Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a special media conference call today (Aug. 12, 2013) in advance of UFC Fight Night 26 "Shogun vs. Sonnen," which will take place this weekend (Aug. 17) in Boston, Massachusetts.
The conference call will begin at 2 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening: Mauricio Rua, Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne as well as UFC President Dana White.
Rua is the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, having earned the title by defeating Lyoto Machida back in 2010. He would lose the belt in his first title defense against Jon Jones, but has since waged some pretty all-time great fights inside the Octagon while trying to work his way back to the top.
Sonnen is perhaps the loudest fighter on the UFC roster. After earning two title fights in the middleweight division, he accepted a bout against Jon Jones on short notice at light heavyweight, which eventually became a light heavyweight title fight and a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter. He's also looking to work his way back to the top.
Overeem and Browne are two of the best heavyweights on the roster.
Overeem is a former Strikeforce champion, even defeating former division king Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut, but a test for excessive testosterone kept him out of the title picture until earlier this year when he was shocked by Antonio Silva via third round knockout. He's looking to get back on track against Browne.
Browne has long been considered a top heavyweight prospect but it's time for him to start playing with the big boys. He suffered his first career defeat at the hands of Silva last year after a first round leg injury, but he recently got back on the right track against former title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga, scoring a brutal first round knockout..
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call will begin at 2 p.m. ET.
2:06 p.m. - We're just getting started
Dana White: Fox builds networks and I'm not worried about deals with DirecTV, they come down to the wire. It's out of my control.
Chael Sonnen: They confused me more than upset me. I got a call the day of a hearing scheduled by the commission. I didn't know about it, I had no time to prepare. I called in to answer questions, i was only there for less than a minute. It could have bothered me if I knew about it for longer.
Dana White: What these guys are doing, they're spending their union members' dues to try and hurt the UFC. It's so transparent and so ridiculous. For instance, what they do is they use other organizations on serious issues whether it's women, gay rights, they use these different organizations to try and get what they want. If they get what they want, it's Station Casinos. If they get Station Casinos, it's another 10 million dollars a year for the union.
Travis Browne: It's a great honor to be a part of this card. Dana and Joe have done a great job of putting this card together. I'm happy to be a part of it. As far as Alistair goes, he's a great name fighter and I look forward to competing against him.
Alistair Overeem is not on the call yet
Chael Sonnen: I went to practice one day at the same gym I've been at most of my life and the coach brought me into the office and said he lost the gym. He's had some health issues and other things in his personal life. I told him I was sorry, gave him a hug and took a plane to LA.
Dana White: Everyone was afraid of it back then. We had to pay for the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, we had to pay for Best Damn Sports Show and we started shopping when our second deal ran out over at Spike TV. I'd built a relationship with Eric Shanks at DirecTV.
Dana White: A win is a good thing. Getting a win doesn't hurt. Chael Sonnen is still considered one of the best 185-pounders in the world. For Shogun, beating Chael Sonnen puts him one step closer to a title fight too.
Alistair Overeem and Shogun Rua are on the call
Alistair Overeem: I'm just really focused on Travis Browne. I'm coming off an injury and getting back on track. I made a lot of changes at camp and involved in the process. I put 100 percent into my preparation. It's up to the gentleman of the UFC to decide.
Alistair Overeem: I took some time off after the loss. I took my time and I was fighting injured so I couldn't train 100 percent anyways. Then I went back at it.
Chael Sonnen: I'm really chasing after two guys. I'm chasing after Vitor and Wanderlei. Wanderlei announced he was going back to 185. There wasn't a lot of motivation other than that.
Chael Sonnen: I'll be going straight ahead and he will be too. We both have our skills and we're gonna bring our skills. We're the main event and you can't play around in the main event. It's gonna be a lot of action. Whether it's positive or negative, there will not be any feeling out. As soon as we're ready to go, we will.
Chael Sonnen: I wouldn't poke fun at somebody if they were weak. I'm not going to go bully somebody. The fact those guys had so many big wins is why I went after them. I'm not gonna back down from anybody at any weight. Outside of Wanderlei, I never have.
Mauricio Rua: Murilo "Ninja" Rua now owns a gas station in Brazil, that's taking up most of his time now
Dana White: I'd be a liar if I said no (about opinion being influenced by the commission). [Boston's] a great place to hang out with my friends and eat, but not a great place to put on fights.
Dana White: Mike Pyle is one of those tough crafty veterans and he's on a real. I think a win over him is a big deal.
Chael Sonnen: I don't always chase titles. I want to fight Jon Jones whether he has the title. I want to fight Silva whether he has the title.
Chael Sonnen: This is the first time I ever trained with someone new for a full camp. I'll still have my same corners. They have to be established almost two months in advance.
Mauricio Rua: This doesn't change my will to win. Whether he says bad things or good things about me, my will to win is the same.
Chael Sonnen: There's a lot of guys that do what I do. There's a lot of guys that watch this sport and like to talk about it. I've never felt like I had to work there. I've been offered a raise there but I told them I'll take their money when I consider it work. The job is just a bonus. It's purely a hobby. I love it. I could sit on this conference call and talk about it all day. The fan in me comes out constantly. I put all my time in the gym. I never miss a practice whether I feel good or not.
Disconnection spree going on
Chael Sonnen: What motivates me is I never reached my goal. Besides a world championship, there's some guys I want to fight. I don't know if Shogun is one of those guys but a few of his friends are. I love being part of this sport. I don't have a lot of friends so it's nice to go to the gym and be in a social atmosphere. I'm very impressed with guys that extend their career and make us feel young again. I admire people that can do that. If you're healthy and you love something, and you've got a chance to do it, that window's very small. It could be over any day now. I'll have to be forced out of this sport. I will stay in it too long because I love it. I'm not gonna pull the plug on myself.
Chael Sonnen: There's plenty of other matches I want to do. If that gets me closer to the title shot, so be it. It's day by day and I'm just trying to move forward.
Shogun Rua: I've worked a lot on my takedown defense because I know he's a great wrestler, but I also worked a lot on my game, my Muay Thai.
Alistair Overeem: I'm not really thinking about all that stuff. I'm just focused on my own things, getting back on track, the new coach. I'm not focused on what other people think of me or what's gonna happen after this fight or who I'll fight after.
Alistair Overeem: I wouldn't say it's a good thing. My coach is Mike from my gym back in Holland. He comes to Miami now and I'm just focused on myself. I train a bit separate from the Blackzilian fighters.
Travis Browne: On paper it makes sense but I've been fighting guys that have three times as much experience as I do my entire career. I've had to come up the hard way and that's something I've dealt with since day one. We'll see on Saturday but unless he throws something at me I've never seen before, I'm not sure experience will be the X-Factor for this fight.
That's a wrap folks. Thanks for stopping by!