Ultimate Fighting Championship will hold a public press conference today (Feb. 2, 2012) in advance of UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit," which will take place this Saturday (Feb. 4, 2012).
The press conference will begin at 4 p.m. ET and will take place at the Mizuya Lounge inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, the home city of the event. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters of the evening, Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum.
Nick Diaz is the former Strikeforce welterweight champion who crossed over to the UFC after two title defenses in 2011. After losing a title shot due to failure to make media appearances, he instead battled UFC legend B.J. Penn in the main event of UFC 137, destroying him in the final two rounds to win a unanimous decision. He again was scheduled to fight Georges St. Pierre but an injury got in the way and now he'll battle Carlos Condit for the interim belt.
Carlos Condit has long been one of the most exciting fighters in mixed martial arts today. Think about it, has he had one fight in the UFC thus far that wasn't amazing? From his debut against Martin Kampmann to his tremendous display of heart against both Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald to his violent knockouts of both Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim, he is the literal interpretation of "The Natural Born Killer." He's been delayed repeatedly before getting a shot and we'll see how he handles the big time with this bout.
Roy Nelson was on the verge of a title shot before back to back losses to Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir set him so far off course people were talking about cutting him. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10 winner got back on track with a stoppage of Mirko Filipovic in his last fight, displaying a trimmer physique and a bitching beard. We'll see how he handles the lanky Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu stylings of Fabricio Werdum on Saturday.
Fabricio Werdum was a top talent in Pride and after losing his UFC debut, was on the verge of title contention after stoppage victories against Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga before showing up overweight and getting pasted by Junior dos Santos in "Cigano's" UFC debut. Outside the UFC, Werdum scored tremendous victorious over Fedor Emelianenko and Antonio Silva before dropping a decision to Alistair Overeem in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. He's getting a second chance to make a good first impression this time around.
We'll have complete updates of the UFC 143 press conference, as well as the LIVE press conference video feed, after the jump::
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET.
4:15 p.m. - We're getting started. Nick Diaz is here. So is Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce.
Carlos Condit: I've got a huge task in Nick Diaz and to focus on anything other than that would be to make a big mistake.
Nick Diaz: I think Carlos is more of a dangerous fighter. You're more in danger of losing a decision to Georges St. Pierre and your more in danger of losing your teeth to Condit here.
Dana White: You never know. I've been in situations so many times now where a guy gets injured and it takes him a long time to recover. If we're in a situation if he's not ready and one of these two is ready to defend, we'll do that. If not, we'll go straight to a title fight.
Nick Diaz: It makes me sick. This is Carlos' time to be here and to be a part of this main event. Half of this show is built up around me fighting Georges St. Pierre but I'm fighting Carlos Condit.
Dana White: Joe SIlva was the contributing factor in bringing Fabricio Werdum. He's obviously had a good run and we brought him back when we purchased Strikeforce.
Dana White: Josh is one of the most booed fighters alive. Every time we call Josh Koscheck to fight or if we don't call him, Josh calls us. He's always ready to fight any time with no notice. No, we weren't thinking we'd get Koscheck to fight at 185 pounds but when a fighter falls out, you'll get a text from Josh about it.
Dana White: I'm not really interested in Jon Jones fighting at heavyweight this year. He's at 205 and he's very young. It's gonna happen eventually but I don't think it's gonna happen this year.
Nick Diaz: Of course I want to win the fight. I just want to stay healthy and move forward. That's the direction I need to go.
Nick Diaz: I'm pretty mentally set. If anything, it taxes your physical preparation, dealing with the press and everything and dealing with what you'd normally not be doing with. It's a little extra work but it's not bad.
Nick Diaz: As long as I'm motivated to fight, I'm motivated to fight. I can't say that right now (that he'd retire if he made several million dollars).
Josh Koscheck: I don't think I'm overlooked. I've proven it before. I've just got to win fights and I'm working my way back up now. I fight Mike Pierce and that's what I'm focused on. I'm just worried about winning on Saturday night.
Mike Pierce: I'm not focused on what's going on with those three. I've got Josh Koscheck and that's the only thing on my mind.
Nick Diaz: It's pretty much the same for me every time. The quicker I get through these days here, the quicker I get to go home.
Carlos Condit: Having a 1 year old running around when you're cutting weight isn't that much fun. I love fight week. Training camp's over and I'm excited to step in there and do what I've trained to do for the last six odd months. I'm enjoying it, just getting ready to do the thing. I'm literally not doing anything. I'm doing my workouts, doing my media and just relaxing in my hotel room and focusing on cutting my weight right now.
Dana White: I think Nick Diaz is who he is. Even when he came back from Strikeforce, I said since day one that I don't want Nick Diaz to not be Nick Diaz. I think that one of the things that bothered Nick was that a lot of the way that people think he is or thought he was isn't the truth or reality and like he said in this episode of Primetime, "I'm getting ready to prepare for a fight and this is how I am during fight week." Unfortunately there's things that we have to do but as far as who he is as a person and who he is outside the Octagon, i think people got to see it these past three weeks.
Carlos Condit: I expect a war. honestly, Nick is probably the toughest dude I've ever fought. He's well rounded and has a dynamic skill-set. We both come to fight. No matter who wins between him and myself, the fans are going to win.
Fabricio Werdum: It feels great to be back. I'm ready to show that I'm a great fighter and I'm grateful for the opportunity.
Josh Koscheck: I think that after the Hughes fight, everyone was tied up. Diaz and Carlos were fighting somebody so everyone was tied up and no one stood out that I wanted to fight. I just want to take the big fights and I think that some of the guys I mentioned yesterday would be fun. I'm here to fight anybody and I want to fight the best guys. I think 170 just got interesting now with Georges being out, with Nick coming back into the division. It makes me focused on making another run at that title.
Mike Pierce: I've been trying to fight my way back to the top and I finally got my opportunity with GSP out and I asked for it and got my opportunity. I'm ready to do my thing on Saturday.
Roy Nelson: I think I have my hands full.
Roy Nelson: Fabricio beat Overeem in the stand-up and he was just trying to lure Overeem to the ground to submit him. If he had just kept it standing, he'd have beat Overeem and would be fighting dos Santos right now.
Nick Diaz: I don't mind doing a Primetime show and people coming to film me as long as it's done right and it's not generic. It looked great and I was happy with it.
Nick Diaz: That's what we're working towards, that's the idea (me and Nate being champions at the same time).
Fabricio Werdum: Roy Nelson is a tough guy and I know he has strong hands, but I have strong hands too. I have a good game and I'll have a smart game on Saturday.
That's a wrap folks!