Check out this selection of quotes taken from yesterday’s UFC 121 pre-fight press conference and our own exclusive interviews with Dana White and Cain Velasquez.
On being able to keep up with Cain’s vaunted conditioning:
If his conditioning is that great, we’ll see. The only thing I ever hear about is Cain’s conditioning. But I come from the University of Minnesota. I’m in NCAA champion. You have to be in great condition and be prepared to go 25 minutes, and it would be very unprofessional for me to not come in well-prepared or with great conditioning.
What’s up with the beard?
I finally just hit puberty and I just wanted to try it out. No, it’s just wintertime and I’m going hunting, and I’m proud to be from Minnesota. It’s that of time of year. We just grow beards.
How much has he progressed since he began fighting?
I think that I get better with every training camp. Even going up against Shane, every single fight, I haven’t had any easy fights. Every fight has been a huge challenge. And Cain is a challenge. Every fight seems like it’s getting tougher. There’s not one guy in the UFC who isn’t a tough son of a bitch.
At the end of the day, all of us sitting up here just love what we do. I don’t have to prod myself out of bed in the morning. I try to be the first one at the gym. I’m so thankful that there’s a UFC, because if there wasn’t, I don’t know what I’d be doing with myself.
Being marketed as the potential first Mexican champion:
We’re both American. I was born in America, but I have strong roots in Mexico. My parents are both from Mexico and I lived 7 miles from the border growing up. But I’m just here to represent. In boxing, we’ve had a strong heritage of Mexican boxers that have been smaller guys as champions, but we’ve never had a heavyweight. And I’m happy to be that person.”
Fighting in the Los Angeles area:
I fought here last year against Ben Rothwell, and the crowd was awesome when I walked out. I’m expecting the same thing this time. It’s an ideal place for me to fight.
People who say the marketing of Cain is racist:
There’s no doubt these are the two best right now. But when you go in and tell the story of a fight, you’ve got Brock talking about how proud he is to be from Minnesota. And Cain is Mexican. He’s Mexican. I’ve seen where people say we’re playing the race card for this thing. No, the guy is Mexican. Not only is he Mexican, but he’s incredibly proud to be Mexican.
Do you think he just got that tattoo on his chest two weeks ago? Do you think I went to Cain and said ‘hey, we’re gonna give you the Brock Lesnar fight,’ so he went out and got a brown pride tattoo on his chest? He’s proud of his parents and how they came over here. That’s the story. We didn’t go out and make this stuff up. We didn’t teach his father how to speak Spanish. It’s stupid when people say that.
The guy is Mexican. His father came over the border in the 70’s to give his family a better life. This is their story.
The heavyweight matchup
My honest to god opinion is that this is gonna be a sick fight on Saturday night. Brock Lesnar, everybody knows what this guy has accomplished in such a short period of time. And then you take a guy like Cain Velasquez, who I call the Terminator. This guy absolutely, positively will not stop until he finishes you. He’s great on his feet, he’s got great wrestling and submission defense. He’s as well-rounded as you can possibly get. This is a fun, fun heavyweight fight.