The conference call will begin at 3 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening: Georges St. Pierre, Nick Diaz, Johny Hendricks, Carlos Condit, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt as well as UFC President Dana White.
St. Pierre is the current UFC welterweight champion. He returned from over a yearlong hiatus due to injury to handily defeat interim champion Carlos Condit this past November. Rather than rest and celebrate his victory, he instead called out Diaz, the man he was originally supposed to fight at UFC 137 before he got injured in the first place. This decision drew the ire of Johny Hendricks fans everywhere. He'll have plenty of time to explain himself on today's call.
Nick Diaz is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion. He signed with UFC to fight St. Pierre but got pulled from the title fight after failing to meet his media requirements. He crushed B.J. Penn and earned a shot at the belt the hard way, but had to settle for an interim title shot when GSP got hurt. After losing to Carlos Condit in a hard-fought five round battle, he tested positive for marijuana metabolites and St. Pierre called him out, wanting to settle their unfinished business in his return bout from suspension.
Carlos Condit is the former UFC interim welterweight champion. "The Natural Born Killer" defeated Diaz last year to claim the crown and then sat out eight months to fight St. Pierre for the strap. In the unification bout, he put up a tough fight, nearly finishing "Rush" with a head kick, but he couldn't handle St. Pierre's takedowns, ground and pound and top control en route to a unanimous decision defeat. Now, he's looking to get back on track.
Johny Hendricks has long been considered the top contender at 170 pounds. "Big Rigg" knocked off Jon Fitch back in 2011 in just 12 seconds and followed it up with a decision victory over Josh Koscheck and another brutal knockout over Martin Kampmann to emphatically put his name forth as a legitimate threat to the title. After getting passed over for a shot at the belt, he's out to make a statement against Condit.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call will begin at 3 p.m. ET.
Carlos Condit: It's an interesting match-up. Their styles are really different. I think Nick can pose some problems to Georges but ultimately I think Georges will come out on top.
Dana White: It both the conflict of styles and personality. You can't emulate Diaz's stand-up no matter who you bring in. Georges St. Pierre is great with his wrestling and Diaz is great on the ground too. GSP wanted this fight for a while and that's why this fight is happening first.
Georges St. Pierre: It's not the first time that a guy that I'm fighting tried to get in my head. He disrespected me. For me, it's another fight. I trained hard. I focus on things I can control, not the things people are saying about myself.
Nick Diaz: I think he's out of line a little bit. I just demanded his attention and I just think that we're both martial artists and I like to be considered who I am. I come from a background of important MMA fighters. It's not just a joke. People like to talk about my skill-level. I have to make do with what I worked for with what I got started. I think he knows I'm the right guy to be in this position right now and that's why I'm here. I think he knows it and he respects that and that's pretty much what comes into my head.
I don't get a lot of recognition in awards and magazines. I'm coming here to whoop this guy's ass and before you know it, this fight happens and no one knows who I am as far as mainstream magazines and all your big stuff. I'm outside of that. I just think I should get the credit I deserve and that Georges St. Pierre gets the opponent he deserves. That makes me pretty angry. When I come off on video, I come off angry. People talk about disrespect and how I'm so disrespectful. I'm only disrespectful because I'd like the acknowledgement that I've got the last few weeks from Georges St. Pierre. He said I deserve this and that's a very important reason. That's where a lot of my attitude comes from. All said and done, he's ready to fight me and recognize me as the rightful opponent. I don't got no problem. I don't know how the fans feel about that. I'm not over here trying to make friends. I think it's disrespectful that people try to act like I'm not important. Georges knows who I am and if I were in his position, I would know especially who I am. That's all I gotta say about that I guess.
Georges St. Pierre: I never tweet once in my life. I have people doing it for me. I'm not into social media at all unfortunately.
Nick Diaz: I think he should just be himself and do his thing. I don't understand it. I don't care. I'm not told about how they're gonna portray me or him. They don't give me ideas or plans or build-up or primetime. I'm not planning how I'll act or come off. Talk this shit or that shit. I just do what I gotta do. I don't know what he's going to do with where he comes from. I know where the fuck I come from. I don't have to dredge up some bullshit to get everybody excited or whatever. You've got to do what you've got to do. If you want to tell you're exciting or not exciting, important or not important. You're wondering what the fuck's going on in the media circle. You've got to wonder how you're coming off if you're not paying attention on the internet. I'm ready to do my job and fight. I'll keep it real.
