Ultimate Fighting Championship will be holding a public press conference today (January 26, 2012) in advance of the promotion's second major network event, UFC on Fox 2: "Evans vs. Davis" which is scheduled to take place this Saturday, January 28, 2012.
The conference will begin at 2 p.m. ET live from W Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, the home city of the event. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening: Rashad Evans, Phil Davis, Chael Sonnen, Michael Bisping, Demian Maia and Chris Wiedman.
Rashad Evans is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and recently came back from significant time away to defeat Tito Ortiz in the main event of UFC 133. He's been the de facto number one contender for over a year now but injuries have kept him from challenging for the belt.
He'll be challenged by Phil Davis, an undefeated UFC prospect who was a four time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler and 2008 national champion. He currently holds a spotless MMA record and is looking to take it to the next level by battling Evans, the man he was originally slated to fight at UFC 133 before injuries got in the way.
Chael Sonnen has made as much of a name for himself with his gift for gab as he has with his talent in fighting. The mouthy ex-realtor gave Anderson Silva his toughest test in the UFC to date and has been clamoring for another shot. His opponent, Michael Bisping rose to the occasion when Mark Munoz went down with an injury. The Brit is riding a four fight winning streak and the winner will be earning a crack at the 185 pound title.
Demian Maia is one of the strongest and most dangerous Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in the UFC. While the submissions haven't been coming lately, he has won three of his last four including a dominant top control victory against Jorge Santiago his last time out. His opponent, Chris Weidman, is one of the most promising middleweights in the UFC. He stepped up on extremely short notice and will be putting his undefeated record on the line in what is a huge leap forward in competition for the former All-American wrestler out of Hofstra.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC on FOX 2 press conference and live streaming video after the jump.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET.
2:15 We're just about ready to go. Chael has his fake belt with him. Oh boy.
Dana White: Chael will be safe in Brazil.
Chael Sonnen: For those of you that can't see, this is the world championship title that I took from Anderson Silva.
Michael Bisping: I think you can get them on Ebay for 29.99
Rashad Evans: I'm excited to fight again on a regular basis. When I win this fight I"m definitely ready to fight again as soon as possible.
Dana White: Rashad Evans is the guy who's in line to get this shot. We know the history with what happened. He's the guy getting the title shot. We'll see what happens on Saturday. We'll see the way this fight goes down, what happens and then the decision will be made.
Michael Bisping: Of course, he's the best boxer. He's the Muhammed Ali, and I"m a guy from England, what chance do I have? I'm a good striker and he's just a wrestler.
Chael Sonnen: It's my belt, I slept with this thing last night. You're looking at the man with the biggest arms and will do the biggest harm to the guy three doors down.
Mike Russow: My co-workers, everyone's excited. I like this so much better than traveling, plane tickets and this is right in my backyard. This is my first fight I've had a whole month off and I got to sleep good and eat good. I used up all my vacation time but it's worth it to put up all the hard work.
Michael Bisping: When you go to train, you train, you're not there to talk. We talked a little bit. Jake Shields was helping me train for Demian Maia. He said it's a sticky situation and he'd leave me to continue with my training.
Chael Sonnen: I don't do these camps either. I think these fighters say one thing and mean another thing. I go to practice every day, if I have a fight coming up, I work a little harder. I do what's asked of me and I go home. May the better man win, and he will.
Rashad Evans: When you talk about fighting, a fight's a fight. It's easier to fight when you don't like somebody. I've got nothing against Phil. I've got to fight him so I've got a lot against him right now.
Chael Sonnen: There's nothing changed. There hasn't been a whole lot of time. The show sold out. It's on free TV. Everyone in the world is turning out to watch it. We're gonna set records on FOX.
Phil Davis: There's no disrespect. This man is the outright number one contender and he's not going to be the number one contender after this weekend. I'm used to being the underdog in MMA. Everyone I've ever fought ever has had more experience adn has been training longer. These are odds I'm used to.
Michael Bisping: Chael's a great fighter, I'm a great fighter and we're gonna put on a great show for you people. I feed off the energy.
Chael Sonnen: This is Anderson's belt. If he wants his belt back, he can come get it. The only thing he hasn't done is announce his retirement.
