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UFC 95: SANCHEZ vs STEVENSON conference call (transcript)

Joe Stevenson and Diego Sanchez recently joined members of the media for a UFC 95 conference call. Joe Stevenson will fight Diego Sanchez in a main event lightweight match-up on Saturday, Feb. 21 in London England. The event will air in the U.S. free on SPIKE TV. Here is a transcript of that call:

Jennifer Wenk: Hi. Good morning. Sorry we’re getting a late start. We were – we have Joe Stevenson on the line here for you, one of the headliners for the UFC 95 event and we were hoping to have Diego Sanchez on this call as well. And as of now I have not been able to connect with him and we’re worried that it’s a cell phone issue. So hopefully he’ll be able to join us in progress.

In the meantime, we’re going to go ahead and get started with Joe Stevenson. And once again, this is for the UFC 95 event in London. We’re returning, once again, to the UK for this match up between Joe Stevenson and Diego Sanchez. And let’s go ahead and move to Q&A and open it up for questions to Joe. And Joe, thanks a lot for holding this call.

Joe Stevenson: No problem.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you. First of all, Joe, I have to apologize. I was supposed to speak to you yesterday and it completely slipped my mind, so I apologize for that.

Joe Stevenson: I had a text, and I was like oh man I’m supposed to pick it up and I never got a call. So I was like maybe he’ll call me today. So what’s – you’re talking to me now.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask you about your mood going into this fight. Before the floor end fight you were upset at some of the things that you had read about the fight. And I wondered if this is a new fight here, what if anything like that has happened? Or how you’re feeling going into this one?

Joe Stevenson: I feel great coming into this fight. I hit a turning point in the camp to where emotionally and spiritually and physically I just started to excel. I think it was just the core people around me and the support just – I’m hitting new levels. I feel great. And you know I stayed off the Internet and I just concentrated on myself. And that’s what I feel like most fighters have to do. You learn from your mistakes, and I’ve learned from my last mistake.

QUESTION: If I can just ask a follow up, oftentimes fighters will say that catching somebody on their first attempt at a weight gives them a bit of an advantage. Do you think you have – that gives you a little bit of advantage as Diego kind of figures out how his body is going to react to the weight reduction?

Joe Stevenson: That would be really cool if I get an advantage. But I think Diego is such a professional that the first initial weight cut isn’t going to be a factor. I’m not counting on that whatsoever. I think he’s going to come in here 110% and prepared. I bet he’s prepared himself. You know it would be a very poor choice of myself to think that he’s ill-prepared for this.

QUESTION: OK. Thanks, Joe.

Jennifer Wenk: And before we go to the next caller, I just have confirmed that Diego Sanchez is calling in right now.

Operator: Actually, he has joined us.

Diego Sanchez: I’m on the line. I’m on the line.

Jennifer Wenk: We now have Diego and Joe, so please feel free to pose your questions to either fighter.

QUESTION: This is for Diego. Hey Diego, we miss you here in Albuquerque.

Diego Sanchez: Hey. What’s up guys? You know what, I mean, sorry, everybody, that I was late first off all. And I was in the sauna trying to get some extra weight. This (weight) hasn’t been easy.

QUESTION: My question was, first of all it’s about the weight. I was going to ask you how hard it is to get down in that weight. Sounds like you’re struggling a little bit, is that the case?

Diego Sanchez: You know man you know the reason I went to 155 is because it’s a challenge. And you know I knew that it was going to take a lot of discipline. And I was 193 on Christmas Eve. So I’ve dropped almost about 30 pounds now. And these last final pounds it’s just pure discipline. And yes, it’s tough man. Nothing is easy. And I think as long as I’m in great shape. And I feel that I am in great shape, that I’ll be able to recover from the cut.

QUESTION: Do you feel any weaker in training right now because of the weight cutting?