Georges St. Pierre: Firas used to be one of my training partners before and he has always been a very technical guy. He's always been more cerebral so to speak than everyone else in the gym. He had teaching skills so at one point I didn't have trainers who were competent in all areas so I asked him to be my number one coach and we've been doing very well.
Georges St. Pierre: Firas is a good friend of mine and we have a good relationship together. He knows what goes on in my mind and my life and it makes it easier for my career.
Georges St. Pierre: I don't care about Anderson Silva at all. I'm not looking past Nick Diaz. I respect my opponent. People believe I want that fight but the big fight for me right now is Nick Diaz. I don't care about what's coming next for me in my life. March 16 will be the next chapter of my career and that's all I'm focusing on next.
Nick Diaz: I'd like to think that I've been training a little bit smarter. I think I do that for every fight and every year but I'm always on that looking towards the future. Me and Georges St. Pierre are a lot different with the way we go about. I look past every opponent. I'm not just looking at one obstacle. I think it's easier when I realize I'm not gonna get out of this. It's not just one fight. I look past every opponent to get to the number one spot in the welterweight division and then I look past that further beyond that. If it were up to me, I would take that fight with Anderson Silva. I would say yeah of course. I'm looking forward to the next best thing always. The next best thing has always been the next closer fight to the number one fight. That's what I've been working towards this whole time. I always have that mindset. When it come sto my training, I have that mindset and it helps me deal with the day to day.
Nick Diaz: I'd have to take a long hard look, but if I had that option available to me, I'd be honored to be in that position and I'd be gratefully accepting that position or fight if you will with the 185 pound champion or the 155 pound champion. I would take either fight and I think I could beat either guy. I'd like to be the guy to win the title at both weights. I'd like to be a runner up in the pound for pound rankings and that's the number one goal aside from number one in the welterweight division.
Georges St. Pierre: The way he beat B.J. Penn solidified his position as the number one guy and his fight with Carlos Condit was a very close decision that he lost. I believe he solidified his position and I believe that yeah, I would like to fight him because of that of course.
Nick Diaz: I like it just fine. I just like to know about it. I got the heads up here. I checked my messages last night and I got messages about this call today. Luckily I was running a bit late or I wouldn't have known that I had a call. A couple weeks before a fight I'm pretty focused on what I've got to do. I've got cameras following me around. I don't care if there's a crew sitting in the backseat of my car. I don't like what I'm not ready for. You've got Georges and someone' spowerding his nose and sending him off for a photo shoot. Someone's doing twitter for him. I don't know how it works out. I'm not in his shoes. I have a little moderate assumption I can make from time to time. I would just liketo keep it real and be me. Everyone knows who I am. It's embarrassing not being in control of looking the way you look or coming off the way you want to come off. I'm happy for it when I'm ready for it. My life's a mess. I'm not afraid to admit it. I work hard regardless through this shit. I don't have people handing me water bottles left and right. I have to do that shit on my own and every day I know that I'm doing it on my own and that's why I know I've got to do it that much harder. I don't have people taking care of my money and my financial obligations what have you. All that stuff that people say is important, fuck that. I'm too busy fighting your fights. This new martial arts works for them when it comes to everybody wantitng to be like GSP and want to be strong and have that fitness and be more explosive and quicker. It's really not what martial arts is about. This is mixed martial arts and that' swhat fans want to see. I've lost a shit load of fights but I'm still here. People want to see real boxing, real traditional jiu-jitsu mixed up. They don't want to see five minutes of holding. I think people should be point deducted for it or running away. You should have to punch me out to beat me. People should be able to see that a little better. Maybe one day.
I hope so, if I had that much money I'd be pampered the fuck up. There's be people showing up every hour to pamper me the fuck out. Mother fucker I'm not stupid. I can tell what's what.
Georges St. Pierre: Uneducated fool. Listen to me. You sound pretty smart right now. I'm not always been like this. I've not always been rich. I started form the bottom. I worked really hard to be where I am right now. I know you don't believe this because you didn't succeed yet and maybe you didn't succeed I your life because I don't think you're smart enough to understand to reach this point. When you talk about people doing things for me, you need people to work for you to get the money rolling.
Nick Diaz: That sounds nice Georges. If I wore tight shorts and got a haircut and had people telling me what to do. You don't' know where I come from. Nobody wants to come out here. Nobody gives a shit. You got your shit right.
