The Ultimate Fighting Championship will be holding a public press conference today (Nov. 17, 2011) in advance of Saturday night's UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson" event.
The conference will begin at 4 p.m. ET live from the Fort Mason Center's Golden Gate Room in San Francisco, California, the although the event will be held in San Jose.
Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening: Mauricio Rua, Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva and Cung Le.
"Shogun" Rua is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and recently avenged his first UFC loss with a destruction of Ultimate Fighter season one winner and fellow former champion Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in Brazil.
He'll be challenged by Dan Henderson, the former simultaneous multi-divisional champion of Pride who was crowned the Strikeforce light heavyweight champion earlier this year. Henderson is coming off a monumental knockout victory over Fedor Emelianenko this past July and signed with the UFC afterwards.
Wanderlei Silva has fallen on hard times after a legendary run in Pride although he's still a fan favorite in the UFC. He was recently stopped short by the heavy-handed Chris Leben this summer and stepped up in place of the injured Vitor Belfort to take a fight against Cung Le.
Cung Le was the Strikeforce middleweight champion and possesses a very exciting arsenal of diverse strikes which helped turn him into a superstar in California. He's been distracted by a career in movies but a bout in his hometown and in the UFC was enough to call him back to MMA.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 139 press conference after the jump.
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET.
4:02 p.m. - We're getting started. Dana White isn't here due to being "under the weather" but Brian Bowles and Miguel Torres are present.
Dan Henderson: I enjoyed my fights in Strikeforce and the organization treated me well. I've got no complaints and no regrets about leaving the UFC in the first place. I had no idea if I was coming back or not until I heard Dana bought Strikeforce because he missed me. I was satisfied there and with that being said, I'm happy to be in the UFC as well especially with being able to have matchups like this one.
Dan Henderson: I love what I do and as long as my body holds up. The biggest adjustment I had to make in the last few years is to get smarter in my training and hold back and keep up with my conditioning.
Urijah Faber: It's a matter of time before mixed martial arts and UFC are the biggest organization in the world. Even more impressive was the number of viewers in Brazil.
Wanderlei Silva: The game is just starting. We just had our first event on Fox and it's a matter of time until we're the number one sport in the world.
Shogun Rua: I'm very happy to see the UFC achieving this status and in Brazil we're number two only behind soccer. It's a dream come true for Brazilian fighters.
Dan Henderson: It's been a long time coming. Throughout the years, the deal with Spike TV was a huge step and the deal with Fox is another opportunity for new fans to fall in love with it.
Cung Le: I think the second show on Fox will be even bigger for the UFC.
Brian Bowles: I'd like to see the American numbers like the Brazilian numbers.
Urijah Faber: I was a wrestler coming in and it was my first two weeks of trainign and Dan was out ther ein Sacramento and I was going in for the kill and I was getting killed. They said, "Don't you know any jiu-jitsu?" and he told me "Javier Vazquez can hang because he knows jiu-jitsu." I was lucky enough to be around Randy Couture and the old legends. I asked how much Dan Henderson runs and I was told that he hasn't run in 13 years.
Dan Henderson: I can't comment on that. I do other things to stay in shape other than run. He came out guns blazing and didn't slow down.
Cung Le: I believe AKA has a lot of top athletes in the camp. Just in the area, from Gilbert Melendez to Jake Shields, there's a lot of great fighters here. That's why the sport is so popular here.
Urijah Faber: I learned, whenever you do PR and you're talkign to a large crowd that's not familiar with mixed martial arts. They say, explain it like you're talking to someone who doesn't know what they're doing and I need to do that with the judges. I have to be more decisive. It's hard to say what the judges are looking at. If a guy tries to take you down but isn't doing damage, does that count? If you knock him down and get jabbed and pointed, what is more important?
Brian Bowles: If anyone that's been a champion and risen to the top of the sport. You're dealing with a strong mind. All the champions and all the guys who are on the fringe of being champions have heart. He's got that and he's got dangerous weapons. I know what his weapons are and I'll have to make sure I'm more dangerous.
Wanderlei Silva: He's a legend of the sport. He's got a lot of talent in the stand-up and on the ground. I think he can be a champion again. The best I saw of him was against Minotauro in Pride. It was a great fight.
