Ultimate Fighting Championship will today (Feb. 14, 2012) hold a media conference call to promote next Saturday's (Feb. 26, 2012) UFC 144: "Edgar vs. Henderson" pay-per-view (PPV) event.
The conference call will begin at 1 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the main and co-main event fighters of the evening: Frankie Edgar, Ben Henderson, Quinton Jackson and Ryan Bader.
Edgar is the current UFC lightweight champion, having twice defeated B.J. Penn in 2010 to win and defend the belt. He showcased his pure heart in coming back twice in consecutive fights against Gray Maynard last year earning a draw and closing out the trilogy with a fourth round knockout to make a statement.
His challenger, Henderson, is the former WEC lightweight champion. He's been on a torrid run in the UFC thus far, defeating the likes of Mark Bocek and then knocking off top contenders Jim Miller and Clay Guida to earn his shot at UFC gold.
"Rampage" Jackson is the former UFC light heavyweight champion. He's been up and down since losing the title to Forrest Griffin and is most recently coming off a defeat via the hands of Jon Jones in a failed attempt to reclaim the 205 pound belt.
Bader was once considered one of the best light heavyweight prospects in the UFC. After a very promising undefeated start to his career, he was derailed by Jon Jones and then completely stunned by Tito Ortiz. "Darth" Bader got back on track with a quick first round knockout in his last fight and will be right back in the thick of things if he can knock off the aging former champ.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 141 conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Frankie Edgar: Obviously I'm super excited to go over to Japan. They've got a great culture and they're huge fans and they'll appreciate the show we put on. It's different than Abu Dhabi, but this isn't my first go-around.
Ryan Grab: We've got seven total fights on a four hour main card.
Rampage Jackson: I'm really excited about going back to Japan, there's no secret about that. I love that place. I think it was because of my exciting style. I put on exciting fights for the fans. Pro wrestling is big over there and that translated to my style a bit.
Rampage Jackson: It's a no-brainer. The UFC was going back to Japan and I got my big break in Japan. You know I wanted to be there. I wanted to be on that card.
Rampage Jackson: I think if anybody has a chance [to revive the scene], its' the UFC. The UFC has surpassed Pride and if I have anything to do with it, I'm gonna go there and fight my heart out and put on a big show. I want to give these Japanese fans the best fight they've ever seen.
Rampage Jackson: If I gave my thoughts on the matchmaking in the UFC, Joe SIlva wouldn't talk to me anymore. I think Pride had matchmaking for exciting fights. In America, all they're concerned about is who's gonna win, but it ain't about that. It's about excitement. In America, we're still light years behind the Japanese fans in that department.
Rampage Jackson: My manager informed me not to go into my fight to get onto this card because that would upset people in the UFC.
Rampage Jackson: It's very important to me personally. My kid's grandparents, they never watched me fight back in the day. I really miss the fans. I'm not gonna lie. I really miss fighting there. It means a lot to me personally. It's just something I want to do.
Ryan Bader: It's a big fight. I don't feel like I'm stepping into his backyard. He's fought over there a lot but we're both traveling over there. We're both gonna be in the Octagon. His fans and who he's beat, they're not gonna be in there with him. I relish that underdog role and I trained my butt off so I'm ready to go.
Ben Henderson: I think that everything happens for a reason. The lord works in mysterious ways. Maybe back then, I wasn't quite up to snuff but here I am now and I'm ready to run with it and give it my best shot.
Rampage Jackson: I think the crowd will be really happy to have some mixed martial arts over there. I heard some buzz. Everyone was waiting for the fights and they can't wait for the UFC to come there.
Ben Henderson: It means quite a bit to fight in Japan. Japan was the mecca of MMA early on. I'd like to be the spark of what is the return of Japanese MMA and mean more globally.
Ben Henderson: I wouldn't say I have unfinished business with Pettis. I definitely want to avenge that loss and I have a soft spot in my heart for that loss. Anthony is a great guy. I can't say enough good things about him. He'll work his way to the top. He had that loss to Clay Guida and I'm sure I'll see him again. If he ever gets a shot at my belt, let's do it.
Rampage Jackson: I was broke as hell when I went to Japan for the Sakuraba fight. I've been to Japan a few times recently. It's kinda weird. When I'm over there, they don't recognize me. I don't have my chain on or anything.
