UFC 134 Press Conference: Silva Reaffirms Commitment to 185, Praises Okami
By FCF Staff
The Ultimate Fighting Championship held a press conference today in Rio de Janeiro to promote the company’s upcoming, August 27th event in the Brazilian city. The main event combatants in middleweight champion Anderson Silva and contender Yushin Okami were on hand, as were scheduled competitors Forrest Griffin, Mauricio Rua, Brendan Schaub and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
UFC 134 will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena and will be broadcast live on pay-per-view.
Here were some of the highlights from today’s press conference.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira said fighting in Brazil for UFC 134 is “a dream” come true.
Dana White conceded that the UFC should have returned to Brazil much sooner.
Nogueira said he’s worked extremely hard to recover from the surgeries he’s undergone recently and will be ready to fight Brendan Schaub at UFC 134.
White said the UFC is interested in bringing PPV and Fight Night cards to Brazil on a regular basis.
Anderson Silva acknowledged opponent Yushin Okami is a “great fighter,” before saying he “didn’t lose” to the Japanese middleweight, who was awarded a disqualification win over Silva in 2006.
Forrest Griffin said he’s looking forward to facing Rua in Brazil and is not worried about fighting “in hostile territory”. In their first meeting in September, 2007, Griffin tapped out the former champion in the third round.
Brendan Schaub stated there’s nothing “more awesome than fighting Nogueira in Brazil”.
Okami said he’s used to fighting outside of Japan and therefore isn’t worried about facing Silva in his home country.
White reaffirmed his contention that people around the world love fighting, before heaping praise on Brazil for its renowned MMA history and community.
Schaub believes he has an advantage over Nogueira on the feet, but isn’t afraid to go to the ground with the renowned BJJ practitioner.
Griffin’s advice to Okami on facing Silva; “whatever I did, don’t do that”. Silva knocked Griffin out in the first round at UFC 101.
Silva said it’s a “great opportunity” to face Okami, adding he respects him highly, and offered no insights into the strategy he might employ against the number one contender.
When asked if may move to light-heavyweight, Silva said he has no intention of doing so, and plans on retiring in the middleweight division.
White said Silva is being embraced by American society and cited ad campaigns that the middleweight champion is going to be involved in.
Nogueira stated he would fight heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez again but not his training partner and student Junior dos Santos, before adding they are “brothers.”
Rua acknowledged he “was recovered” but had lost some of his “fight rhythm”, when he faced Jon Jones earlier this year, which was Rua’s first bout after undergoing knee surgery in 2010.
White says the UFC has never guaranteed that a super fight between Silva and welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre would happen, but also said “anything is possible” in terms of a bout between Silva and Jones.