Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a public press conference TONIGHT (Feb. 29, 2012) in advance of UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann," which will take place this Friday (March 2, 2012) at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.
The press conference will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will take place at The Star Sydney Hotels & Casino in Sydney, Australia. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening, Martin Kampmann, Thiago Alves, Joseph Benavidez, Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall and Yasuhiro Urushitani.
We'll deliver the minute-by-minute updates from the UFC on FX 2 prefight press conference below, as well as feature the LIVE video feed so you can watch it right here at MMAmania.com.
Kampmann is one of the top welterweights in the UFC. The Xtreme Couture fighter originally hailing from Denmark is always within reach of a title shot but he hasn't quite been able to get over the hump. He's hoping to get close once more if he can string together a few more really big wins and you don't get much bigger than Thiago Alves.
Thiago Alves is a former welterweight title contender. He fell on hard times both with making weight and in putting on good performances but has seemingly turned it all around after teaming up with Mike Dolce to help him get healthier and cut weight properly. After getting back on track in his last fight, he too is hoping to get back into the mix with a big main event victory.
Joseph Benavidez was in no-man's land at bantamweight after dropping two decisions to champion Dominick Cruz. He beat everyone else he was thrown against in the division, but the Team Alpha Male fighter could only play spoiler. He's extremely grateful for an opportunity to drop down to flyweight now and compete in a tournament for the title. His opponent, Yasuhiro Urishitani, is one of the best flyweights in the world. Hailing from Japan, he was the Shooto 123 pound champion before the UFC signed him.
Demetrious Johnson, despite being undersized, rose through the ranks defeating big name after big name and earned a title shot at bantamweight. He lost last October to Dominick Cruz via decision, but he put on a terrific showing and earned the respect of fans everywhere. He too, was grateful for an opportunity to drop down to 125 pounds. His opponent, Ian McCall, dropped down to flyweight in 2011 and took the division by storm. He defeated the then-number one ranked Jussier da Silva and then proceeded to win the Tachi Palace flyweight title. He's out to prove he belongs with the elite in the world.
We'll have all the updates from the UFC on FX 2 prefight press conference after the jump, as well as the LIVE video feed:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET. 6
7:10 p.m. - We're still waiting to get started.
7:20 we're getting rolling now.
Dana White: Prelim fights will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday on the east coast.
Dana White: This is a big fight for both of these guys and a big win for whoever wins this weekend.
Thiago Alves: I've changed a lot of things in my personal life and my training camp. I changed a few of my coaches and brought Mike Dolce in to not just work on nutrition but strength and conditioning. I'm concerned about performance.
Demetrious Johnson: I'm glad the UFC chose me as one of the athletes to fight in their flyweight division and I'm looking forward to fighting on Friday.
Joseph Benavidez: Being able to go through a camp at this weight, I notice the difference. I gained a focus that I didn't have at 135. I feel faster and it's going to make for a dangerous fighter on Saturday.
Demetrious Johnson: I was eating all organic and I feel at this weight class, I can really do some work.
Dana White: It's been a long time coming. When we first bought this company, we didn't even have a 155 pound division. When we brought the WEC over, a lot of people have been waiting for this division. It'll be exciting to crown a champion in the flyweight division.
Thiago Alves: My focus is on putting on a great performance and I feel I can be a top contender.
Thiago Alves: Dolce played a big part in this new phase of my career. I'm still training at American Top Team but I had to recycle new coaches. I'm doing everything I'm doing and I'm prepared.
Martin Kampmann: I feel some of my last losses were BS. I'll ask Dana to line them up.
Martin Kampmann: The focus is beating Thiago on Saturday [Friday in US] and take it from there.
Dana White: Stylistically, this is a great fight. Martin Kampmann has had some really close decisions and both of these guys have fought the absolute best int he world and this is very important for moving up the ladder and getting a title shot.
Dana White: One of the things we do here is traditional weight classes all the way up. There's no saturation. It's a testament to how big the sport has become. There's no junior middleweight or anything like that. I don't think it's a bad thing at all.
Ian McCall: I changed my life completely. I'm a completely different person than I used to be in the WEC. Everything from the way I eat to the way I was. I'm more focused on fighting than I was before. Before, it was more of a hobby.
Ian McCall: I get beat up in every single aspect of the game, but I can put it all together and fight successfully.
Dana White: This is a huge market for us. This place is fantastic. We will be everywhere here in Australia eventually too. The reality that our problem getting up there is the cage is hilarious. The cage is designed for safety. I've got dozens of instances of fighters falling out of the ring. We'll get it done. It's an education process. If they want us to stay in Sydney, we can do that too.
Dana White: I talked to Edgar on the phone and I think everyone would like to see him go down to his natural weight of 145 pounds. I have so much respect for Edgar and what he was able to do at 155 pounds. I had a good talk with him yesterday. We'll see what happens. If he drops, he'll absolutely walk straight into a title shot. Absolutely. If I deny him the rematch for the 155 pound title, I wouldn't make him fight again to earn a shot at the 145 pound title.
Ian McCall: I got tweeted at by Sean Shelby "What's your phone number," and then he contacted me. It was pretty exciting.
Ian McCall: I had a friend, his son calls me Uncle Ian and he called me Uncle Creepy. I personally thought nicknames were stupid. If you name yourself, you're a douchebag.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: I really cannot understand where I am.
Ian McCall: I always have something to prove. No matter who you are, you can't be up on your pedestal for too long. I'm ready to prove my worth.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: Everyone asks, would I come to to UFC 125 weight class and I almost gave up my dream but it was finally realized and I'm very happy.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: I made the decision to come to the UFC immediately.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: I like to fight and perform as the underdog and I like to defeat the guy that people think is greater than me. I'm very happy to do it.
Demetrious Johnson: My job is to go out there and put him away and I'm going to do my job on [Friday] night.
Dana White: The sudden death round is news to me.
Dana White: Never ever plans to add the cruiserweight division.
Joseph Benavidez: I'll win by Joe-moplata
Thiago Alves: Flying triangle
Martin Kampmann: Gogoplata
Ian McCall: Sudden death Mortal Kombat.
Dana White: I think it's an incredibly stacked division already with a lot of talent and as we go into these countries in latin American and Asia, a lot of the new talents in these markets will be 125 pounders for sure.
-That's a wrap! Thanks for tuning in.