Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held a special media conference call today (May 14, 2013) in advance of its UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Silva 2" pay-per-view (PPV), which will take place next weekend (May 25) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Velasquez is the current UFC heavyweight champion, initially winning the belt from Brock Lesnar before dropping it in his first title to dos Santos. After bloodying Antonio Silva, he won back the belt from dos Santos in his most recent performance.
Silva had some impressive showings in Strikeforce, knocking off Fedor Emelianenko, but it has been his most recent performances that have really taken him to a new level, handing Travis Browne his first career loss and then knocking out Alistar Overeem in a dramatic come-from-behind effort earlier this year to earn his shot at redemption.
Dos Santos and Hunt have both put on big time fights inside the Octagon, both only seeing defeat once, although JDS experienced his loss in his most recent fight against Velasquez where he lost his title. Hunt, on the other hand, has been unstoppable ever since losing his UFC debut, most recently knocking out Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve to cement his status as a top UFC heavyweight contender.
Complete UFC 160 conference call replays and highlights are posted below:
Velasquez: This is a whole new fight. Obviously, we saw what Bigfoot can do in his past two fights. I can't take him lightly. He's a special competitor and is really dangerous in the Octagon. I don't see this as anything less than a hard, grueling fight.
Hunt: It should put me up. If I can beat Junior, I should be in the number one spot. That's the reason why I wanted it. He's a former world champion so it'll be a great match for me. We'll see how it goes.
Hunt: I'm not like, a threat to America or anything -- I'm just ready to do my job and that's it.
Hunt: I don't know what it is, I'm running out of time just to get over there and get acclimated. I fought in Vegas once before and I went out there four days out from the fight, and that was quite tiring. I was going to bed at six in the morning, American time, and everyone else was just waking up. It was a bit of a problem, so I just have to get my visa in time to get acclimatized. Hopefully soon -- tomorrow or tonight.
Dos Santos: When I first heard the news I was worried. I was scared that I wouldn't have a fight. I've trained a lot and invested a lot into this training camp to make sure I'm prepared and I'm sure Mark is in the same boat. Neither one of us wants to be without a fight next week. That being said, I'm expecting to fight.
Hunt: It's just frustrating, but what can you do? I can't do anything about it. It's not in my hands anymore. I'll just leave it in God's hands, and see whatever happens, happens.
Velasquez: Defending the title is the most important thing. To defend it, to hold on to it, I have to be in good form.
Velasquez: I'm fine with rematches. As far as motivation, I'm motivated to do this. A rematch, it is what it is. You have to look at it as a whole new fight with whole new strategies involved.
Dos Santos: It's motivation. I don't think about that right now, I think about my fight with Mark Hunt. He's the one I need to focus on. It'll be great to have a title shot again if I beat Mark Hunt. For sure that motivates me but that's not what I'm thinking about right now.
Dos Santos: It was very difficult to accept my loss to Cain. The first week was very tough, but Cain was better than me, he fought better than me, he did a better job and he deserved to win. Once you see that, you realize that's what this sport is all about. Cain was the better fighter that day and it was easy for me to accept that this is just part of the sport.
Dos Santos: I don't think I'm the only one who can beat Cain Velasquez, but I'm sure I'm one of the people who's capable of doing that. Cain and I will fight each other several times throughout our careers because we are both of us at another level.
Bigfoot: I like when people underestimate me. It's nice. I get to go out there and show them wrong. There's no superheroes in this sport. Nobody's invincible. I've put in a lot of hard work the last nine weeks and I'm very confident I'll have my hand raised next Saturday night.