Rampage Jackson: I never thought that I would open up a gym. It's no secret that I never liked training but in between fights, I was getting out of shape. I opened up a gym in my hometown and we've got a lot of students. It's a family place and that's the kind of atmosphere I like.
Frankie Edgar: I almost feel like I'm an ambassador to the sport, being the first time Zuffa held events in Japan and Abu Dhabi.
Ben Henderson: I'm excited to be the main event because my last fight, I was put on the backburner even though it was going to be an exciting fight and to have my fight not aired and overlooked.
Rampage Jackson: I've got nothing against Ryan Bader. He's a cool guy and he never talked trash against me. There's nothing personal. I've been going out there like a tough guy and putting on a great show for the fans. I've got nothing against Ryan Bader at all.
Ben Henderson: I think a pretty similar effect, a lot of similar movement between Frankie and Clay. Frankie is a little more polished and he has great movement, non-stop movement. After the fight, i was very thankful to have fought Clay because his movement through me off against Clay and hopefully that will help me against Frankie.
Frankie Edgar: I'm not concerned too much with where the fight goes. It could go anywhere. I want to come out strong on the first round and build form there. That would be the best scenario.
Frankie Edgar: I'm not gonna be blindsided by the long trip to Japan.
Ben Henderson: There's a lot of things I wouldn't think of on my own, adjusting training times when we get there, what times we spar at all and all that stuff. I didn't think about food, making sure you have the food your body needs and whatnot. The food over there will be quite different. Pre-weigh-in food, you're on a pretty strict die and there's a couple other things I wouldn't have thought about.
Frankie Edgar: I didn't even know I was the favorite. I don't really pay attention to those things. I've been the underdog most of the time and I'm finally favored to win. The more I win, the more respect I get so that's always the plan.
Frankie Edgar: I'm not gonna try to go out there and try to out-condition someone, I want to outfight them.
Ben Henderson: I definitely have long-term goals, short term goals, but that has been my goal when I first went into fighting period. No one of the best, top five, top three, I want to be the best pound for pound fighter period. I don't think me beating Frankie at all gets me anywhere near the conversation, I think I have to defend the belt. Anderson's up to 12 or 13, after I beat that, then I can be in the conversation.
Ben Henderson: Frankie is very fast and he has a great straight right. My boxing coach thinks he'll have a lot of faith in that straight right after knocking out Maynard. I've got accustomed to that. I've been in a couple of big fights myself and I've had my share of big fight experience. I think what I'll be most worried about is losing each round by a hair. Frankie does a great job of doing really good work to win a round, and just enough to win the next round and the next so at the end of the fight, you're doing five rounds to none. You might not be too damaged, but you lost to Frankie Edgar. That's what I'm worried about.
Ben Henderson: I'm a little bigger now. I wanted to do it the right way. No one puts on 20 pounds of muscle in two months. It takes 3-4 years to put on actual legit muscle. I put on a little bit of size and it has not personally affected my cardio at all. It hasn't really affected me logistically at all.
Ben Henderson: It was a great time to go out there and meet one whole side of my family that I'd never met before. It was really cool. I met 30-40 different cousins, I don't remember their names. I got to hang out at some army bases, meet some soldiers. Just in general, being with my mom, it meant a lot to go out there. That was what I most enjoyed, the smile on my mom's face the whole time she was out there. My great uncle, my grandpa's wife and a couple different cousins are coming in for Korea.
Frankie Edgar: My last two fights, I lost the first round. I don't want to be down big in the fight against Henderson so I have to be sure I'm on my A-Game right out of the gate.
Frankie Edgar: It's definitely refreshing to train for someone new. With my injury, I had to train for Gray for quite a long time.
Frankie Edgar: It's the excitement of having a new opponent, a fresh easel to paint on. It's also definitely a concern because you've never faced them before, so you've got more to prepare for so it's a little bit new.
Ryan Bader: You've got to take something and do something good with your losses. We made some changes as a team. We got new head coach, new boxing coach instead of being in charge everything. Film is watched, the gameplan is done. I felt great going into my last fight and I went out there aggressive and some people fight not to lose but that gets them away from what got them there. I felt comfortable in my last fight and I take that into this fight. I felt I progressed as much in four months as I did in four years.