Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and current middleweight contender, Vitor Belfort will be looking to avenge a 2006 loss to former PRIDE FC Middleweight champion Dan Henderson, who ousted him at PRIDE FC 32 by unanimous decision. Both men have had amazing careers up to date, and this five-round light heavyweight main event is a clash between legends, to say the least.
"The Phenom" will be looking to remain the number one contender to the middleweight championship, while "Hendo" must prove to his employers that he is worth another run.
As both men finished off a week of mixed martial arts (MMA) media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see staredown pic here), it's time for their final "Fighting Words" before the time for talking is done and the fists start to fly.
Before each fight card, the media get to see the competitors of the fight card spar, shadowbox and participate in light workouts ahead of their respective bouts. This was no different in Brazil, as Vitor and "Hendo" worked out for the media and answered some questions concerning each of their successful careers (watch video highlights here).
Up first was Vitor Belfort, who will be looking to avenge his 2007 loss to "Hendo" and remain the number one contender to the middleweight title if he can find a way to win on Saturday night.
On how he feels leading up to the fight:
"I feel good. I'm really happy to be able to do a great job and also because I have a good job!"
On what the fans can expect from this fight:
"The best I can do. This is all I can promise! I'll fulfill my promise and give my best."
Next up was his adversary, the former PRIDE FC Middleweight champion and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion, Dan Henderson, who will be looking for a second victory over "The Phenom."
On how he feels leading up to the fight:
"I feel great. I'm excited to be able to fight in Brazil again, and my body feels good...which is even more exciting to me."
On what he can expect from the Brazilian faithful:
"I fought a lot of Brazilians over the years. So, I don't know if they like me or dislike me. Either way, the fight is in the Octagon and I'm only concerned with what goes on in the cage."
UFC on FOX Weigh-In Interviews
UFC on FOX correspondent Heidi Androl was able to catch up with both fighters after the weigh-in (watch full video replay here), and got the last word with both light heavyweights ahead of their showdown in Gioania.
Androl caught up with the Brazilian first, and asked him a number of questions based on his storied career.
On what is different from today's Vitor Belfort, as opposed to the previous one:
"Everything. In many years, if you don't change or if you don't evolution yourself -- if you don't create yourself, what's the purpose of living? So, I believe in everyday is a winning day; it's a process. That's what I live for -- a better husband, I better father, a better athlete, a better businessman, and that's how I roll my life."
On what he expects to see from Dan Henderson:
"I think it's going to be a great fight. He comes forward, he likes to fight, he likes the scramble, so you just got to keep alert and do my thing. Do my best -- and that's all I want to live is my best in the Octagon. That's what I can promise you guys."
On if he feels pressure to win in order to stay in Middleweight contention:
"I'm not a promoter. I don't live by what people think or what people say. He's the president and I respect him, and I live by the rules. I think the fighters have to understand how the organization rolls -- your last fight, your last performance and that's what speaks louder. What Dana expects from me, is doing my best. The result is out of my hand, and I'm looking to give to him what he expects."
Henderson, who has fought everywhere from welterweight to heavyweight in the sport, is only missing a UFC championship to be considered one of the all-time greats. Androl asked him about his roots, and how the fight will go down in Brazil.
On if he has had a chance to reflect on his first professional fight in the country of Brazil in 1997:
"Some memories come back, but it's not like I'm over here to reflect on my career and finish my career here. I'm still planning on being active and fighting for at least two more years."
On who he feels has more pressure going into this fight:
"I don't know why he wanted to fight me, but there's pressure in every fight. Obviously, being the last fight on my contract, there's a little bit of added pressure -- but I love that. I love to come through under pressure, so we'll see how it goes."
On what is different about this version of himself:
"I'm just improved. I'm more experienced and just better at fighting. As is he, but he's improved on certain things with his striking -- I don't think he's improved as much in the rest of the game, with his wrestling, with his ground game. I think a good mixture of mixed martial arts is going to win this fight."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 32 fight card this Saturday night (Nov. 9, 2013) right here, starting with the Facebook online undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET followed by main card action on FOX Sports 1, which is slated to begin at 8 p.m. ET.