We are just a few moments away from UFC 167: "St. Pierre vs Hendricks" on pay-per-view (PPV). But, before that, here is a look at the final "Fighting Words" for both main event competitors before the mixed martial arts (MMA) action kicks off from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Georges St-Pierre will look for his ninth straight consecutive title defense when he takes on the toughest test of his career, Johny Hendricks.
Apart from the drug testing drama that both camps had to endure, the hype for this fight cannot be any greater, with one megastar looking to keep his status as the world's best fighter whilst the other tries to become a bonafide superstar in his own right.
As both men finished off a week of MMA media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see staredown pic here), it's time for their final "Fighting Words" before the time for talking is done and the fists start to fly.
Open Workouts Interviews
MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani caught up with the main card fighters of UFC 167 and asked them a few questions about their respective fights on Saturday evening.
"Rush" was asked about the botched drug testing deal he and his opponent had agreed on prior to this fight, as well as what Hendricks brings to the table that other challengers lacked.
On the drug test debacle:
"I want to prove to everyone that it is possible to become champion without using drugs. It's a big problem, and I'm doing this for the sport."
On why his opponent is so tough:
"He poses a threat that nobody has posed before. He covers distance very well, he's got a lot of power, great wrestler -- so, it's a different prototype of opponent that I've fought."
On the drug test debacle (Hendricks):
"It's funny, because hell, it don't matter to me. I'm sorry for saying that, but I don't care. Drug test or not, I said ‘Hey, don't take the drug test, because I want you to be the best GSP.' If the last five fights, you've been on GHB or whatever it's called, take it! I want that kind of GSP and sure enough, he's still accusing me of taking steroids. Kids, if you're taking steroids and you look like me, get your money back."
Joe Rogan, UFC's color commentator and weigh-in orchestrator, conducted very brief interviews with both the champion and the challenger after they gazed into each other's eyes for an intense staredown and shook hands afterward. Rogan asked Hendricks about being in one of the most highly anticipated Welterweight fights ever and if he could share his thoughts on how tonight will go down.
On his thoughts going into one of the biggest Welterweight title fights in history:
"I'm going to knock him out. That's all I want to do. I want to finish GSP in here, that's my only thing. You can boo all you want, but you'll be cheering tomorrow."
Rogan then turned to the attention of St. Pierre, who was heavily cheered by the Las Vegas audience and looked to be in the greatest shape we have seen the champion in thus far in his career.
On what will happen tomorrow night:
"My toughest test ever, but don't blink -- it's going to be a good fight. Tune in tomorrow."
FOX Sports Interviews
Hendricks joined Jon Anik, Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian on the FOX Sports 1 panel to discuss his fight with the 170-pound kingpin and how he views his chances going into this battle with the champion.
On what his emotions are like on the eve of the biggest fight of his life:
"Right now, I'm just thinking rehydrate, get back ... the fun's going to be here soon enough. I've waited a year and a half for this thing, and I could wait another 12, 24 -- I think it's about 30 hours until I fight him. It's been a long time and that 30 hours is going to go by like that."
On if power will be a big difference in this fight:
"Yeah, I think it is going to be the power. Not only is it my wrestling, but you know me -- my wrestling is power. So, everything that transfers into this fight is my power versus GSP's, and I think that's something he's not ready for. I'm going to use 100 percent and I want to demolish him."
On what is the biggest thing he needs to look out for:
"His jab. He's got a very good jab, and of course his takedowns. And getting put to sleep. He's boring, boring! He's going to grind you, grind you...that's all he's going to do."
The attention turned to GSP who was asked familiar questions that surround this fight by Helwani, including his opponent's strengths and if he will retire after this fight.
On if fighting in Las Vegas provides less distractions and pressure:
"Yeah, it's different, but this is the capital of fighting in the world so I'm very happy and pumped up to be back."
On if he believes Hendricks' eagerness to stand and trade with him:
"No problem, no problem. We're going to dance, we're going to wrestle, we're going to roll and do everything in this Octagon."
On what his perfect fight would be -- to stand or go to the ground:
"First round knockout or submission would be my perfect fight, but who knows."
On if tonight will be his final fight:
"I can't tell you. I don't know when I'm going to retire; it could be tomorrow, could be in one week, could be in 10 years or it could be in five years. I take one fight at a time but I love what I do right now."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 167 card this Saturday night (Nov. 16, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV action, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.