Diego Sanchez: Well you know it comes down to like cutting carbs out. Sometimes when you’re cutting carbs out it does affect your training a little bit. But, no, in general I feel pretty good. You know I’m resting good and I feel good. I haven’t completely – I haven’t started to cut water out yet. So I feel still strong.

QUESTION: Glad to hear it. My other question is can you talk a little bit about your career since relocating? You’re in California, now, right?

Diego Sanchez: Yes. I’m actually like a nomad. I kind of go around from here to there. But in this camp I actually trained in Lake Tahoe up at 7000 feet. I was up there since January 4. And I kind of just did my own thing you know what I mean. I had – I brought in my jujitsu guys, (Sato) and (Sanji Hebero) who are the best in the world on the ground. Jake Shields helped me out for this one. I had Charlie Diaz, who is a little short wrestler. It’s kind of the same body type as Joe Stevenson, the whole camp.

And plus my best friend, Joey Gilbert, me and him – we basically, everybody asks me what team I’m from. I’m not really from a team. It’s kind of like it’s Team Sanchez you know what I mean. I’m doing it my own style. I’ve got my own people. I definitely am part of (Salo Hebero) jujitsu association. And we have a big team of a lot of black belts from Brazil. And we have over 30 different black belts that come and help. I’ve got guys like (Jacques Here) that help out. And just amazing, amazing ground fighters.

But besides that you know what I mean, it’s an MMA camp. It’s just basically me and Joey Gilbert we – me and Joey Gilbert ever since we he went through his issues with the commission, we’ve just teamed up. We’ve been together for a year-and-a-half. And he’s fighting Jesse Brinkley on Saturday. So we did this whole camp together, him and his guys that he brought up, and me and my guys that we brought up. We just kind of rented some houses out in Tahoe and we had a private gym and basically no distractions just you know what I mean. Just focus. I mean focus, focus, focus. Down on the carpet with the ((inaudible)). Stretching at night. And you know spiritually with the Lord just you know what I mean, doing the right things trying to become a champ.

QUESTION: I don’t have any more questions. Thanks, Diego. And good luck.

Diego Sanchez: Thank you. And (Buque), I love you.

QUESTION: Hi, Diego, how are you?

Diego Sanchez: I’m doing outstanding.

QUESTION: Glad to hear it. Can you talk about, the move to lightweight, you’ve all ready explained how you’ve done it physically. But is this something that you see yourself staying at permanently? And, if so, what do you believe you need to do to get a lightweight title fight?

Diego Sanchez: You know what – I don’t see myself staying in the middle lightweight forever because that was one of the reasons that I dropped to lightweight was because I was like if I’m going to do it, I better do it in now while I’m in my 20s because when I get into my 30s it’s only going to get tougher and harder. And from what I hear everybody says that once you hit your 30s, it’s just like so hard to lose weight.

So yes you know I said all right, I can actually – I’ve always fought 170, weighing about 172, 173 in shape. So it’s like I never really cut weight for 170-pounders. And fighting guys like John Fitch and I definitely put on like 17, 18 pounds the next day after the (weigh ins) you know what I mean. I was a little (outside) in that division. I was able to do good in that division even being (outside). So I said hey you know what, I’m going to put a little discipline, a little effort in. I never ever was really – I never had to do portion control on my eating. I always just eat whatever I want and train hard.

So, you know, now it’s like I’m going to put some discipline in and go down to this weight class and try to win the title at this weight. And you know if that’s possible you know I think it would be better to have a lightweight title and a welter weight title on your resume when you retire. So that’s what I’m – that’s the goal – those are my goals. And plus, I think, a fight with BJ Penn and me would just be a huge fight for the fans, a huge fight for UFC. And that’s just a fight, personally that I would love to fight BJ Penn. I think we match up great. And you know I’m not looking past Joe Stevenson. He’s an amazing fighter too. So just one fight at a time.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you. And then, Joe, do you think you’re at a size disadvantage in any way? And do you change your own preparation in any way when you’re fighting someone who at least his natural weight is bigger than yours?

