Heavy.com is participating in a live conference call for the “UFC on Versus 2” card that takes place next Sunday night. The event features a headlining bout between Jon Jones and Vladimir Matyushenko. Jones and Matyushenko will both participate in the call today.
The call begins at 2 p.m. ET, and we will provide live updates, so stay tuned to this page and keep refreshing for the latest notes.
– We’re waiting for the conference call to begin.
– And we’re live. Quick introduction to the card. This is the second UFC event on Versus, with Jon Jones returning to the main event to face Vladimir Matyushenko.
– Jones said he doesn’t care if it’s the right fight or not. He’s ready to be the best in the world and take on all styles. He’ll always say yes to whoever they give him. Says it’s cool to be popular, but it doesn’t change anything about him or his personal life. He realizes how great other fighters are out there, but he’ll continue to train his butt off and get better.
– And now the conference center has an emergency and the moderator must exit the building. What? This is weird. The UFC is going to moderate it as best as they can.
– Jones says that right now his goals are at 205, but at the same time he likes how Randy Couture is explosive and athletic when he goes to heavyweight. Says he may eventually move up and give some heavyweights troubles, but that isn’t his focus.
– Matyushenko says people can say whatever they want about the fight, but he knows how to train and how to deal with injuries, how to be in the best shape and most importantly how to fight. He’s training harder than ever for this fight, but he can’t make his reach longer. The only thing he can do is be in the best shape of his life.
– Matyushenko says he’s not worried about where the fight goes, he’s just going to use his skills and experience to work wherever the fight goes.
– Jon says he agrees that he hasn’t fought anyone, but he still wants to be the best and work hard just like everybody else. Everybody writes about him being the next big thing, but none of it is coming from him.
– Jon isn’t thinking about a title shot — he considers Vladimir his title shot right now. Vladimir agrees with Jon and says it’s silly to rank yourself.
– Does Jon remind Vladimir of anyone he’s fought in the past? No. He’s a new type of athlete. He’s tall, lanky and fast. He’s different than everybody else.
– Is Vladimir tired of hearing about how good Jones is? Not really, because he’s just focusing on himself. It helps him because Jones gets all the press and hype and he can just focus on himself.
– Are people underestimating Vladimir against Jones? Jones says absolutely. He’s done some amazing things and beaten some pretty good fighters. He’s a dominant grinder. Jon says he should be the underdog in this fight and that Vladimir is tougher than Matt Hamill or Brandon Vera. Vladimir says thank you.
– Does Jon want to fight Anderson Silva? He finds it flattering that he gets compared to Anderson Silva. He used to watch Anderson’s fights on YouTube when he was just learning the sport, so it’s an honor to be compared with him. He wants to be the next Anderson Silva. As far as fighting him, it would be an honor. It would inspire him to train on a whole new level.
– Vladimir says it’s been proven before that older guys can fight. He feels good right now and is ready to fight. He feels young, so why not fight young guys? Jon interjects and says he’s 23 now, so he’s really not that young any more.
– Would Jones be open to facing Rashad Evans? Never. Not in a million years.
– Does Jones consider himself a trailblazer for NYC-based mixed martial artists? He has no comment.
– How much does pre-fight trash talk play into Jon’s strategy? He’s an emotional guy and trash talk gets to him in a big way. He tries to respect people in every day life and is mean to absolutely no one. If he gets disrespected at all, it provides a major fire for him.
– Vladimir says he respects all fighters and he hopes Jon knows that, but 11 fights is 11 fights. It doesn’t matter who you fight against, when you walk out to the Octagon it counts every time.
– Does being in the main event affect Jones’ mindset or preparation? No. He mentally rehearses the same way. When he’s in the locker room, he’s visualizing the fight and going over a list of moves that he’s written down. You’re the last guy to leave the locker room at the end of the night, but that’s about it.
– To Vladimir, a fight is a fight. The pressure is always the same. He doesn’t mind being the underdog because he doesn’t have to overthink things, he just has to do his job.
– What is it like for Jon working with Phil Nurse? He worked with Mike Winklejohn, who doesn’t believe in the spinning punches or kicks, so he’s been focusing exclusively on standard strikes and building a better foundation. The last week or so, he brought in Phil Nurse so his creativity doesn’t have to suffer. It’s the perfect combination of two great striking coaches. He believes he’s even more technical and more aware than he’s ever been in the past.
– Will a win over Jon bring more fame for Vladimir? Yes. Being in the main event helps.
– Did Jones turn down a fight with Little Nogueira. Completely false. He actually sat down and had a meeting with the reporter who put that story out there. Said that he’s young in his career and doesn’t believe it’s right for someone to make something up. It was never true. He was never offered the fight, but if he had been offered the fight he probably would have said no because he wouldn’t have had a good training camp. He will never take a fight against anyone unless he’s properly prepared.
– Jon says he wants to use Vladimir’s experience against him and throw stuff at him that he’s never seen before. Says it’s experience vs. ambition. Says again that he should be the underdog in the fight and it’s not fair how people are underrating Vladimir. Matyushenko agrees with a laugh.
– What wrestling YouTube videos is Jon watching to prepare for Matyushenko? He’s not watching any wrestling videos.
– What is Jon doing to help make mixed martial arts legal in New York? He hasn’t done much politically, but he tries to carry himself with dignity at all times and show the world that he’s a class act. You’ll never catch him in a bar fight. He wants to show people that it’s a beautiful art form.
– Jon closes by saying that it’s an honor to fight someone who helped pave the way for guys like him. Vladimir is a warrior and he’s glad he gets to be in the Octagon with him. Vladimir thanks Jones for the words of kindness. He’s going to give everything he’s got and it’s also an honor to fight him.
That concludes our live coverage of the conference call. Tune in Aug. 1 for “UFC on Versus 2: Jones vs. Matyushenko.”