UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz goes down on October 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and today the UFC held a conference call in promotion of the fight card. FightLine.com participated and brief notes and quotes from the call are below.
Nick Diaz, of course, will not be participating in the conference call today.
Notes and Quotes
-Penn talks the UFC gym in Hawaii that he’s helping run, says he’s excited to be a part of it.
-It’s very difficult to understand what Penn is saying as he’s on a bad connection, but he admits that all of the turmoil around UFC 137 has been like a roller coaster ride.
-The conference call mediators are still reaching out to Diaz to try and get him on the call.
-Penn says that he’s willing to fight a five round fight with Diaz, but that he wants to be compensated properly.
-Mitrione says it doesn’t matter where the fight is on the card (now the co-main event), the important things is avoiding getting his ass kicked by Cheick Kongo.
-Mitrione says this is in no way a revenge bout after Kongo beat his friend Pat Barry down; they are prize fighters and this is what they do for a living.
-Penn seems as out of the loop as anyone in regards to the specifics of his fight. “I only know what you all know.” Says, as far as he knows, their fight remains a three-rounder.
-Penn doesn’t mind Diaz not showing up on the call, he likes that Diaz is always himself and enjoys watching him do what he does. Says he knows that Diaz will show up to the fight and that’s all that matters.
-Penn: “I’ve never really changed much. I just try to come in and fight my best to take the other guy out.” Says Diaz is the best boxer in MMA today. Believes he and Diaz are similar in that they’re striking and jiu-jitsu skills are their most potent.
-“I would love to get another title before I step out of the game, but I’m trying to take it one fight at a time.” – Penn.
-“I’m a fan of Nick Diaz, I’ve been a fan of Nick Diaz since before he was in the UFC.” – Penn, who also says that the only thing Diaz will do to bother him will probably be punching him in the face next Saturday.
-“I’d love to stick around for as long as Matt (Hughes) stuck around,” says Penn. Admits that he has a love/hate relationship with MMA and that his motivation to continue competing ebbs and flows from day to day.
-Matt Mitrione on Cheick Kongo: “If he’s kicking my ass standing up, I’m going to try to get him pregnant.”
-“Nick is a great character of the sport,” says Penn. Believes that, though it may not be good for the sport, Diaz is giving people something to talk about and is a character for doing things exactly like this.
-“I expect it to happen. A fight’s a fight, there’s no friends in the Octagon. I expect him to come out and maybe say some things, I may be saying some things myself. … I won’t hold any of that against him personally.” – Penn on Diaz’s in-fight trash talk.
-“I’ll fight Jon Fitch anytime. I’d love to fight him again.” – BJ Penn.
-Penn says Cesar is a strange guy for trying to call him out over the five-round request. Says that Gracie should have to compensate him for it and not Dana White, but that he’s very much ready to go five rounds.
-Nick Diaz showed up to the beauty pageant! “Hey, how’s it going?” he asks.
-Diaz says he was never given notice of a call, he’s just been hanging out and training. As soon as he heard about it, he called in.
-Diaz is trying not to treat any of the turmoil around the card as a big deal. He’s just going to keep training and fighting.
-“I appreciate that, what he said. I think that’s reasonable.” Diaz on Penn calling him the best boxer. “I’m not happy about it at all. I’m fighting a guy who’s my friend.” Says he signed to fight a certain guy and thought that he had a deal. He doesn’t like to fight people he’s met and trained with, but that he’s going to do it anyway.
-“I would have preferred to fight GSP of course, because it’s not like I’m fighting somebody I already know,” says Diaz. “I think BJ’s a lot better fighter to be honest with you, on a technical standpoint.”
-Diaz thinks that BJ is too small for welterweight and that’s why he got beat by GSP, not because GSP is a better fighter.
-Diaz doesn’t care if the fight is three or five rounds, he’s ready either way.