Georges St. Pierre: You're not the only guy that's tried to take from me.
Nick Diaz: I'm not jealous. You did the right shit you got to do. You had your fight and you won that fight. I was coming right behind you. I don't mean to be disrespectful. I don't have anything against you when it comes to what your'e doing. I think you're doing a wonderful job for who you are and what you do. I don't have anything against that. I hope so mother fucker because this is some fucked up shit. If I had the money and the right people on my side and mother fuckers dropping dime on this guy and that guy I'd for sure be doing that. Try that shit from when you're 21 to when your 32 and it's a bitch.
Georges St. Pierre: If you are where you are right now and I am where I am, it's not my fault that you didn't succeed.
Nick Diaz: I was never putting any blame and pointing fingers at you that it's your fault. Your'e the one rapping about being pampered or not. You don't what it means.
Georges St. Pierre: I speak English better than you man.
Nick Diaz: You're out of line straight up. You understand that right? Your'e rapping that bullshit and you're out of line. I didn't say shit.
Nick Diaz: I deserve to get beat down, that's what you said right? Honestly, I don't think you deserve to get beat down. I don't want anybody to get beat down. I'd like to win the fight. You know me real well. You know I deserve to get beat down.
Georges St. Pierre: Do you seriously believe I'm afraid of you, man?
Nick Diaz: I believe you believed what you said to the cameras that I deserved to get beat down. You're making those statements to the whole world that I'm a piece of shit that deserves to get beat down and you let Dana say I'm the most disrespectful person you've ever met. I pulled up to a stoplight yesterday and some soccer mom sticks her head out the window and says "I hope GSP beats your ass" I live in a small town full of people that hate me over here. I'm trying to work my way up into a fight. When you say something, everyone believes it. Everyone wants to know what Georges thinks, forget jiu-jitsu, forget boxing, throw a super man punch like Georges. Whatever. That's disrespectful right there. If you want disrespect, that's disrespect right there. That's all I get. That's all I do.
Georges St. Pierre: Listen to yourself Nick.
Nick Diaz: I'm this crazy mother fucker. You know where I'm coming from. You're not stupid. You understand every word I'm saying right now. Drop it. I don't deserve to be beat down. You think you're gonna fucking win for whatever fucking reason and that's that. You're number one, you're the best right? I'm the most mother fucking piece of shit out there. That's not the reason why you're fighting. Maybe that's the reason the fans want this fight. I'm the right guy.
Georges St. Pierre: Yes you are, you're the right guy.
Nick Diaz: A wrestling match, no one wants to see that.
Georges St. Pierre: The fact that there's a lot of animosity is good for the fight. I don't wish you a bad life. We both want to win, we both want that number one spot. There can only be one guy. It's a dangerous sport we're doing and that's why there's a lot of tension.
Nick Diaz: I guess I like to think that I'm just talking in my defense. You never know how things are going ot com eoff on video or whatever. I already come off a certain way to people, to the world. You go down that road, there's no going back. As far as what's going ot be written down on paper. I'd like to be known as someone that kept it real. I just don't like that I'm made out to be this evil person that needs to be shot down an dneeds to be conquered. What the fuck? If anything I'm the superhero that's anti-bullshit. Are you going ot stick to the bullshit forever? This is mixed martial arts and this is some boring ass shit we're watching. I appreciate that Georges St. Pierre does whatever he can to win. People hate me for saying for that, especially a strong wrestler. One day I think the rest of the people are going to see martial arts for what it is and what it used to be. The scoring, the judging system is crap. I think they should take the elbow out too. It nullifies the action. They're gonna look back and say that this mother fucker was saying that the whole time.
Johny Hendricks: It doesn't bother me. If you watch my fights, I have wrestling but when do I take people down. I have knockout power. Just because I don't go out there and use it all, you don't have to use it all to win fights. The most important thing is to win fights. It doesn't matter how you do. If you gotta win like Georges does, you get your hand raised and the fans like that. It is what it is. He's got his opinion and I've got mine. Everybody wants to be on top but there can only be one who gets there.
Johny Hendricks: I've got to constantly be adapting. I wanted to fight GSP but he chose someone else. I had Jake Ellenberger and I trained very hard for him and now it's Carlos Condit. I train day by day and nothing else matters but Carlos Condit at this point. I've got to go out there and get Carlos Condit.
Georges St. Pierre: When I had my surgery on my ACL, it was eight or nine months. After six months I could move but it took nine months to be back.