Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a public press conference today (March 6, 2012) in advance of UFC on FOX 3: "Diaz vs. Miller," which will take place on May 5, 2012, at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
The press conference will begin at 11 a.m. ET and will take place at The Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening, Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, Josh Koscheck, Johny Hendricks, Alan Belcher, Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson.
We'll deliver the minute-by-minute updates from the UFC on FOX 3 prefight press conference below, as well as feature the LIVE video feed so you can watch it right here at MMAmania.com.
Nate Diaz is the winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season five. After mixed results at lightweight, he had a 2-2 run at welterweight but seems to have finally advanced to an elite level after returning back to roots at 155 pounds. He's coming off a tremendous showing over Donald Cerrone and is poised to contend. His opponent, Jim Miller was the man at lightweight after seven straight wins in the division but was knocked off his pedestal by the current champion Ben Henderson last year. He bounced back in the main event of the first UFC on FX show and is hoping a victory over the younger Diaz brother can earn him a crack at the title and a shot at redemption.
John Hendricks had quietly gone 8-1 while competing under the Zuffa banner, but that all changed last December when he knocked out perennial number two welterweight on the planet Jon Fitch in just 12 seconds. Now, after toiling away on the undercard, he's got everyone's attention. His opponent, Josh Koscheck, failed in his attempt to win the UFC welterweight title but has won consecutive bouts since. If he can't earn another crack at the championship, he'll at least be looking to avenge his friend and former teammate John Fitch.
Al Belcher was on the verge of contention before a freak eye injury sidelined him for over a year. He returned last fall to crush Jason MacDonald and is hoping to regain his status against Rousimar Palhares.
Pat Barry is one of the UFC's most popular and lovable heavyweights. He's slowly progressed his overall skill-set and showcased some submission defense in his last fight, a first round knockout victory this past January. His opponent, Lavar Johnson, has some of the heaviest hands on the planet and he made an immediate impact in his UFC debut by doing something no one else had ever done, putting Joey Beltran to sleep with his fists. He'd love to do it again on the national stage this time.
We'll have all the updates from the UFC on FOX 3 prefight press conference after the jump, as well as the LIVE video feed:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
11:02 a.m. - The show is actually starting on time.
Dana White: Rousimar Palhares had some visa issues, that's why he couldn't be here.
Nate Diaz: I thought the winner of this fight will get a title shot. We'll see what happens.
Jim Miller: Nate and I have proved that we're the top guys in the division. I personally don't feel that Pettis' victory over Stephens and the knockout over Lauzon are a legitimate title run. For either of me and Diaz, a win will put us in the picture.
Dana White: I'm still waiting for what happens with Frankie Edgar first. I'd like to get him to featherweight but we're still talking to him.
Lavar Johnson: I"m not going to let this opportunity pass me up. I'm gonna give it my all.
Johny Hendricks: This is just another stepping stone. My last fight doesn't matter. I just have to get better and put on a fight for you guys.
Josh Koscheck: I'm no stepping stone. This fight will help me get on my run again and Johny Hendricks won't win this fight.
Pat Barry: I would like to hope me getting this opportunity doesn't have to do with me giving good interviews or being on youtube. It would have to do with my fight ability. All around, my entire package has helped though. It has a little to do with everything.
Alan Belcher: I took my time off. I took a long break to make sure I was recoverd, got a win on my last fight and had a baby afterwards so I took my little break. I consider this my calm before my storm. I'm ready to redidicate myself and really make a run. Everything I've done before this point, I'm ready to give 100 percent to fighting and win every single fight and get the belt. I feel I've done a lot of good things in the sport and I'm coming off a wining streak. I'm ready to get after it again.
Alan Belcher: My eye's not affected at all. I'm 100 percent and ready to go.
Dana White: I don't wan to predict it yet. We'll see what happens with the Belcher fight and where it goes.
Dana White: We're gonna get this thing done in New York. There's a lot of hardcore fans and people involved who are just as eager to get MMA in New York as we are. We've been putting a lot of effort in New York. It's inevitable.
Josh Koscheck: I really couldn't judge how good he is. The fight was short. I watched the fight and it looked like he threw a lot of punches with his eyes closed.
Johny Hendricks: If you really watch it, watch where my eyes were. He threw a jab and I threw my left hand. My left hand's a little more powerful than a jab.
Johny Hendricks: Everything led up to that, all my fights before that. Getting my gameplanning down to a science and my weightcut down to a science. It was silly not to be excited to have that fight and now I've got Josh Koscheck and that's another exciting fight for me. I can't wait to put on a great show for the fans.
Alan Belcher: Obviously, it changes everything. You have to be ready for leg locks and I'll be bringing people who are ready for that stuff. It's nothing new. Everyone has something they're really good at and you have to train for it. If I let myself get in that situation, I can definitely lose so it's a very interesting match-up. It's a lot of fun and he hurts everyone that he beats. I've got some secret weapons. One person I am training with is Dean Lister and he's got a great leg lock game, won the Abu Dhabi.
Jim Miller: It's an honor to be on such a big card on FOX right here in the area. I'm excited about it. I'm excited to fight in front of my home state fans and put on a show. Nate and I match up real well together and it should be an exciting fight. I'm amped up already and I'm ready for it.
Nate Diaz: I think it comes and goes depending on how your fight goes. I'm glad to be on the card.
Dana White: It was a great fight last weekend. It was a big fight for women's mixed martial arts and I think she's gonna be a big star.
Pat Barry: Lavar Johnson has beyond heavy hands. He was able to knock out Joey Beltran who had not been knocked out or even knocked down in his career. I kicked Joey Beltran in the head five times and he didn't blink an eye. I've never doubted myself until, that I didn't have power until that fight. He hit him with some vicious uppercuts and he dropped. As soon as he knocked him out, everyone looked right at me and said, "He knocked Joey Beltran out and you couldn't. He must hit harder than you do."
