Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a media conference call today (March 27, 2012) in advance of UFC 146 which will take place on May 26, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The conference call will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET. Scheduled to attend will be the headlining fighters for the evening: Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva.
Dos Santos is the current UFC heavyweight champion, having gone an impressive 8-0 inside the Octagon. He captured the title from Cain Velasquez at the inaugural UFC on FOX event last November and is looking to defend his belt for the first time. His opponent, Frank Mir is the former UFC heavyweight champion. He stepped up in place of Alistair Overeem, who tested for elevated levels of testosterone and was denied his license after removing himself from the title bout.
Velasquez is the former UFC heavyweight champion. He suffered a shoulder injury after initially winning the title in October of 2010 and was handed his lone loss by dos Santos during his first title defense. Now healthy, he's hoping to earn his title back with a victory in the co-main event.
Antonio Silva is a former EliteXC heavyweight champion. His stock rose to absurd levels after his second round TKO victory against Fedor Emelianenko in the quarterfinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, although he was brought back to Earth by Daniel Cormier via knockout in the semifinals. If he can beat the former champion, he'll be right back on top, if not higher.
We'll have all the updates from the UFC 146 conference call after the jump:
Brian Hemminger here. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
1:12 p.m. - Call still hasn't started. Must be working on Brazilian time again.
1:13 p.m. - I jinxed it. We're starting.
Frank Mir: Any time you go in as the underdog, it takes a lot of pressure off your shoulders. When not a lot is expected of you, you can concentrate on the task at hand.
Antonio Silva: Things are going really well. For the first time I'm 270 pounds three weeks before the fight. I feel very fast and light and I've been working with Mike Dolce.
Ant Evans: There was no attempts to add a non-heavyweight fight after several of the injuries and with Overeem dropping out.
Cain Velasquez: With this fight camp, what I did most at the beginning was took my time getting back in the gym. As weeks went on, I picked up the pace of training and tried not to rush the training and get injured or anything like that. I felt like with the long training camp I had, I got my shit back together and my cardio.
Cain Velasquez: Fighting somebody like Dos Santos, that kind of stuff happens. You've got to learn from them and move on to your next fights.
Cain Velasquez: Bigfoot is a big guy, has a lot of power, and he's good everywhere. He's good on the ground, and on the feet.
Frank Mir: Nobody likes to hear anything negative said about them. I have no issues with him trying to sell the fight and stir the pot. Dos Santos has done better fighting in the Octagon as selling the fight but that's a thing he's getting more successful with.
Frank Mir: I think most people get stuck in how I fought one guy and they didn't realize that who does well sometimes come down to style. With my style, I've done better against people who have striking or submission games. I've had more difficulty dealing with wrestling and top control guys than with submission guys.
Junior dos Santos: I don't promote fights by talking trash. I feel that Frank Mir lacks heart and can't get through rough spots in a fight. i don't say things just to sell fights. If I say something, it's because that's what I believe.
Antonio Silva: I'm a part of Team Nogueira from Rio de Janeiro and American Top Team helped me by bringing in big wrestlers from Holland and it's made things easier here so I don't have to be away from my family during the camp.
Antonio Silva: You only lose if you get up into the ring and fight. I probably will not be watching the Heavyweight Grand Prix finals because I'm focusing on Cain Velasquez but I'll be rooting for Daniel Cormier.
Antonio Silva: I faced three great opponents in Strikeforce, Werdum, Fedor and Arlovski and now I get to fight guys like Cain Velasquez. They're all great fighters. I think in the UFC right now, all the best fighters in the world are in my category.
Junior dos Santos: I had to make a few adjustments in my training camp including the people I brought into spar. They are very different fighters. Overeem is right handed and keeps it standing while Mir is left handed and may take it to the ground. They are both great fighters and I'll be ready.
Cain Velasquez: I haven't changed anything since the loss to Junior dos Santos.
Junior dos Santos: I want to always have a strategy to go all five rounds. You don't walk in thinking you'll finish the fight right away. I hit him so hard and I was surprised, it took me a second to swarm him because I was surprised. Seeing the moment and being ready to capitalize on the moment, that's what matters.
Frank Mir: Cain Velasquez is more of a multi-faceted threat. He can lull you into a striking match and take you down or he can punch you in the face if you're worried about the takedown. With Dos Santos, he basically concentrates on his best asset which is boxing but it's hard to argue, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Frank Mir: After the Nogueira fight I had a share of e-mails that I had to translate with google translate that weren't very flattering. It wasn't until the video game release where I was supposed to play Junior dos Santos that I realized that the Brazilian fans really disliked me and they put pressure on him not to face me.
Junior dos Santos: Minotauro is not the sole source of information. Obviously I have my trainers and watching Frank Mir's fights and preparing myself in that way.
Frank Mir: I'll be closer to 255 for this fight. What taught me a lesson was Cain. I watched Cain Velasquez toss Brock Lesnar around like a rag doll and I realized that while Brock Lesnar could probably beat Cain in the weight room, there's more to it than just being strong. I toned down my weight training and it's more a supplement than the mainstay of my workout.
Cain Velasquez: The most important was having my body 100 percent and then going on to take a fight. If I needed the time to get that going, that was more important than going back into a fight right away. I think the way I did that now was perfect for me.
Cain Velasquez: I'm definitely able to let it go. In wrestling, I've lost matches before and stuff like that and it's always a thing where you learn from it and watch film but you don't always think about it. You have to move on. I wasn't thinking I was going to go my whole career undefeated. He was better on that day and that's all it is.
Antonio Silva: It's a dream come true. It's a dream that any athlete in our sport wants to live out and everybody can be sure on the 26th of May that I will give out a great fight. I'm very relaxed and very well prepared. It's a great opportunity the UFC is giving me for my first fight in the UFC against one of the tops in the world. I'm very comfortable.
Antonio Silva: Cain Velasquez is a lighter and much faster fighter and I tried to come in a little bit lighter. I needed to increase my speed to counter his lightness.
Cain Velasquez: Silva's a tough guy. He's had some great fights with top level competitors and he's very well-rounded. He definitely deserves a shot up here. I think he's one of the best heavyweights out there.
Frank Mir: You don't have to worry about the weight class being divided up amongst promotions. There were times before where it was really stacked but I do think the heavyweight division is as deep as its ever been.
Cain Velasquez: Daniel Cormier told me about what it was like when he was in there but that fight was so quick and a while ago so we're expecting a completely different fighter.
Antonio Silva: The real issue was that Overeem came to the Blackzilian camp and first of all he was going to fight Junior dos Santos who is a good friend of mine. Also, with us being in the same division, we were on a collision course and that was uncomfortable to me. With American top team they had nice strikers and wrestlers.
Junior dos Santos: When Minotauro lost to Frank Mir, I was very upset and all of Brazil was upset to see that loss but what motivates me is to defend my belt. I'm in a good phase of my life and my only motivation in my life is to defend my title. Revenge doesn't cross my mind and doesn't do me any favors in helping me win.
Frank Mir: When I first heard about the outcome of the drug test, I knew I was likely the first person in line to jump up. I actually started training for a five round fight when I signed up to fight Velasquez because his most dangerous skill is his motor. You saw that in the Cheick Kongo fight where he got hurt on the feet and was able to grind through. I knew if something were going to happen to the main event, I was likely going to step in to replace the main event fighter or if the fight got scrapped, I'd likely be facing Cain in a five round fight instead so I had to be ready.
That's a wrap folks!