Shogun Rua: I'm very happy to be fighting alongside Wanderlei. I'm a big fan and I hope we both win. I remember as memorable was the rematch of Wanderlei and Arona when Wanderlei defeated Arona.
Shogun Rua: As a fighter and an athlete, it's tough to say what went wrong against Jon Jones because we train our best. I would say being sidelined for one year was a problem. It's tough in a one man sport so I would guess that's what the biggest difference and biggest reason for that fight.
Shogun Rua: As a fighter and as a person, we're always trying to improve and be the best we can be. The UFC is the best show in the world and you only fight the best. Ever since I've been here, I've been fighting my best and certainly I'll keep trying to improve and keep winning my fights.
Brian Bowles: I'm cool with being the quiet guy. Some people are the cool kid in school and you don't know why they're popular. I'm not that guy. I've just got to keep training hard and win fights and I'll keep doing it that way.
Shogun Rua: Dan Henderson is a fighter that I respect and admire a lot for a long time since the Pride days. As a fighter I want to fight the best so I expected that fight to happen for a long time. I have to prepare myself for everything. I prepared for all aspects because anything can happen in a fight. I know it's a tough fight and I hope my preparation can help me in the fight, trusting the skills and work that I did in training camp.
Wanderlei Silva: The last fight was a learning experience. I made some mistakes and paid the price. It was important and made me think a lot about what happened and I made some improvements. I'm ready and prepared for the fight.
Shogun Rua: I don't think it changes that much. When we train, we're used to training much more than the amount of time we spend in a fight. It doesn't really change that much. Being a five rounder or three rounder is a hard fight anyways.
Dan Henderson: The difference is two rounds. The same as three rounds, I'm gonna go as hard as I can as long as I can. You can't go 100 percent the whole time and you've got to account for that in your training and that's what I did.
Shogun Rua: I think there were two main aspects that caused the growth and popularity. First the UFC invested a lot in media and then the idols in Brazil, the fighters who are champions have helped it grow to popularity.
Urijah Faber: I'm never gonna quit. The more rounds the better.
Dan Henderson: I know that Dana at the last press conference, he mentioned "thank you." He's always believed that Fedor might have been overrated but you'll have to ask Dana about that one.
Dan Henderson: I'm only concerned with this fight and making sure I'm focused on that. With any fight where the winner could be a possible title fight, it all matters on how the fight ends.
Wanderlei Silva: I studied his game after they asked me for fight with him. Nobody kicks like him in MMA. He's a really good fighter and I hope we make a good show.
Wanderlei Silva: After my last fight, I really wanted to fight again soon because I was ready. I trained a lot for that fight and I wanted to fight soon.
Brian Bowles: I thought it was a really tough fight, typical Cruz fight. He was dancing around and hitting you and it's really hard to hit him. It was tough to judge there live and I watched it at home because you can see it better on TV. I think it was the right decision.
Brian Bowles: I definitely think it'll clear up any question on who fights Cruz next. We're both top of the weight class. If you look down the roster, I don't know anyone else it could be besides the winner of me and him.
Cung Le: I'm just glad to be part of the UFC and be on this card. If I'm not recognized yet, people will for sure know me for my kicks after this fight.
Urijah Faber: The most important thing is to understand it's a long road. I talked about 8 years ago Dan making fun of me because I didn't know jiu-jitsu. You have to understand that it takes a long time. I get guys in my gym that want to train UFC and I tell them to hop a jiu-jitsu class. It's about having a mentality of wanting to learn. It's about believing in yourself more than anything. Stay steady and surround yourself with the right people.
Urijah Faber: I would say, it wasn't that difficult of a fight for me besides the fact that it's five rounds. He's swift and I wasn't having too much trouble hitting him, I just wasn't throwing as many punches. I need to throw more punches and I only had three takedown attempts. I need to have higher output and trying to finish it. He's not scary. I'll fight him any day every day.
Brian Bowles: Dominick Cruz is a guy who, I don't know if he wins because he's fast. it's more that he's really awkward and you can't get your hands on him. If you learn how to box, they'll teach you everything the opposite of what he does. He's found a way to make it work. Perhaps getting a sparring partner to emulate his style.
Wanderlei Silva: I learned my last fight you can't go, go, go, you need to be careful. You need to change up. I think it's a good time for the sport.
That's a wrap