Joe Stevenson: As far as size advantage I think we’re fairly pretty matched even. I mean me having been at the 170-pound too. The only disadvantage I see is Diego actually looks a lot better than me. He’s a better looking guy so everyone is going to be cheering for him. Other than that you know I just think it’s going to be a great fight.

But with the weight cut, he’s working with people like Joey Gilbert, and he’s working with a great camp and he’s doing everything right. So I don’t see the weight cut being a problem for him either. You know I know he’s prepared hard and prepared great. So I just think everyone is going to get a chance to see two guys that are at the peak of their top performance levels going at it. I mean if you combine our fights, we’ve got almost near 100 fights, talk about experience and talk about heart.

Diego Sanchez is not an easy fight for any man at any weight class, and neither am I. And we’re going to show the fans you know we’re tuning in for coming up that Saturday.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you both for your time, I appreciate it.

QUESTION: Yes, I wanted to ask you guys as winners of season 1 and season 2 of the Ultimate Fighter, Joe did you watch – I presume you watched season 1 and I wondered if you could sort of take us back a little bit in your thoughts about Diego winning? And two, do you guys – have you guys run into each a lot? Do you know each other?

Joe Stevenson: Well, honestly I watched the first show for sure because I was training at Cobra Kai and I know Diego from King of the Cage and you know I rooted for him. I rooted for him and Forrest to tell you the truth. Other than that we run into each other and we’ve done a lot of things together like press conferences/meet and greets and autograph signings. We’re just two young guys that are extremely advanced in our career as far as experience goes and allows us to be a lot more professional than other people.

And you know all of the time people come up to me and they’re like aren’t you that Joe Sanchez, aren’t you Diego? And it happens to me all of the time. And I’ve learned now to smile and laugh about it because as soon as people stop asking me who you are that means they’re not thinking about you.

QUESTION: And thank you, Joe. And Diego did you watch Joe win season 2?

Diego Sanchez: Hey everybody, I’m calling on my other phone because my phone is dying right now but I’m calling in right now on the other phone, and I should be in any second. I got both phones at once. One phone on each other. Am I on? Hello? OK. I think I’m on. Is everybody there?

Operator: Diego, you’re on.

Diego Sanchez: OK. Cool.

QUESTION: Diego, I was just asking do you remember, did you watch Joe win season 2 of the Ultimate Fighter?

Diego Sanchez: Yes, man. The same thing goes for me man. I think Joe is an amazing fighting and even an amazing person. And you know personally it wasn’t a fight I really wanted to do. You know I’ve been in the past fought guys that I like and I would much rather punch a guy in the face that I don’t like. Yes, I watched him. I rooted for him. Well, actually I knew he was going to win the whole thing you know what I mean. It was a matter of talent and you know it was – I didn’t think he was going to have any trouble with any of those guys on season 2.

QUESTION: Hey, guys. I got a question for the both of you. I’d like to get your takes on it. Fighting overseas, time change, maybe some unfamiliarity with the scene around you. How does that effect your prep? You know do you get there and give yourself enough time to adapt? Or is that a bit of an issue heading over there?

Joe Stevenson: Do you want to go first, (D)?

Diego Sanchez: Yes, I’ll go. You know I’ve never fought in London so I wouldn’t really – I’ve never fought overseas, period, so I wouldn’t really know. All I know is that I’m just preparing myself. There’s a lot of challenge and a lot of first time experiences for me in this fight. And I’m like the best thing I could do was train on altitude and get myself in the best shape that I could possibly be. So that way I could recover from any, recover and adapt to any circumstances that present themselves in this situation. You know the weight cut, the time change, the food, I hear, is crappy in London. So I don’t know when it all comes down the bottom line is you know with – I mean I’ve tried – in the past, I’ve over thought things and analyzed things too much. And the bottom line is man you’ve got to be in the right mind state. And when you step in the cage, it’s the work. It’s the work that you put in and the fight’s easy.

