In the spirit of gearing up for “Aldo vs. Faber” this weekend, we’re going to be liveblogging today’s media conference call. Attending the call will be UFC/WEC President Dana White, WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Urijah Faber, WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone.
Aldo defends his title against Faber in the main event, a bout some consider to be the most anticipated featherweight bout in history. Henderson and Cerrone will face off in a rematch of their 2009 bout, a fight that was ultimately a contender for Fight of the Year.
The festivities will start at 6 p.m. ET, so click that little red link at the top for the latest updates.
– We’re on hold, waiting for the conference call to start. Should start any minute now.
– Here we go. Dave Sholler welcomes everybody to the call and introduces the fighters, then turns it over to Dana.
– Dana says if Aldo/Faber isn’t the fight of the year, it will be a contender. He also expects fireworks from Henderson/Cerrone, and he’s ready to put UFC 112 behind him.
– What type of different arsenal will Faber bring to the fight? He doesn’t know what he’ll do differently. Wants to make sure he’s ready for anything. His preparation has been fairly regular outside of doing more kickboxing training than he usually does. Aldo says he’ll counter Faber’s strengths with his usual aggressive style. He’s coming in explosive and looking for the knockout.
– The event is built around Aldo and Faber. Do they feel extra pressure to put on a good show? Faber says it’s the same, he’s fighting one guy who is trying to beat him up. Says he’s dealt with the media stuff for a long time now. There’s no real difference for him. Aldo says he feels no extra pressure. He’s here to defend his belt. His goal is to go in and give his all and give everyone the show they want to see.
– How will Henderson and Cerrone top their first fight? Henderson says Cerrone is bringing his A game and he’s bringing his, so they are going out to rinse and repeat the first fight. Cerrone says he’s fired up. Doesn’t feel any added pressure to put on a fight of the year. Just going out to let it all go.
– Why should Faber’s two losses to Brown (while Aldo defeated Brown) not be an issue for Faber? Urijah says he feels like he has the tools to beat Mike Brown, but made bad mistakes and had bad luck. He’s a different fighter than Mike Brown and it’s all about matchups.
– How will Aldo go into the fight without being overconfident (due to beating Brown)? A fight is a fight and anything can happen. He doesn’t go in thinking about anything else but the opponent in front of him. Going in very focused and confident and prepared for anything.
– Dana says it’s been a bad couple of weeks for MMA. He wants to get right back on the horse. Says we couldn’t have a better matchup to look forward to after the crap that’s happened the past few weeks. “Thank God this fight is happening, that’s all I have to say.”
– Does Dana have any evidence that MMA has taken a hit from UFC 112 or Strikeforce? People don’t have to tell him. He’s a big fight fan and was very unhappy with Abu Dhabi. Strikeforce was an embarrassment. Those guys don’t belong on CBS, they shouldn’t even be there. They are going to end up going away and Dana has to fix their mistakes. The last thing we need is bad stuff happening in the sport. Knows for a fact that the WEC guys will go out and perform on Saturday. Why should you buy it? Because you’re a fight fan and it’s going to be an incredible card. Wants to erase what’s happened in the past two weeks.
– How has life changed for Henderson since winning the belt? Not much. Gets recognized a little more often and gets more fan mail, which is cool. Loves having the bullseye on his back. That’s what he lives for. Dreamed about being the best on the planet, about fighting Penn and Varner and other top lightweights. It’s all the motivation he needs.
– How has life changed for Aldo? Quite a few things. The first is that his dream was to be a champion and it’s finally true. Now he doesn’t look at fights like he’s defending the belt, he acts like he’s still chasing the belt. Still wants to get better and put on good fights for the world to see.
– What PPV numbers are they looking for in order to consider this a success? Dana honestly doesn’t know (or so he says). It’s tough to jump to PPV. You have to do it the right way and at the right time. Believes this is the card to do it with. Had a bad couple of weeks with bad things happening. Doesn’t know what number would be considered a success.
– Why did they make the call to price at $44.95? Because it’s a great card. You can buy a crappy boxing match for $65. If Jones/Hopkins does 90,000 and WEC doesn’t double it, that’s terrible. Great night of fights for $45.
– What do Henderson and Cerrone need to improve from the last fight? Henderson says he wants to let it all go and start the fight like he ended the last one. Cerrone says “bring that shit on.” Wants to improve overall game and be the best on the planet at everything.
– What were Henderson/Cerrone’s thoughts after the last fight? Cerrone felt like he won the last two rounds but knew it was close. Either way, he felt like it was an awesome fight and wants to have a fight like that every time. Henderson said he felt like he won the fight but loved that it was so close and exciting.
– Aldo says Faber is much faster than Mike Brown, but he’s prepared for it.
– How much did Sacramento being the venue factor into choosing it as a PPV? Dana says Aldo wanted to fight Faber in Sacramento. Says it’s pretty nasty and shows what kind of fighter Faber is. Faber is huge there and Aldo wanted it there. Nobody will be cheering for Aldo that night.
– Faber says he doesn’t care where they fight because wherever they go he’d be the fan favorite. Faber says he was told Aldo didn’t want to fight in Sacramento, but doesn’t know what is the truth and what isn’t.
– Would they like to see a rematch if Cerrone beats Henderson? Henderson says he hasn’t thought about it because he plans to win, but would definitely like a rematch. Cerrone agrees 100% and when he wins on Saturday, Ben is welcome to another fight. Dana says you can’t call something like that until it happens, but if people want to see it, they’ll do it.
– Thoughts on Mayhem Miller challenging Shields? Henderson said he’d like some time after a title win to enjoy it before having someone come in and get in his face. Cerrone says it would have gotten on his nerves, but he wouldn’t have tried to fight him over it. The only consistent thing is that the Diaz brothers will jump into a fight to help out their buddies. Aldo says he wouldn’t mind it at all because it’s a good promotion and leads into the next big fight.
– Any timeframe for moving the lightweights to the UFC? When they start adding lower weight classes. No timeframe.
– White is asked about the UFC’s policies for who can enter the cage following a fight. He says a couple of cornermen and the guy who won. You’ll never see someone jump in the cage like Miller did.
– White says all the WEC guys will make more money on this show than they ever have.
– Dana also says that if they lose money on this show, they will be perturbed.
That wraps up our live coverage of the Aldo vs. Faber media call. Stay tuned to Heavy.com throughout the week for more coverage of Saturday’s pay per view event.