Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
MMAmania.com will have complete updates and live coverage of today's UFC on FOX 5 pre-fight press conference. Check out all the juiciest quotes from lightweight champion Ben Henderson, challenger Nate Diaz and fellow main card fighters B.J. Penn, Alexander Gustafsson, Mauricio Rua and Rory MacDonald right here.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a media conference call today (Dec. 6, 2012) in advance of UFC on FOX 5: "Henderson vs. Diaz," which will take place this Saturday (Dec. 8) at the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington.
The conference call will begin promptly at 3 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening, Ben Henderson, Nate Diaz, Alexander Gustafsson, Mauricio Rua, B.J. Penn, Rory MacDonald, Mike Swick and Matt Brown..
Henderson is the current UFC lightweight champion. After losing his WEC strap at the end of 2010, he tore through the UFC 155-pound division, knocking off contender after contender before earning a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 earlier this year in Japan. He eeked out a controversial decision in a rematch against "The Answer" this past August and now he's ready for a new challenger in Diaz.
Nate Diaz won the lightweight season five of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and had a nice run in the division, but he's really shone brightest since returning to the division following a brief four-fight run at welterweight. His current three fight win streak over Takanori Gomi, Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller looks incredibly solid on paper and he's hoping to give Henderson a completely different type of test.
Mauricio Rua is the former UFC light heavyweight champion. After losing the title to Jon Jones, he's traded wins and losses, most recently defeating Brandon Vera in the main event of UFC on FOX 3 this past August. He turned down a short notice shot at the title, but a victory over rising prospect Gustafsson could get him right back on track.
Alexander Gustafsson is one of the best young contenders at 205 pounds. After his lone loss to Phil Davis, he's reeled off a solid string of performances against top competition including his first headlining stint at UFC on FUEL TV 2 in his home country of Sweden earlier this year against Thiago Silva. Now, he's looking to take it to the next level with a huge win over a former champ.
Last but not least, B.J. Penn is a legend in the sport. A former champion at welterweight and lightweight, he's returned to the 170-pound division with mixed results. After a strong start with a 23-second knockout over Matt Hughes, he's drawn with Jon Fitch and was pounded by Nick Diaz last year, forcing an impromptu post-fight retirement speech. He returned from hiatus to take on one of the best young prospects in the UFC in Rory MacDonald. After the bout was delayed, it's ready to go down in a week and a half.
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference will begin at 3 p.m. ET.
3:08 p.m. We're getting started
Mike Swick: Matt Brown said he was better than me in every area so we'll have to find out on Saturday.
Nate Diaz: Yeah, I'm pretty much year round, I try to eat raw foods as much as I can. Raw food restaurants, not just broccoli and lettuce. There's entrees and stuff. Look it up. I've been vegan since I was 18 years old and I've been raw for the last year and a half.
Dana White: I don't think Benson's had his due yet. He's had tough fights, close fights where people were saying Frankie might have won. This is the fight for him. Nate Diaz is mean and nasty and finishes people by knockout or submission. This is the fight for Ben Henderson.
Rory MacDonald: I wanted to wear a suit today.
Alex Gustafsson: It's the most important fight of my career and by far the toughest guy. When I win this fight I will be up in the mix and I'll be ready for the champ whether it's Chael or Jones.
Dana White: Gilbert Melendez is hurt right now. I'm glad they are talking about what they'll do instead of just saying they won't fight each other.
Dana White: I know both of these guys personally and I wouldn't say they are that much different. Nate comes off publicly a certain way but he's a good dude. I've never had any problems with Nate ever. Ben's a great guy. He's more open and public in front of cameras. He loves it. He's into it. Stylistically? They're different fighters. Both Diaz brothers are different.
Nate Diaz: Whatever. People try to stick [the bad boy image] on me more than I do.
Ben Henderson: He likes to come forward, I like to come forward as well. My last two fights I wasn't able to come forward as much. I like to be aggressive and he likes to go forward and be aggressive. We're very similar but go about it in different ways. Once we go into the Octagon, it'll be fun.
Matt Brown: I learned from past mistakes when I lost some fights. I learned a lot from my losses and to take it one fight at a time, not to dwell on mistakes and fix them. To take it one day at a time.
Shogun Rua: When you train with tough guys, it improves your game too. It's important to be around the right people and that's why Gustafsson has got better.
Alexander Gustafsson: Shogun has been in this sport for a long time and he has his tricks. I'll be ready for everything on Saturday.
Dana White: We're probably gonna move Phil Davis to another card.
Dana White: If Alexander can beat Shogun, he gets the shot. If Shogun beats him, he gets it. Unless some crazy shit happens, the winner of this fight will get the next shot.
B.J. Penn: I believe a human being only has so much fight in him. I believe over the course of my career I was able to take time off that was needed. I believe it was very healthy to get this rest off this past year. It was very good for me, mental physical, emotional everything. My body got rejuvenated from the inside.
B.J. Penn: Rory said he took this fight because he's gonna hurt me. He said I was probably gonna die in the ring. He better be able to back up everything he said. If you want to say stuff like that, you'd better be able to back it up.
Rory MacDonald: How I took the Road to the Octagon thing was he said he was fighting to get his legacy back. I don't know if that's true or not. I don't know his motivation. If that's true, if you're fighting for someone's opinion, your status, that's the wrong motivation. It's gonna get him hurt.
Dana White: It always helps. It's never a bad thing if the guy who holds the title is from there. With the way things have been going for us lately, do you know how happy I am that all the guys we picked to be on this card are still here? Fox loved this card, everybody loved this card. I'm just happy to be here. I'll make sure nobody falls off this fucking podium or anything in the next 24 hours. It's been a while. I'm excited.
Dana White: I'm introducing Ronda Rousey as the first women's champion in the UFC at 135 lbs. I'm going to make February 23rd at the Honda Center. She'll be fighting Liz Carmouche and she is the main event.
Dana White: The Cyborg fight will happen eventually, hopefully next. Liz Carmouche wanted to fight her. People aren't kicking doors down to fight her.