UFC Conference Call notes

Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar have signed to fight at UFC 91 on November 15th in Las Vegas at MGM Grand. Couture has re-signed with the UFC to a new three fight deal and again, will make his comeback on the 15th against Lesnar. Some other key points…

  • Couture/Lesnar will be for the title in a 5-round fight. White: “I’m calling it right now, this will be the biggest fight in UFC history…will do over 1 million PPV buys.”
  • Couture wants to fight Fedor ultimately and believes that this fight with Lesnar is one that leads on the road to him getting what he wants ultimately and that’s a fight with Fedor to prove who is the #1 heavyweight fighter in MMA. “I’m fighting because I love to fight. I love to compete and that [being the #1 HW] is important to me.”
  • There will be a heavyweight tournament between Couture/Lesnar and Noguiera/Mir who will fight at UFC 92 in December. Winners will then fight in early ’09. On whether Noguiera should feel slighted because Lesnar is getting a title shot so soon, White responded: “Look, Noguiera is still the interim champion and I think he’ll be just happy that Couture is back, that he has the chance to fight him now… I really think this is a neat little tournament we’ve got going on.”  On whether Lesnar deserves it: “I was blown away by his performance against Herring….he dominated Heath Herring…We put feelers out there — believe it or not we do do research — and a fight with Kongo wasn’t generating very much excitement but this fight is and we are confident that this will be the biggest fight in UFC history.”
  • On whether Mir should feel disrespected because the guy he beat (Lesnar) is fighting for the title before he is: “No. Mir is fighting for the title in December and it’s going to be champion vs. champion. Look, I don’t think anybody is getting fucked in this. At the end of the day to be the champion you have to beat the champion. Randy was the champion he beat the guy that beat the guy. So these guys weren’t really the “champion” until Randy got off the sidelines.
  • Dana White believes that Affliction will be out of the business by January ’09: “Look contracts only work if the company is still in business. Affliction is losing lots of money and I will be fucking shocked if they are still in business come January.” So obviously he looks to pick up Fedor when they fold if the UFC and Fedor’s camp can come to an agreement which again is a big IF.
  • Couture currently weighs 224.5 lbs and believes he will weigh right around the same in ten weeks when the fight happens. Asked whether that was a concern for him against a much larger opponent in Lesnar, Randy responded that he thought maybe it was earlier in his career but not so much anymore with how much wiser he is he understands where he can put the fight and where he can’t against a bigger guy.
  • The beef between Dana and Randy is done. “I don’t care about any of that shit! I’m like a giddy little girl right now.”
  • Randy Couture makes it clear that he isn’t looking down the road at Fedor and will be overlooking Lesnar. “How can you overlook a guy that size! There is no way I will be overlooking Brock Lesnar.” On what happens if he loses to Brock: “That will take care of itself…There’s powers that be that take care of those things.”
  • Dana White on the current look of the UFC heavyweight division: “It’s really big (the addition of Couture). We have a lot of young, upcoming fighters… there will be big fights coming up in that division…The heavyweight division is very exciting right now.”
  • Lesnar: “I’m hearing about this Fedor Emilianenko — who gives a shit about Fedor? Who fucking gives a shit about Fedor? I’m fighting Couture and he’s in the UFC and that’s all that matters. Randy should be focusing on Brock Lesnar.”
  • UFC won’t sign a hypothetical 1-fight deal with Fedor to just fight Randy Couture.
  • There will be a 3-part (likely) UFC countdown episode on Spike for the UFC 91 PPV to chronicle Randy and Brock.

This is huge news. Listening to the press conference live revealed a lot of things not to mention it was pretty damn cool. White and Couture are very happy to everything behind them and for Couture to get back in the ring. They, and I, believe it will be the biggest fight in UFC history to date, doing over 1 million buys to a potential 1.5 million buys. Yes, I think that Mir — in particular — could feel slighted but at the end of the day he has a fight with Noguiera for the title as well (folks, that is still a title belt no matter what you want to call it) and then he will get to fight the winner as they unify the belts in early ’09. I think this is a great little tournament the UFC has going on and they should do more of this.

The biggest revelation I thought, was that White sincerely believes that Affliction will fold by January and pays them really, no regard at all. Another interesting tidbit is that Lesnar’s true weight is 280 and will have to cut 15lbs to make the heavyweight limit. 280 vs. 225 does seem to be a very large obstacle for Couture to overcome but he seems to not be very concerned about that as he made no mention about putting on more weight. I think, ultimately, this will be what determines the outcome of the fight. I don’t care who you are, not even Couture (and folks, he’s not THAT great) can overcome that size differential. I’d be fucking shocked if he did. So yea, you can quote me on that and put me on record as saying Brock will win.

The UFC continues to set up major fights and in the next 4 or 5 months this is going to be watershed MMA moments folks. I can tell you I’m excited as fuck for all of this shit. I will post my predictions for UFC 88 this Friday sometime and when it’s completed will post the results and my thoughts on all the action. Good stuff.

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