Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a special media conference call today (Nov. 7, 2012) in advance of UFC 154: "St. Pierre vs. Condit," which will take place in just over a week (Nov. 17, 2012).
Georges St. Pierre is the current UFC Welterweight Champion. He has not fought since defending his title against Jake Shields at UFC 129 in April of 2011 due to suffering a pair of knee injuries. He is finally healthy and ready to return to the Octagon this upcoming November.
Carlos Condit is the current UFC Interim Welterweight Champion. He originally replaced Nick Diaz to fight St. Pierre at UFC 137, but the first injury sidelined him. When GSP went down again, he fought Nick Diaz for the interim title at UFC 143, utilizing a less than fan-friendly gameplan to outstrike the Stockton slugger and win the belt.
Condit chose to wait for St. Pierre to heal rather than defend the interim title and we're finally ready.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET.
Dana White: This is a huge fight. Georges St. Pierre has been out for a year, the most dominant champion ever in that weight division. I've said it many times and I'll say it again, the biggest pay-per-view star in the UFC. Carlos Condit isn't getting enough credit. He's got great ground skill and knockout power. This is far from an easy fight for Georges St. Pierre. This is a very tough fight.
Carlos Condit: As far as Georges being out. I don't see it being that big of a factor. I know Georges' recovery, from all reports from his camp, he's better than ever and that's what I'm expecting.
Dana White: There's no doubt Anderson Silva is there to cheer Georges St. Pierre on. He wants him to win this fight and he wants to fight him after.
GSP: I don't care about Anderson Silva, he can do whatever he wants. I'm focusing on Carlos Condit and that's all that matters for me.
Carlos Condit: I have a lot of fans in the hispanic market. It's a great opportunity for the UFC to be moving into that market and possibly doing a fight in Mexico. I think it's a great transition.
GSP: Me and Rory MacDonald help each other in training. We're training really hard to get ready. It's fun because we fight pretty close and we can get ready at the same time.
Dana White: It's a big deal. We missed GSP. It's good to have him back.
GSP: I always have pressure. That's why everyone is calling me out. It's important to me to focus on one fight at a time.
Carlos Condit: It's definitely motivating. I like playing the role of spoiler. There's a lot of people in the sport and media that are overlooking me and are looking forwards to a superfight between Georges and Anderson. I'm looking to get in there and do my thing and hopefully change my plans.
Carlos Condit: Yeah, a GSP/Anderson fight intrigues me. They're the two best fighters to step into the Octagon. You want to see who's the best but first thing's first, I have to do my thing.
Dana White: I couldn't say enough good things about Georges St. Pierre. He represents the belt well, the sport well, this company well, Canada. The difference between Georges St. Pierre and everyone in the UFC is he's got an entire country behind him. There's PPV in Canada too and that helps.
Dana White: It sucks for him to be gone, fighting three times a year and when he's gone for over a year, it's definitely not a good thing.
GSP: It's not really being in danger. I need to be more opportunistic and jumping more on the opportunity. The critics are there to make me better. I don't see it as a negative.
GSP: I was very happy with the Jon Fitch, the Thiago Alves fight. Maybe one fight I wasn't happy was the Jake Shields fight. When I finished that fight I wasn't happy. B.J. Penn, I finished that. He didn't come out for the fifth round and I would have finished it had he come out for the fifth round. I think it's a good thing to listen to critics to make yourself a better fighter but no matter how good you are, someone always criticizes.
Dana White: I have no idea about Kampmann/Hendericks. People are asking me if the Anderson Silva fight is happening after. He's got to beat Carlos Condit first. People are overlooking Carlos Condit and that's a bad idea.
Carlos Condit: This fight between Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre is a pound-for-pound fight. They've been number one and number two. If Carlos Condit wins the fight, he'll defend the title against who's next.
Dana White: We're still a week and a half out. I heard rumblings about this gate not doing well. The gate's over 3 million dollars. The biggest gate you can do there is 4 million. Maybe we did overprice this one a bit much but times are tough out there. I don't know. We'll see what happens. As we get closer to the event, we'll see how it goes. The gate is one of the top gates this year, 3.1 million dollars. We'll see what happens.
Dana White: Nick Diaz is a ways away from getting licensed again. Who knows where we'll be by then. The landscape changes so fast with the fight world. We'll see what happens with the commission and we'll go there.
GSP: The fight I want the most is against the best man and that's Carlos Condit. That's the fight I want.
Carlos Condit: We switched it up since Greg Jackson isn't involved. I wouldn't say it's a huge departure from what we were doing before but it's kind of adding and supplementing what we've been doing lately.
GSP: Nothing has changed. It's just for this fight without Greg and that's no problem.
Carlos Condit: It's not like I'm not on speaking terms with Greg Jackson or anything like that. I've been training with Winklejohn and Chris Cattrell for a long time. I feel I'm in good hands for the preparation.
Dana White: Obviously, there's three great venues that you'd do. We could go to Toronto, huge stadium there, Dallas Texas stadium or a soccer stadium in Brazil. This fight has to happen people. It's fun to talk about this superfight but I'm sure it's pissing Carlos off every time it's asked.
Dana White: We've been talking to the Cowboys guys for a while. Whenever we want to do an event there, they're ready for it.
GSP: What I realized the most is how much I missed it. It's like when you're in love with your girlfriend. When you're with her, sometimes you don't realize you love that person but when your'e away for a long time, you realize you love that person, you miss her. It's the same thing in fighting. When you do it every day, the stress makes you forget you like that. When I got hurt, I was away for so long and I had to change my routine and I'm very pumped and I'm glad to be back.
GSP: I'm always afraid when I'm going to fight, regardless of who I'm fighting. I'm going to be fired up and I'll fight the best that I can. I will leave everything out there. That's something I can promise to everybody.
GSP: I changed a lot of stuff in my life, in my personal life. I'm making things easier and more efficient. I'm not burned out. People used to say I lost my smile, I used to smile at press conferences and during the last two fights I lost that fire, lost my smile. Now that I haven't done this in a long time, I found it. Before in training, I was thinking I can't wait to be on vacation and be done with this. Now I want to get in the Octagon, leave with a finish and a victory. I want to enjoy every second of it. i want to have the experience and the chance to live every second of it. I'm happy to be back.
Carlos Condit: When I fought in my hometown, I felt a lot more pressure. Also, he's coming back off an injury. This is a must-win fight for him. I feel like all the pressure is on him. He's the man. He's got the status. I've got nothing to lose. I can go in there and perform to the best of my ability and put on a good show.
Carlos Condit: I'm gonna walk away with the UFC title. Undisputed, no more interim. I'm gonna be the UFC champion on November 18th.
GSP: I like what I do, but I forgot that I liked it. A lot of stuff was happening in my life and I lost a bit of that fire. I'm glad to be back. If you don't have fun doing what you're doing, just don't do it. I'm good at what I do because I have fun. I want to enjoy every second of it. It's the best job in the world. It's a great opportunity and we're very happy to do that.
Carlos Condit: I feel like I have a skill-set and I've posed problems for a lot of opponents not just Georges that they don't see from other guys. I'm well-rounded and mentally strong. I'm not saying Georges' other opponents haven't been but we'll have to see how it goes. I'm very confident and it's an honor to compete against him. I feel ready. I'm as ready as I've ever been. I'm excited to go out there and do my thing.
This concludes today's conference call. Thanks for stopping by!