UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz goes down this Saturday, October 29, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight card will feature a welterweight tilt in the main event between BJ Penn and Nick Diaz, as well as two heavyweight scraps between Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo, as well as Roy Nelson and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic.
The promotion today held a press conference in promotion of those fights, with all of those fighters in attendance. Below are notes and quotes from the presser. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine Saturday night for our live, ongoing coverage of the event.
Notes and Quotes
-Dana White reminds that the promotion’s first program on FOX, UFC Primetime, will air this Sunday.
-White announces that Jon Anik from ESPN is now a part of the UFC and will begin as part of the FOX broadcasting team in 2012.
-Anik will do play-by-play on the FX fights and will have a position on the new, live Ultimate Fighter shows.
-White says he loves the Penn-Diaz bout because they’re both crazy and they’re both warriors.
-Penn believes that both he and Diaz are under pressure and in must-win situations.
-Mitirone says that he got some work in with Randy Couture for this fight, as well as with Rashad Evans and Tyrone Spong in Florida.
-White says the UFC is currently working on moving into the French market soon. Says main focus for expansion is Japan, France, China and India.
-Diaz says he’s likely cast as the underdog since the fight is in the UFC; people think that all UFC fighters are better than others.
-Diaz: There’s no bad blood between Georges and I, I just think I’m a bad match-up for him.
-Penn is open to a third fight with GSP, but says “that’s the last person to be worrying about right now.”
-Diaz says he got brought to the presser an hour early and is happy to be here, would have shown up to the others if he could have.
-Diaz on if this is the biggest fight in his career since he’ll likely get a title shot with victory: “Yes, then I suppose it is.”
-Cro Cop says he isn’t planning on embarking on a singing career and that he’s going to kick Pat Barry’s a** when he sees him for releasing that video on YouTube.
-Cro Cop intimates that, win or lose, this may be his last fight in the UFC, just based on his age. “Do I need it anymore? I have two kids at home and many more things to discover.”
-Cro Cop: This is the most important fight of my career, so I prepared myself better than ever.
-BJ Penn on fighting in Vegas again: All I can say is never say never. That was the past, I’m just looking ahead to the future.
-“I enjoy the right type of press. As long as it’s not B-class, random websites.” – Diaz
-Mitrione calls a reporter out for trying to start stuff between Diaz and the rest of them when Diaz says that he trains harder than most and the reporter asks the rest of the panel if they’re offended by that.
-Diaz on leaving a legacy in MMA: “I’m here to represent my team, Cesar Gracie jiu-jitsu.”
-Cro Cop says he’ll raise his kids when he’s done with MMA.