UFC 139 Presser Notes: Silva Acknowledges Back Against the Wall vs. Le
By FCF Staff
The Ultimate Fighting Championship set up shop today in San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market to host a press conference in advance of the promotion’s upcoming November 19th card in the California city.
In attendance were all four of the UFC 139 headliners, as Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Champion Dan Henderson will face Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the event, and Wanderlei Silva will meet UFC newcomer Cung Le.
As usual, UFC President Dana White was also in attendance at today’s presser.
Here were some of the highlights.
Le said he is “extremely honored” to be fighting Silva and is excited about making his UFC debut.
White said he and Le have been “talking for sometime” and that he’s always been interested in having the San Shou expert compete for the promotion.
White assured that he and Henderson “get along just fine,” before crediting the Strikeforce Light-Heavyweight Champion for his toughness and knocking out Fedor Emelianenko. UFC 139 will mark Henderson’s return to the organization, after the accomplished vet left the UFC for Strikeforce in 2010.
Henderson stated that “it’s somewhat ironic that every time I win a championship” the UFC buys the promotion he’s competing for, referring to Zuffa’s purchase of Pride and more recently Strikeforce.
The 41 year-old Henderson also added that he’s not interested at competing at middleweight anymore, unless it’s a rematch with UFC champion Anderson Silva.
Wanderlei Silva stated that he “loves to fight” and that he hopes to compete for “as long as he can”, following his knockout loss to Chris Leben this past July. The legendary fighter is 2-3 in his last five fights.
Rua said he’s “very happy” to be fighting Henderson, which is a bout the former champ noted fans had hoped to see when they both competed for Pride.
Le commented that “it means a lot” to be fighting for the UFC in his hometown of San Jose.
When asked if he feels his back is against the wall in his upcoming bout with Le, Silva responded by saying that “some fighters fight better from that position.”
White stated that Josh Koscheck has expressed interest in fighting at the UFC 139 card but that nothing has been set.
Rua was asked if he’s thought about dropping to middleweight and responded by saying that he’s “never really considered that” as his natural weight is around 220, 230 pounds.
Henderson said that Anderson Silva isn’t interested in a rematch at this juncture, before White relayed that the middleweight champion has bursitis in his shoulder, and as a result, the bout couldn’t be put together currently. White added that Silva “doesn’t duck” anyone and that the rematch could be a possibility in the future.
When asked how he feels about “Rampage” Jackson recently calling him out for a rematch in Japan, Rua said he “thought it was pretty cool,” before stating he believes the bout will happen sooner or later. Rua stopped the former UFC champion at a Pride event in 2005.