Joe Stevenson: My turn. Sorry. Honestly, London; the fans are just amazing. And the support and the energy that you can feel from them is awesome. And with the time change and stuff you know the last time I went over there I tried to wake up at 2:00 in the morning every morning and I would go to bed at 6:00 at night. And my practice schedule was switched and everything. And it didn’t make much of a difference.

So this time I’m trying to do exactly like Diego said you know just working hard and incredibly hard you know as hard as I can at everything to prepare my body. I’m still waking up at 6:00 in the morning. But when you get there it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re going to feel some type of jetlag. What time you land, should you sleep on the airplane, shouldn’t you sleep? Just like he said, you start over thinking things, and you start second guessing and that’s where you go wrong.

QUESTION: OK. And if I could just one more for Joe, you fought for a title before. How close – I guess how have you changed as a fighter since that loss? And how close do you feel you are to getting another crack at it?

Joe Stevenson: Well, honestly I fought almost – I fought a little over a year ago for that title and things that have changed in my life since then moving away from Vegas and staying away from temptation. And no one comes to Victorville to party. Everyone goes to Vegas to party.

On top of that I haven’t drank since – actually I made some life changing modifications. I took my son out for Christmas. I got to see my oldest son, he’s 8. And I asked him, I was like you can have anything you want, son, anything you want for your birthday or for Christmas, what do you want? And he asked me to stop chewing. So I’ve stopped chewing. I’ve stopped drinking. I’ve stopped – I feel like I was robbing myself. Honestly. There will be plenty of time to do that silly stuff when I’m older and I’m done fighting. And I’m robbing the fans.

And now that’s one big major step other than you know having a son being born in the process. And then the winner of this fight is bar none, not only in the fans eyes, but in a lot of the fighters eyes deserving of any title shot due to the fact that you know we’re not no name people as far as it goes, popularity wise. And we’re not no name fighters as it comes as reputation. Anyone that fights us knows that they better pack a lunch.

QUESTION: Hey, you guys. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it very much, a question for both of you guys maybe starting with Joe. Can you talk about your pre and post fight nutrition?

Joe Stevenson: I actually eat a very regulated diet with no simple carbs. The only sugar I intake is an (Endorif) shake after a hard workout which you know working out 3 times a day will do it to you. Other than that I’m eating six times a day. I’m about at 2200 to 2400 calories a day. And what I do is I go complex carbs, no red meat, and 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates every three hours. At the last meal I try to make it where it’s mainly protein.

I’ve done a lot of research. You know one of my best training partners here (Kevin Lanelman), he’s just helped me so much with my nutrition, with preparing my body, it’s just been remarkable. You know I didn’t know that you could eat for your blood type. You know I’m just finding out all of these new things. And now it’s exciting too because I get to share that with other people. I’m excited – like I saw Diego do something on that new drink that you’re doing and I mean he was just so excited and was telling people about it. And I want to share like the things you know about the nutrition because it makes me a better fighter when I’m fighting better opponents and people are taking care of themselves. It’s a great transition that the sport now you know we’re learning how to take care of our body even better than we did before.

QUESTION: Do you work with a nutritionist or just (Kevin)?

Joe Stevenson: I’ve worked with a nutritionist in the past. That’s where I got my original 30 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbohydrates. No more than you know like 15 grams of fat throughout the day. And how I’m using complex carbs. And then I’ll switch to simple carbs right after a work out, as well, six times a day. So I’ve worked with nutritionists before.

Now, I’m finding out what foods work best for me through (Kevin). So that’s even better.

QUESTION: OK. Very good. After the workout, then that entails what?

Joe Stevenson: After the workout I’ll have a recovery drink. Something to help my body from going catabolic you know where you feel tired and weak and achy. You never want to feel that way. Like normally the day I cut weight, I’ll cut like 8 pounds of water weight to 9 pounds of water weight. But I’ll still eat breakfast and lunch just so my body doesn’t get shocked. It just thinks I worked out hard.