Chris Weidman: It was pretty much the number one thing has been my weight. I surprised myself and I got down. The fight camp has been focusing on my prior experience. I can't prepare for Demian Maia in 10 days so I've been focusing on all my past work from second grade until now.
Jon Olav Einemo: Not everyone likes the police, so I try to get everyone else on my side.
Chris Weidman: I'm definitely comfortable taking it to the ground if that's what happens. I'm gonna walk forward, throw punches and take it to the ground if the opportunity presents itself.
Dana White: The first guy we went after, I'm in tune with the fans and we tried to make the Palhares fight. He turned it down and then we called Chris and he took it.
Phil Davis: Cocaine is a hell of a drug. It's crazy what the kids do nowadays. I encourage imagination and it's good that he has that but no. He'll never beat me in wrestling, not thumb wrestling, not anything of the sort. You guys that have no wrestled, we were in the same divisions, similar weight classes. I was a four time All-American.
Rashad Evans: Your technique is trash. You could not win a world competition. You could not win on the international stage because you have trash technique.
Phil Davis: What have you been wathcing?
Rashad Evans: I watched you wrestle in college and it was trash.
Dana White: We've been back here repeatedly and we've kept building the sport and the brand here. We actually came in here about 8-9 months ago and did a focus group here. You guys grew up with the Cubs, Bears and Bull and trying to build a new market with the sport has been tough but we're getting there.
Chael Sonnen: I think Joe Rogan has been very fantastic. I don't plan on taking his job.
Phil Davis: There's absolutely no animosity from my end. I'll extend him the same courtesy of anyone else.
Phil Davis: Being a Pennsylvania guy, I really wanted to fight in Philly.
Rashad Evans: Notice he said he didn't want to fight me.
Phil Davis: Get this man tested, he's on drugs.
Phil Daivs: Things have a way of correcting themselves.
Jon Olov Einemo: We came from the UK, England and we were about 3-4 hours in the trip and we started to smell burn in the plane. The stewardess was stessing in teh aisle and telling us we had nothign to worry about. We had to maek an emergency landing in Ireland. It was a long trip. There was only the smell. I was watching a movie, had my headset on and I started to smell something. It was a little bit scary but everything was okay. It took about 22 hours to get to Chicago. I don't think it will impact me on the fight. I got one night less rest but I will be fine.
Phil Davis: It felt bad to not fight Rashad in August, but now I get to fight him on FOX and embarrass him in front of everybody.
Demian Maia: I like Chael. He's funny and he's a very good athlete. He has proven against Anderson and after Anderson's fight against Brian Stann so I know he's improving. I hope we can fight again for the title.
Chael Sonnen: I said before we fought the first time that that was the true match. We will rematch again and it will be for the championship.
Demian Maia: He said he wants to go to the ground, but fighters say what they want before the fight. I have to be ready for the fight to take place in any place.
Rashad Evans: It's a pretty big deal to be here. I have a lot of friends and family coming in. It cost me a lot of tickets but it's worth it. I do have to remember that I have to fight.
Rashad Evans: I definitely want to get a chance to go and visit Jeff Dunbar. My heart goes out to him and his situation.
Chris Weidman: I have to win this fight in my eyes. If I lose this fight, it's do or die for me. If I look at it that way, it gives me an excuse to lose.
Chris Weidman: I have a lot of respect for Demian Maia's jiu-jitsu, it's amazing. I've competed at Abu Dhabi against some of the best grapplers in the world and I've done pretty well and I train with some of the best grapplers in the world.
Chael Sonnen: I was a Sugar Ray Leonard guy, Marvin Haggler, Duran. We didn't have cable TV when I was a kid but we did go to a friend's house and we'd watch Sugar Ray fight.
Phil Davis: The winner of this fight will fight for the title but in the event that I hit him too hard and hurt my hand, Dan Henderson will fight for the title first.
Rashad Evans: Phil Davis can't hit. He punches with his hands open and he has no technique at all. Dude can't bust a grape. He's looking like Arsenio Hall.
Phil Davis: Give that man a hand, he practiced that.
Dana White: If Bisping wins, the fight will be in Brazil anyways, so get your passports ready.
Michael Bisping: The best fighter doesn't always win, the one who fights best wins. He can keep his fake belt and shove it up his ass.
That's a wrap!