Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held a special media conference call today (July 16, 2013) in advance of its UFC on FOX 8: "Johnson vs Moraga" event, which will take place next weekend (July 27) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Johnson is the current UFC flyweight champion, winning the inaugural title against Joseph Benavidez last year and most recently defending it for the first time against John Moraga. Nothing has come easy for Johnson, as he's been pushed to the limit in all of his flyweight bouts, but he's hoping to make quick work of top contender Moraga.
Moraga is taking a huge leap in competition, battling Johnson in the main event despite only competing in the opening fight on the Facebook prelims in his prior two UFC bouts. Moraga has finished both of his UFC opponents, one via knockout and one via submission and he's hoping to bring some serious excitement to the division.
MacDonald and Ellenberger are both top contenders for the UFC welterweight title. Ellenberger is slightly more established, having faced more opponents and tougher opposition throughout his UFC career but MacDonald is perhaps the more hyped talent. Both men will be striving to take that top challenger spot if they can impress the national audience.
Complete UFC on Fox 8 conference call replays and highlights are posted below:
John Moraga: The pressure doesn't get to me. I want to win.
Dana White: What we have to do, Mighty Mouse has been on a lot of big cards and we're in the building phase of that division. The answer to that question is yes, [flyweights will headline a pay-per-view]. It's been great. The last flyweight title fight was awesome. I loved it.
Jake Ellenberger: I never said anything that wasn't true and my message was clear. I told him to prepare for some horizontal television time and I meant it.
Demetrious Johnson: Recovery has gone great. Once I got cleared from a doctor, I started training again. I've been going for 12 weeks now and I'm ready to work.
Demetrious Johnson: The mighty baby should be here any minute and it's no added pressure. I'm happy to be a father but this is the same thing. I'm ready to do my job, this is my career and I'm focused. I'm approaching it as a business and I'm ready to go in there and defend.
Demetrious Johnson: I don't care. It's his opinion [about me being boring]. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I don't care.
Rory MacDonald: It doesn't really bother me either way. I don't care about disrespecting me. I just get in there and fight my fight. If they suffer they suffer, I don't really care. It makes them look like an asshole.
Dana White: I think if you look, Ben Henderson has had fights go to decisions, controversial decisions. Demetrious has gone to decisions. As long as it's an exciting fight. There's all different types of fighters. Some guys go in there and knock people out. Some guys pull of submissions and some guys go to decision but have exciting fights. The last fight with Demetrious was an awesome fight. I don't know the answer to that question.
Demetrious Johnson: My last fight I fought, I think he [John Dodson] is one of the guys in the division that has that one shot knockout power where he drops guys. You see him do it all the time. John Moraga possesses great skills. He throws great combinations but when it comes to my training and preparing for fights, we don't bring nobody in to emulate my opponent. I believe in my training partners and my ability to train hard. I believe in my coaching and that's what we've done and it hasn't let us down yet.
Dana White: It's huge beating Koscheck. I don't know. We've got to get Robbie busier, get him fighting. Who knows? Maybe he'll get close to a title shot. He's always an exciting fun fighter. You know he'll go out there with that attitude of trying to keep it on the feet and knock you out. He's just got to keep that streak going.
Dana White: This is a great fight. I'm really excited about this fight. Both guys are really explosive and dynamic finishers. I don't know. Obviously, the guy who wins this fight is right up there and close to a title shot. This would be a huge win for Rory and Ellenberger's last win was really impressive. This is his biggest test.
Jake Ellenberger: Damn it I'm an evidence-based abuser. I didn't make him make the stupid decision to fight me. I'm just gonna make him look stupid when I destroy him.
Rory MacDonald: I'm just gonna focus on this fight for now. My whole career has been going with the flow. Everything changes after each fight. I'll see where I am after this fight and assess the options from there.
John Moraga: The thing I've been working on most has been cardio, making sure I'm able to go hard for all five rounds. That's what I think he's shown as his best fighting ability, outlasting his opponents and I'm not gonna let that happen in our fight.
Demetrious Johnson: He has an impressive two fight winning streak. He finished Ulysses Gomez and Chris Cariaso so I have to respect that. His UFC run so far has been great.