QUESTION: OK. Very good. Diego?

Diego Sanchez: Yes.

QUESTION: Same question, what kind of pre fight …

Diego Sanchez: Man, I’ve been an experiment. I’ve been a human science experience since the day that I got in this game. I started supplementing when I was a junior in high school, the (Rib) fuel. You know name it man. I’ve been addicted to ephedrine. I’ve done creatines and O2s. I’ve done it all. And then the nutrition part, really, started to excel for me. You know when I was on the Ultimate Fighter, man, I was eating a box of Rice Krispies every night. I knew that I was – I used to eat meat because I heard that fighters should eat meat, red meat and I’d eat red meat super well done, like a piece of rubber.

But then I actually hired Rob Garcia, Oscar de la Hoya’s strength and conditioning and nutritionist coach. And he coached me for 2-1/2 years, taught me how to cook, taught me a lot of stuff. You know I used to be on a big time brown rice, egg whites, a lot of spinach, healthy fats like olive oil, and that diet was good for me at 170 but I had to make some adjustments to dropping to 155. I had to cut more fats out. Cut more carbs out. It’s really been you know I don’t know, man, right now my calories, Joe said he’s at 2200 I’m probably maybe at about 1100.

So yes, my meals are real small and real precise, and I’m doing high protein. I’m doing a lot of high protein trying to keep my muscle on. I know that’s what St. Pierre does, he does a lot of high protein. And you know a lot of lean fish, a lot of salmon, a lot of fish. And then just you know protein shakes. And I just try to get a meal in right after every work out. And I try not to eat 3 hours or 4 hours before bed.

Joe Stevenson: Diego, does Joey got you using the Magic Bullet thing too, that little buzzer thing. That thing’s cool.

Diego Sanchez: Yes, we used to use the Magic Bullet a lot. But we just new year’s got a regular blender now. But yes, it’s – I’m still trying to find my diet. I’m still trying to find what works for me you know what I mean? It takes time. And I guess you know eventually you’ll find out what works best for you. But yes you know I do the whole organic thing and just try to eat clean and train hard.

QUESTION: A question for Joe. Your only two recent losses have come to BJ Penn and Kenny Florian who could be fighting each other soon. As someone with a strong knowledge of both those guys, how do you see a fight between them going? And who do you ultimately see winning that?

Joe Stevenson: Well, I think my opinion is going to be the same as Diego’s opinion on that too. Honestly, I see BJ winning this fight. Going into my last against Kenny I had suffered a huge gash like over my eye for 6 weeks out. I didn’t get to spar one fight. I didn’t spar one round. I didn’t wrestle live one match. And you could see that my offensive timing was on but my defensive timing suffered for that.

You know but in our game you don’t get – you don’t really ((inaudible)) getting some bumps and bruises you know like twisted ankle or a jacked up clavicle or a sprain here or a sprain there. That happens to all of us. And no one likes someone that just pulls out of a fight.

QUESTION: Assuming you’ll get by …

Joe Stevenson: By the way, BJ is who I see winning that.

QUESTION: OK, great. Is there, of those two guys, Kenny and BJ, is there one loss you want to avenge more than the other one? Or is it just a matter of getting the title shot?

Joe Stevenson: Honestly, I would love a shot at Kenny again because – just because I would – I talked about it this morning, I mean I would love to fight BJ as well because you – as the competitor in you, you want to beat anyone. If someone wants to race down the street, you want to beat them in a foot race. If someone wants to race up the stairs, you want to race. We’re just competitors and that’s what we do and that’s who we are. But the most frustrating one was the fact that I let you know reading the Internet get to me. And I let emotion take control because of the lack of sparring and not being able to get that out in the ring prior.

QUESTION: OK. Great. Thank you.

