Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a media press conference event today (Feb. 21, 2012) in advance of UFC 157: "Rousey vs. Carmouche," which is scheduled to take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, this Saturday night (Feb. 23, 2013).
The conference, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET will take place at the Honda Center and will feature UFC President Dana White, as well as the headlining fighters of the evening, Ronda Rousey, Liz Carmouche, Dan Henderson, Lyoto Machida, Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler.
Rousey is the current UFC women's bantamweight champion. She will be making her UFC debut after winning and defending the Strikeforce title last year. She has finished every opponent both in her amateur and professional career via first round armbar and she impressed UFC President Dana White so much that he decided it was time to allow women in UFC after all.
Liz Carmouche is the only women who was willing to fight Rousey in the first women's bout in UFC history. The "GirlRilla" has a mean streak and burst onto the scene in a short notice Strikeforce title fight against Marloes Coenen where she nearly shocked the world by beating on the champion for over three and a half rounds. After consecutive wins in Invicta, she's ready for the big time again.
Henderson is the former Pride and Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. The 43-year old possesses some of the most lethal power in the entire promotion and he was geared for a title shot against Jon Jones before a knee injury forced him to pull out. Now, after finally getting healthy, he'll be trying to regain that number one contender position. His opponent, Lyoto Machida, is the former UFC light heavyweight champion, and possesses a very unique fighting style based on his karate background. "The Dragon" is one of the most accurate and elusive fighter in UFC history and he'll be trying to win over the UFC executives with a strong performance this Saturday night.
Josh Koscheck is an alumni of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one and is one of the UFC's biggest mainstays. "Kos" earned a title shot in 2010 but fell short against Georges St. Pierre via decision and he's been in division purgatory ever since. He'll be trying to dig himself out with a strong showing to open up the pay-per-view. His opponent, Robbie Lawler, was once the golden child of the UFC, knocking opponents senseless left and right before a string of losses left him on the outside looking in. After Strikeforce folded, he's being back into the fold with a very tall task ahead of him in an attempt to make one last run.
Check out the UFC 157 press conference video below, as well as our up-to-the-minute updates of all the notable news, notes and quotes:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET.
Dana White: This is the most media attention we've ever had before a fight. The gate beat the gate last time when we had the heavyweight title fight. This fight is also trending very well for pay-per-view buys according to Lorenzo.
Dana White: I said that on TMZ and every interview that I have done they've played that clip and mentioned when I said never. There were a lot of people that felt negative about women fighting in the sport and I didn't realize how many people felt negative about two women headlining. I did my homework and it's a lot
Dana White: She blows Brock Lesnar out of the water. HBO, TIme Magazine and all those outlets. Nobody pulled the "freak show" card. Nobody has smashed the main event of this card. It's been pretty cool.
Dana White: That's the thing that I had to point out to everybody, the commitment that we made to women's MMA. Ronda gets a lot of attention, but two women are going to fight on Saturday night and the winner will defend the title. If you watched the second episode of Primetime, in any sport there's a couple people that stand out and become big stars and she has been that person. Not just in women's fighting but in MMA in general. I flew from Las Vegas to Los Angelos because they asked me to, sat down for an hour and they didn't use one word from me in their special.
Lyoto Machida: I think the more that you fight, the more predictable you become and people study you more. People learn what you do and you're more prone to getting hit. I'm always trying to improve and this time I brought in a bunch of different partners to simulate Dan Henderson's style.
Lyoto Machida: I think definitely a lot of things would be different, but my focus has been on Dan Henderson right now.
Dana White: A win is a big deal. I love this fight. Machida has a style where he lays back and counter punches and Dan Henderson moves forward the entire time. The winner gets a shot at the title.
Dana White: We put fights on free TV and fights on pay-per-view. These women are talented. They belong here and they're gonna come in and fight on a card whether it's pay-per-view, free tv, undercard or anything and they'll prove it. We know what we're doing. They've been training their whole lives. They're the best in the world.
Robbie Lawler: It's very exciting. I didn't realize it was that long. It makes me feel old. I'm excited to fight. I've been training hard. This is a great opportunity and I'm happy to be here. Josh has a lot of fights in the UFC, is a big strong wrestler and has strong stand-up.
Dana White: We're a few hundred tickets from a sellout. The tickets remaining are the cheap seats, which is pretty crazy. This is gonna be a sellout.
Ronda Rousey: This is a huge deal, but I'm not gonna sit back and enjoy it and relish it until after the fight's done and I've won.
Liz Carmouche: It's an honor. This is a dream come true. When I first got into MMA, I imaged being a part of history. It's an honor and I"m grateful for the experience.
Dana White: The Miesha Tate fight was the moment. I did a radio show this morning and we were talking about how guys were perceiving the women. 99% of the guys in this country, if they got in an armbar like Miesha did, they would have cried and screamed, yet she got out of the first one. You don't see people get put in an armbar like that and handle it like she did.
Dan Henderson: I think it's great. I've got women training at my gym all the time and are trying to get to the level of these ladies.
Robbie Lawler: These girls train hard, they bang it out. I think they're ready to go.
Dana White: We had started diving into this thing, to see who the top girls were. It's all about timing and everything else and we thought Liz was perfect. I couldn't be happier with the women representing the first fight in UFC history. This Primetime is the best we've done. I'll tell you guys if I didn't feel a certain way. I couldn't be happier with the way this entire thing has gone.
Ronda Rousey: I expected her reaction to be as such. She was working at USC at the time and she wanted to help me go to school. I asked her to give me one year. No one believed I would go anywhere. If after one year, I couldn't make it happen, I told her I'd go to school and do whatever she wanted. Now me and her have a much more different relationship and there's a bunch of respect there. She said she's extremely proud of me now and that's what I decided to do.
Robbie Lawler: Guys are cutting a lot of weight and I was walking around at the weight I fight at. For me to fight at a high level, I needed to cut weight. For the UFC fighting at 170, that's what I wanted to do. I think this will be easy. This is the big show. The first time I was here, I didn't really want to do everything. I just wanted to fight. I didn't want to do PR or talk to the media. Now I think I'm ready for that. I'm excited to be here.
Josh Koscheck: Jasper, my muay thai coach and Bob Cook and my boxing coach will be in my corner, I've got a good group of guys that have my back.
Dana White: Will women fighting make more women want to watch fighting? She came from judo, came from the Olympics, there's women that wrestled. The fact that you can come here from those sports and remain a professional athlete. With how much the men have evolved in the last 13 years, I think it's really going to blow up over the next few years.
Liz Carmouche: It's been about a split. There's more men that follow the UFC but through social media. I've had a lot of women approach me and give support.
Ronda Rousey: It's been about 50/50, and I think there are a whole lot more women involved in this fight. I've heard feedback that a lot more women are making this their first UFC fight. I think this will bring in more fans than before.
Ronda Rousey: All the people that think I don't deserve this belt and didn't earn it. I partially agree with them. I won't consider myself the champion until I win a belt inside the Octagon and that's why you won't see me touching or carrying the belt until I win this fight.
That's a wrap. Thanks for stopping by!