Ufc 33 Victory In Vegaspress Conference
UFC 33 Victory in Vegas
By Aaron Crecy
With the 33rd Ultimate Fighting Championship just two days away, the principals and theirs camps gathered at the Mandalay Bay Event Center to take part in a pre-fight press conference. Featuring comments from UFC titleholders Jens Pulver and Tito Ortiz, along with challengers Dennis Hallman and Vladimir Matyushenko, the event was well-attended by mixed martial arts media, local journalists and representatives from several Spanish speaking media outlets. Middleweight championship contenders Dave Menne and Gil Castillo were also on the dais.
Lorenzo Fertitta, managing partner of Zuffa Sports Entertainment-which owns the UFC-served as the master of ceremonies.
"What we have done, I believe, is put together one of the best cards in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championships," said Fertitta. "I’m pleased to announce that the fight is sold out. It’s for all intents and purposes, sold out. We sold the majority of the tickets in the first two weeks that we put the tickets on sale, which is significant because Las Vegas has not been an easy place to sell tickets with all the different entertainment options."
Nevada Athletic Commission Executive Director Marc Ratner was also in attendance, along with commissioners Flip Homansky and Amy Ayoub.
"Seven or eight years ago this sport would not have been welcome here," Ratner stated. "But with the changes that have been made and the safety factors that are involved now, we’re very excited to have it and I’m looking forward to it."
It was Ratner’ commission that unanimously approved mixed martial arts for sanctioning in the state of Nevada on July 23, 2001. Now, MMA shares the same worldwide stage as boxing.
"I’m a fan of mixed martial arts, and I have been for a long, long time," commented Homansky. "I respect the abilities of the gentlemen that get into the ring and compete at the highest level. I am happy that we have been able to treat this sport the same as we treat boxing. The fighters of mixed martial arts will get the same respect as the heavyweight champions of the world. We welcome you, we respect you and I look forward to a great fight Friday night."
UFC president Dana White introduced each of the fighters, calling the Hallman-Pulver fight the "first grudge match I’ve ever seen in the UFC."
Gil Castillo, contender
"It’s an honor to fight in the UFC. It’s a dream of any fighter to be here. This is the best organization in the world and it was unexpected that I got called for this fight. I had the honor of meeting Dana and [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva at my last fight. They asked me to d this one and I was thrilled to take a shot at the title here. I’m looking forward to putting on a good show. I fight to win-win, lose or draw, I’m going to give you guys a good show."
Dennis Hallman, challenger
"First, I want to thank Dana White for being a man of his word and giving me the title shot. Next, I’d like to say, [turns to face Pulver] time’s coming, guy. I’ve waited a long time. I got an opportunity to train full time for the first with Tito Ortiz up at Big Bear. So, I’m in shape-I can go 25 [minutes] or I can go 20 seconds. [Faces Pulver again] When it gets to the ground, big guy…"
Vladimir Matyushenko, challenger
"I want to thank everyone for being here, for having me here, Dana White for the right to fight for the title in the main event. It was kind of a surprise for me, but a good surprise. I’m ready physically and mentally and I want to thank Zuffa and UFC for giving me a chance. And I want to thank my management and trainers for getting me to this level. I promise all my fans to have a good show-we’ll have fun."
FCF TV was preempted this Tuesday on MSG Network and will run instead on Thursday night at midnight (Eastern time). Check with your local cable or satellite provider and your local listings.
PANCRASE 2001 PROOF TOUR
-MIDDLEWEIGHT K.O.P. TITLE MATCH-
-TOKYO/YOKOHAMA vs GRABAKA 5 ON 5 TEAM BOUT-
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2001
DOORS OPEN; 5:30PM – FIGHTS START; 6:30PM
KORAKUEN HALL(TOKYO, JAPAN)
RED CORNER(LEFT) BLUE CORNER(RIGHT)
UFC 32 Video
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Light Heavyweight Championship
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