main and co-main event and the promotion gleefully accepted.
Stephan Bonnar has been a veteran of the UFC ever since competing against Forrest Griffin in the finale of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. While Griffin went on to become a champion, Bonnar has more or less hung around in the middle of the light heavyweight division. Bonnar has experienced a slight resurgence as of late, winning three straight and he's hoping to pull off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history next weekend.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a legend of mixed martial arts. "Minotauro" has long been considered one of the best heavyweight grapplers of all time but he's been sidelined since breaking his arm in a fight against Frank Mir last December. The former Pride and UFC heavyweight champion will be making his Octagon return in front of his native Brazil.
Dave Herman is one of the best athletes in the UFC heavyweight division, but he hasn't exactly translated to success in the promotion. After winning "Fight of the Night" in his debut last year, he's lost two straight via stoppage including a brutal knockout at the hands of Roy Nelson earlier this year on the all-heavyweight UFC 146 card.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET.
4:12 p.m. - Still waiting for the call to actually start. Remember folks, we're working in Brazilian time here.
4:15 p.m. - We're getting started
Dave Herman: Nogueira has fought a lot of big names and I'm interested in seeing how I match up with him.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: I'm juggling the training and the baby stuff pretty good. It's the media that's making me go postal. I'm being honest with you, I usually train for three months but I'm having to squeeze it into three weeks and with all this extra media, I nearly lost it last night. I'm really on the verge of going postal.
Anderson Silva: The main thing for me stepping into every fight is keeping at ease. I want to go in there and be as creative and technical as I can and be able to do what I was born to do.
Anderson Silva: Everything I've gone through and all the promotions I've gone through built up a strong base for me to join the UFC and get to where I was today.
Anderson Silva: I'm always trying to create new things and find new ways to improve myself. The dodging tennis balls helps with my reflexes.
Anderson Silva: In my opinion, Stephan Bonnar is a great athlete and a part of the history of the UFC. He's good on his feet, a good wrestler, has good groundwork and has good takedown defense. Anything can happen. You can get submitted or knocked out at any time.
Anderson Silva: I've got that responsibility on my back and I'm part of the UFC family. If my team said I couldn't have done it, I wouldn't do it. I was in a situation where the event might get cancelled and I stepped up and saved the show.
Anderson Silva: I believe you always have to have ethics. I'm definitely not perfect but I try my best and I'm showing that I'm always trying to prove myself.
Stephan Bonnar: I've been training as hard as I can and I'm in good enough shape to fight three rounds.
Anderson Silva: Every fight is a fight. It doesn't matter if it's a three or five rounder. Win or lose, I'll put on a great fight for the fan. I don't know how long it will take to complete this fight, but it should be a great fight.
Anderson Silva: Everyone in the UFC is prepared to be a great champion. It's an honor to be fighting Stephan Bonnar. I feel like I'm prepared. I want to give back to my Brazilian fans who have supported me these past two fights.
Anderson Silva: This is going to be one of the biggest fights of my career. Not having so much time to train, I believe this fight is going to make both of our careers take off. It'll be one of the things with a UFC champion taking on a guy with one of the longest histories in the UFC as well.
Anderson Silva: I believe it's really important for everyone to realize the value of Brazil to athletes today. I'm not putting down the other countries. They all have great fighters but Brazil has a strong tradition in MMA and some highly capable athletes.
Stephan Bonnar: I was close to Carlson Gracie. He was like a father figure to me. Same thing with Sergio Pena after Carlson passed. I've felt very close to Brazil.
Anderson Silva: There's been lots of talk about me moving to 205. Dana has talked about it, media and the fans, but I don't want to. I'm 37 years old and my weight class is 185 and I'll stay grounded and do what I need to do which is defend my belt at 185.
Stephan Bonnar: I've had big fights on big stages but the one with the most impact was on such a small stage with The Ultimate Fighter. That got more attention than the fights on the big pay-per-views later on. Fighting the best fighter in the world in his home country of Brazil, it's crazy. It feels like I'm in a movie.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira: My BJJ works very well. I've had 33 wins in my career and over 20 of them are from my jiu-jitsu. For this fight especially I trained a lot of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If it goes to the ground I will go for it. Submission or knockout. I'm definitely training my jiu-jitsu.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: I'm feeling good. My arm feels strong. I'm ready to go. I was hungry to fight and I asked to fight in Brazil and I got an opportunity to fight in Brazil.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Right now, I don't want to make a title run because Junior dos Santos is my friend. He's like my brother. I will fight other people until then. If he doesn't have the title, then I could.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: I'm recovered. I've had great training sessions. In training I'm always being tested so I believe if I'm training well, I'll fight well.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: It was a mistake against Mir to go for the submission after hurting him. I learned from this. If I hurt my opponent I will go for the KO.
Stephan Bonnar: It really came by surprise honestly. I campaigned for some big fights but I couldn't get them. In my head, I was trying to get over this whole fighting thing.
Stephan Bonnar: It looked like I wasn't getting any of the things I asked for and I was having a problem not doing this. I've never been hungry for the title. I was just honest. I guess I could have lied to him and got that job coaching TUF against Forrest and his viewpoint is "what's the point of a guy hanging around the divison, you should just hang it up" but I kind of like hanging around the division. Now I'm fighting the greatest pound for pound guy who's been a champion for a long time. Is it not a big deal because a belt isn't on the line? Hell no. It'll be the greatest moment of my life if I win.
Stephan Bonnar: A win over Anderson would set me up for big opportunities but if I get destroyed, I guess not.
Stephan Bonnar: I hadn't been in the gym in months and I got the call to help Bautista train for a few weeks. Thank God I did that because then I got the call to fight Anderson. I had an opportunity for a few weeks in advance to get the rust off.
Stephan Bonnar: I enjoy the negative tweets about how I don't stand a chance. If I pull it off, those people's jaws will drop.
Stephan Bonnar: He's a really great accurate striker. I'm not gonna out-finesse him. I've got to out-ugly him and be aggressive. Eat a punch to land a punch. That's about as much as I want to give away on that.
Stephan Bonnar: His only two fights at 205, he looked very fast and performed flawlessly.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: I was disappointed that I couldn't take the fight in July. I had two months of training for this fight. I ate a high kick in training and blocked a kick with the formerly broken arm and I wasn't feeling good so I had to pull out. Now I'm gonna fight in Brazil which is a big honor for me. I'm very excited.
Stephan Bonnar: It all depends how I do against Anderson Silva. If I do good, I'll get rewarded.
That's a wrap for the call. Thanks for stopping by!