Diego Sanchez: You know man – you know I would agree with Joe, but after seeing BJ’s performance against St. Pierre, shit, I’d say it’s a bad time for him to fight anybody right now. Man, that guy had zero cardio. And if he goes into the biggest fight of his life with that type of cardio and endurance and this is coming from a guy – I mean I’ve never gotten tired in a UFC fight. You know what I mean? I’ve never gotten tired in a fight.

And to see this guy be that exhausted after 1 round you know what I mean. I know GSP is tough but come on you know what I mean? He burned himself out in the first round just defending those take downs. I think it’s a bad time for him to fight Kenny Florian. I think as long as Kenny Florian lasts you know past the first or second round I think he’s going to take over with conditioning. And you know I don’t care how talented you are, if you don’t have gas in the tank, if the Ferrari doesn’t have gas in the tank it ain’t going to finish the quarter mile and that’s the bottom line.

Joe Stevenson: You make a good point, dude. I didn’t even think of that.

QUESTION: Yes, hi, guys. You know a lot of fans and writers covering MMA like to debate who the best pound-for-pound fighter is in the sport. And I was wondering if you guys could just tell us who you think is the best in the sport. And have you – whoever you think that is have you tried to emulate him in any way. Have you asked him for advice? Have you watched his fights and tried to do what he does?

Diego Sanchez: Go ahead, Joe.

Joe Stevenson: Go ahead, Diego.

Diego Sanchez: I would like to hear your opinion first before I get in trouble.

Joe Stevenson: Man yes, when you say that to someone like me or Diego you know these are our friends so they’re going to call us up. I’m going to go with who got me fighting who is Dan Henderson. I’m from Victorville. And he’s the reason I started fighting. And that man has asked me to try to pull wigs off of people and I’ve done it in a heartbeat. So I’m going to go directly and say Dan Henderson just because he is my hero and I believe that we all need heroes still today.

Diego Sanchez: And mine without a doubt you know – Dana, please don’t get mad. It is Sato (Rumina). Man, that guy is straight up a legend. Man, to see that guy get in the ring, every time to see that guy get in the ring is something phenomenal. And you guys asked me and I was going to hold back. But this guy is man I don’t even know if this guy’s human. And this guy he gets hit, he comes back. You know what I mean? You take your guard down for 1 second he’s going to crack you in your jaw and break your jaw. If you go to the ground with the guy, the guy is going to pull an arm bar that it just looks like pure art.

And then on top of that the guy has no emotion. It’s like he’s ice cold. And I don’t know man I like the way – you know I really respect the way he comes in with the cross. He gives respect to the Lord after the fight. And I think that’s why God makes him such a great champion.

And then on the other aspect pound-for-pound definitely Anderson Silva also. But I definitely see a lot more holes in Anderson Silva’s game like wrestling. I think the A level jujitsu guy like a real, real top A level jujitsu guy that had better wrestling than Anderson Silva could take him out. But as far as head strong Anderson Silva is amazing.

QUESTION: Thank you I appreciate that answer. And don’t worry, I won’t tell Dana you said Sato.

Diego Sanchez: Those are two – well, I said Emerson, too, so…

Joe Stevenson: I think Sato was just awesome too actually. I love the – I love his ability and his way to not be emotional and to just you know bring it too. But I still go with my hero though just because my hero.

QUESTION: Hey, Diego, can you take me through the final 24 hours prior to a fight, what are you thinking, what are you doing and just kind of summarize the whole experience for us.

Diego Sanchez: Final 24 hours to a fight I’m thinking, yay, I get to eat good food and lots of carbs and lots of water and basically you know I just try to relax and just not let your nerves get to you, know what I mean. I – you know it’s like you know every fight I’ve been in since I started in this sport, you still get a little nervous you know what I mean? You still get that little itchiness you know what I mean, the night before the fight you’re like – so what I try to do is I try to relax you know what I mean?

