The conference call (and our awesome live blog) will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET today. Refresh this page for the latest updates.
— We are on the call waiting for things to get underway.
–We are now on the line with UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Jake Shields, and Martin Kampmann.
— The first question goes to Velasquez, who says he is ready for Anaheim. Lesnar is then asked about his upcoming opponent. He says he has brought in the right people to help him train, including Cole Konrad, who has experience facing Velasquez in wrestling.
— Lesnar says that he wasn’t exactly sure what his chin could take before the Carwin fight. He says it is very different to get hit in training with bigger gloves than in the cage. Something tells me he knows now.
— Velasquez is asked about Lesnar’s size, power, and athletic ability. The top contender says he just has worked hard to get to the point where he is at now and that he is confident in what he can bring to the cage against Lesnar. However, he also says that he did not train with anyone as big as Lesnar, but remains confident in the guys he did work with.
— Kevin Iole asks Lesnar about what concerns him the most about his opponent. The champion says he believes they both understand they have to evolve. His main focus in this camp was to get to the next level and force himself to improve in the areas he is not comfortable with. He also adds that Velasquez does bring in a well-rounded game.
— It is a pretty well-known fact that Lesnar sticks to training in Minnesota, and he is asked about why he doesn’t travel around to train like so many other fighters. He says that if he needs someone, he can get them to fly in to his house because he does not want to leave his family.
— Velasquez addresses Lesnar’s fight against Shane Carwin in which the champion took a lot of punches in the first, only to come back and win with a seemingly effortless submission in the second. Velasquez says he feels that Lesnar is simply ever-improving as a mixed martial artist.
— The work ethic of each fighter is brought up, and rightfully so. Velasquez says that it was one of his earliest memories where he learned about the value of work. Working with his father taught him about the importance of work ethic. Lesnar says that he does not have any specific memories, but just feels that hard work has always been a commonplace in his life.
— Lesnar is asked about this camp compared to his last one, which was his first time back to a training camp since his serious illness. He says that everything is in line and that the camp has been great. On October 23, he feels that he is going to be the best.
— Velasquez gets the next question and is asked about any inspiration he has had to college wrestlers. He says he has not influenced them, but that they have the general knowledge to work their way into mixed martial arts after a career in college wrestling.
— Lesnar is asked about the money aspect of mixed martial arts, and he simply says that he “doesn’t make any money”. Obviously joking with his prior comment, he says that it is incredible that he is able to do what he does and make money doing it. He ends by saying “God Bless America”.
— Lesnar and Velasquez are asked about immigration. This could get interesting. Velasquez is against the laws that are on the forefront at this point, while Lesnar says he is here to talk about the fight. He does say he is definitely not against legalized immigration, but he really does not want to talk about anything that is not related to this fight.
— Lesnar is asked about his expectations for the fight, and he says he does not know. He does say he is down to go toe-to-toe, but this is mixed martial arts. The champion says he will do what he has to do to get the victory. Velasquez also says he has to expect the fight to go everywhere.
— Lesnar is asked if there has been any talk about a UFC event in Minnesota where he would fight. Of course, the champion is definitely behind a fight card in Minnesota. Says he would love to fight in his back yard.
— The champion is asked if he feels he has become the face of the UFC, as well as any pressures that come from being champion. Brock says he just feels blessed to be a champion and that he has been able to reinvent himself another time. However, he says he does not have any pressure on himself. He loves doing what he does and is looking forward to the fight on October 23.
— Velasquez is asked about the stakes that come with this fight. He says he just wants that title and to be the best in the sport.
— Lesnar says that his diet and quick turnaround between camps have helped him get into very good shape. He says that he has seen a lot of success in the last couple of training camps and has been able to peak right when he needs to. Lesnar continues that he has to be prepared for five rounds of action and that he will be in total control of his conditioning on fight night. Right now, he says he is at 265 pounds and feels that his conditioning has made him avoid serious weight cuts prior to the weigh-ins.
— Velasquez is asked if he changed anything coming into this camp. He says he has watched tape on Lesnar and looked at everything Lesnar brings to the table.
— MMAWeekly.com’s Damon Martin asks about Lesnar bringing in Pat Barry to help him train for the fight. He says he looked around for a guy that could give him a different look and that Pat Barry was the guy. Says it was a great addition. Lesnar then addresses his role as a role model to kids. He says he has no where to hide and realizes that he has a responsibility to be a great role model.
— Jake Shields is asked a question now, finally. He says he is not surprised that a win would give him a title shot against Georges St. Pierre. I must say, Shields speaks very, very quickly.
— Now Kampmann gets in on the action. He is asked if he feels that he should be in line for a title shot if he wins. He says he nearly fell asleep on the call, but he does believe that he could get a title shot with a win against the former Strikeforce middleweight champion.
— Lesnar is asked about doing “UFC Primetime”. He says he was asked to do one for his fight with Carwin, but was not comfortable with the situations surrounding that camp. Says that he did this “Primetime” with Velasquez because it was a good business move.
— Shields is asked about wrestling, and he says he is not going to get away from it. He says he has been working at everything for this fight, but has not gotten away from his wrestling roots. Shields is also asked about the fan reception. He says that he wants to introduce himself to anyone who does not know him with a great performance.
— Lesnar is asked about what it is going to take to get more money in the sport to bring in the best fighters for camps. After a bit of confusion, Lesnar says that he is not the guy to ask.
— The topic of steroids comes up and all fighters are asked. Literally five seconds of dead silence ensues. No one really seems like they want to take about the amount of steroid use in the sport.
— Shields talks about Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez coming to the UFC. Shields says he would love for that to happen and hopes that his training partners will be in the UFC at some point in the near future.
— Velasquez is asked the last question of the call. He is asked what he needs to do to get the victory on Saturday, October 23. He says he has to fight a perfect fight and be prepared.
— And that’s a wrap for the UFC 121 Media Conference Call.