The "Garden State" hosts an action-packed weekend full of fighting and football over the course of two days.
UFC 169: "Barao vs. Faber 2" takes place tonight (Sat., Feb. 1, 2014) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, featuring two title fights in the main and co-main event slots.
The main card can be seen live on pay-per-view (PPV), while the "Prelims" will be aired first online on UFC Fight Pass, and then on FOX Sports 1 (FS1).
Find out how to watch here.
It will be the second time Urijah Faber faces Renan Barao in a bantamweight title match up, and a third shot at the division's gold for "The California Kid." Faber takes the fight on three weeks notice after Dominick Cruz suffered another injury setback in training.
As the fighters who are taking part in this event finished off a week of media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see staredown pics here), it is time for their "Last Words," before the time for talking is over and the fists start flying.
Fighters were on the scene in the historical Madison Square Garden in New York City earlier this week, promoting the PPV via "Ultimate Media Day" by borrowing a playbook from the NFL (National Football League) instead of the traditional pre-fight press conference.
The fighting giant wants to be as big as America's biggest sport, so why not copy its promotional tactics, too?
Faber spoke about what this fight means to him, and how he is approaching another main event.
On what participating on this card means to him:
"For me, this is a real individual thing. It's about me against one other guy, you know, being face-to-face is kind of what this is all about."
The current bantamweight kingpin has been looking lethal as of late, and he expects the second fight between him and Faber to go a little differently this time around.
On how he sees his fight going down against Faber on Saturday:
"We are very confident that we will come out with a beautiful knockout this time. I've been saying that I've improved my stand-up game. I improved my boxing and my hands are really heavy right now. My goal is always to knock out or submit."
MMA Fighting's main man, Ariel Helwani, caught up with both Barao and Faber for interviews on UFC 169's media day, asking both competitors questions about each other.
He reconnected with his good friend Faber behind the camera in a small scrum, asking him about the biggest night of his sporting career.
On what he has to do differently in a two week training camp:
"I am going to have to basically just get myself in shape and not break myself down in the gym. Training camp is a lot of battles, then healing, then battles, then healing. At this point all I'm doing is making sure that I'm healed up and in great shape, and ready to go."
If he is motivated for this fight as opposed to their first fight at UFC 149:
"It wasn't like I wasn't motivated. Any time you're going in to fight another human being whose goal and sole reason is to take you out, you have to be motivated. You have to bring your A-game, and I did that. I was just missing a small amount of excitement, just a small amount of the extra edge that you like to have going in a big fight because of the circumstances. And the circumstances have changed, momentum on my side, and I'm coming off of a huge year. I'm excited about this fight, I can't wait to get in there and fight, and that's the difference."
Helwani then met up with the focused champion, who looked like he was all business days before his fourth UFC title fight (through a translator, of course).
On if it bothers him that he was awarded the belt instead of beating Dominick Cruz:
"First of all, I would like to thank you, and say that my goal was always to be the champ. And now, I'm the champ. I don't think I need to beat Dominick to be the sole champion; I'm okay with that. I just want him to recover and get well, and maybe someday we can do this fight."
On if he is surprised Faber took the fight on short notice considering how one-sided their first fight was:
"If I was in his place, I would accept this fight also. He's a great fighter. Good fighters don't stop training, keep training everyday, so this is not going to be difficult for him to step up and take this fight."
A dapper Joe Rogan spoke to both bantamweights one night before their main event clash at the Prudential Center. Both athletes made weight, and spoke about their anticipated rematch.
"The California Kid" was up first, sporting his trademark headband and looked to be in good spirits, as always.
On what will be different for him in the rematch:
"The difference is I'm going to win this time. I'm extremely excited and I'm ready for a war, a real war. I'm going to do anything in my power to make this happen, so I'm looking forward to putting on a show and I got a great opponent. So, I'm gonna get that strap."
Up next was the champion, and he kept it short, sweet and violent.
On his thoughts about Urijah as an opponent and what will go down on Saturday night:
"I hope to knock him out. I'm here to fight one of the best in the world, and I'm here to win."
Who will live up to their words, and emerge as the bantamweight kingpin in the Octagon tonight? There's only one way to find out...
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 169 card TONIGHT, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV action, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.
Enjoy the fights!