Jim Miller: I fought 12 times in New Jersey before I got the call to the UFC. My first fight with the UFC was over in England so it was a bit of a shock to fighting after a 7 hour flight and it's really cool to be back and have the opportunity to fight here. I've fought in Newark twice with these guys and it's great to have those fans that I had throughout my career be here and cheer me on.
Dana White: The FOX fights are fun. It's good to be back on the east cost and offer a big fight to the fans out here.
Dana White: These guys always deliver. This card is going to be a very exciting card and we're going to blow the doors off the Izod Center.
Pat Barry: I'm going to eventually submit somebody someday. Lavar? I think not. Lavar and I are both allergic to jiu-jitsu. We're also allergic to round two and three.
Pat Barry: There's always gonna be more karaoke.
Alan Belcher: They offered me someone else and I didn't know if it was the right fight for me. Joe was like, "There's nobody else unless you want to fight Palhares, nobody wants to fight him," and to me, that was the perfect fight. I need the top guys to really challenge me right now. I don't want any easy fights or warm-up fights. I want to be challenged.
Josh Koscheck: This fight excites me. It's kind of like the pride of wrestling. He was a two-time champ in NCAA. I can respect that because I know how hard it is to win the NCAA title. I'm in a new place right now and I've got a new base camp gym for me. I've got a lot of new coaches and new training partners. I've got one on one jiu-jitsu classes and a great wrestling coach and a boxing coach. Things are looking up for me.
Jim Miller: There are no plans going into it. He's a very well rounded guy and looked great in that fight but I'm a different fighter than Cerrone. I'm going to try to make it my fight when I get in there. I'm really fired up and I have a ton of respect fo rhim. His whole camp has great guys so I know who he's training with every day. I'm looking to come in the best I've ever been.
Nate Diaz: I think both Ben and Frankie did really good. It was a good fight. That's it.
Dana White: We always try to put together great fights with the best fighters in the world. We always put together the best guys trying to become world champion some day and these guys deliver. Hopefully we get the right mixture of quick and long so everyone's happy.
Nate Diaz: The guys who run around and hold on for three or five rounds, it'll be great to have someone who comes in there and fights. It's the fighting championship and hopefully it happens all the time.
Jim Miller: Stuff happens. I kicked myself. I should have known something was going wrong but I'm a big boy, still signed the waiver and stepped in the Octagon and made my mistakes. He was the better fight that night and I'll put on a show.
Josh Koscheck: I feel like I've got a new life the last month of training now. The last month's been great. I'm really focused right now and I'm excited for May 5th. This will be the best Josh Koscheck you've ever seen. I'm looking forward to it.
Dana White: My first ever fight that I went to was with the Fertitta brothers in Louisiana. We were sitting there going, "If they did this and that, this thing could be big." We've always loved this thing, always believed in it and it's been a crazy ride and gets crazier and crazier every day. It's bene a fun, wild ride and it's really just getting started. We're a few months into this FOX deal that's gonna last seven years and we had this corporate retreat the other day hammering how how things go the next couple years.
Jim Miller: I thought it was a very close fight and in my opinion, Frankie didn't fight the way he normally fights. He had a lot of respect for Benson Henderson's ground game and he made some mistakes. I'm confident he could win a rematch and he could be at 145 as well.
Dana White: I'm gonna talk to Frankie today and figure this thing out. We're gonna talk today.
Dana White: Connecticut is a place we could do a Fight Night.
Dana White: Vince is a guy I respect and he runs a great business. I think what we do is different. He's built a global brand. What he's done is more impressive, to get the fake stuff is pretty amazing.
Nate Diaz: It's good. Sometimes 15 minutes just isn't enough.
Jim Miller: I'm super excited. We're both dangerous guys and we come in to fight hard. There's like 10 sub or fight of the nights between us. The five rounders used to be only for title fights but now youv'e got the main eventers going 25 minutes.
Dana White: Obviously, it'd be a lot better if we came to New York and had a fan expo and a fight.
Nate Diaz: I think Gilbert Melendez deserves to be the champion right now but they're keeping him in Strikeforce. If he comes over, he's gonna do his thing and I'll do mine. I think he should be champion right now.
Dana White: The only fight we did outside was the Abu Dhabi fight when we were pretty sure it wasn't going to rain.
Lavar Johnson: This fight right here is going to put me on the map. Pat's a tough fighter and I match up very well with him. We're not either looking to put the fight on the ground.:
Dana White: Ian Mcall vs Johnson, Johnson is delayed so we don't know when that's gonna happen.
Dana White: With this FOX exposure, we're only a few months into this deal but the fanbase is going to grow bigger and bigger. I think this is the most exciting sport in the world and that's why this thing has gotten as big as it has. Lorenzo and I talk about this all the time. I do think there is a day where there's no pay-per-view. Now, when you buy your cable and you can add other stations, you'll get to the point where you can just pick what you want. It'll be interesting to see where this goes over the next couple years.
Dana White: What's happening with Henderson is he wants a title shot at either middleweight or light heavyweight. He'll fight whoever has that belt.
Some idiot fan bitches about Condit moving backwards the whole time. What a douche. He's pretty confrontational with Dana about it.
Nate Diaz: Jason Miller, no. (laughs)
Dana White: Everyone keeps telling me to get rid of the football music. That's not the football music, it's not the football music, it's FOX sports. I was horrified that the robot would be doing the show but it looked good. They did it very well and the graphics are awesome. It's probably going to stay.
Dana White: No updates on Kid Yamamoto or Akiyama if they'll stay in the UFC.