I try to just sit up in the room, maybe watch am movie, get my mind off of it you know what I mean? Definitely spend some time with mom and dad and just – kind of just relax and try to get rest, wake up, eat and you know what I mean. Just try to sleep in also you know what I mean? I try to sleep in, that way I’m up at the night time you know what I mean, and just – it’s basically all the thinking’s been done in that prior week you know what I mean, I do a lot of the final preparation in that prior week, but you know it’s just – I don’t know – I don’t really think too much I just – just pray and rest and eat.

QUESTION: What about that final hour just before the fight? What are you doing at that stage?

Diego Sanchez: You know I just stretch out real well, stretch out real good, make sure I’m real nice and flexible and then I just – you know I just warm up you know what I mean? Drill some combos in my head you know get in front of the mirror, do some combos, roll around on the ((inaudible)) a little bit and you know what I mean, just get in the zone. You know what I mean? Get in the zone and just get ready to go.

QUESTION: Why do you get nervous the day before?

Diego Sanchez: Well you know it’s – so much is on the line you know how could you not get nervous you know what I mean? You know you lose you’re five steps back, and you win you’re five steps forward you know what I mean it’s – you know everybody – you know its pressure. You know what I mean? There’s always going to be pressure on a fighter, you know unless you’re a nobody you know what I mean? But if you’re somebody there’s going to be a lot of pressure and you’re going to – there’s going to be nerves. You know what I mean?

I’ve heard different opinions, I’ve heard nerves are good, and you know I’ve heard nerves are bad you know what I mean. Everybody – every individual is different mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and psychologically, so you know what I mean, everyone is just different. It varies.

QUESTION: OK, very good. Same question for Joe, can you take me through the final hour before the fight?

Joe Stevenson: The final hour is about 20 minutes before the fight we start the warm up, just so you know – and about a couple of hours before that I’ll break my first wind and then you know other than that I’m just laying down with the headphones on watching, not thinking, because, just like Diego said, all the preparation’s already been done. You know everything that I got to do has already been worked on.

And with getting nerves, a good quote was from that movie Rocky, the new one, where he asked you know – he asked the – I think it was (Tarver) who’s in it – or was that (Taylor), well he asked the other boxer, he was like, hey you didn’t get nervous, and he’s like no, no I didn’t. And he walked away and he turns to his son and he’s like I always thought being a little nervous made you train harder, and that’s 100% right. I mean everyone has different pressure you know in their lives that affects them. It’s what you do under that pressure that makes you who you are, do you fault? Do you rise to the occasion? Do you perform? And that’s what separates people like Diego and myself from you know other fighters.

You know we rise to occasions, we say OK, well you know it’s everything. If it’s the third round and you – and I’ve lost the first two rounds, I don’t go in there saying well I’m going to try to win this round, I go I’m going to try to win this fight. So I’m going to do whatever it takes to stop this fight, to win. Because I have to, I’ve got no other choice. You know like Ricky Hatton, the boxer, one of my favorite boxer of all time, one of – you know look how he went in there against (Mayweather) in those last rounds you know everyone’s like oh well you got caught, you got (knocked out), because he had to, he knew he was losing those rounds prior, he knew he had to turn it on and he went there. It was either you can knock me out or I’m going to knock you out. It’s those moments that define who we are.

QUESTION: Yes, Joe, can you tell us what you normally walk around at?

Joe Stevenson: One seventy-five.

QUESTION: And the two of you both, obviously look after your diet, look at it very closely, I wonder do you allow yourself any kind of cheat while you’re in training and also is there anything you kind of crave to eat after the fight, after denying yourself so much for the weeks beforehand? Maybe Joe first.

Joe Stevenson: Vanilla wafers, vanilla wafers. That’s the only – that’s my kryptonite. Vanilla wafers, I love vanilla wafers.

Neil Davidson: Do you have them when you train or is it something you have afterwards?

Joe Stevenson: I have – after the fight. After the weigh ins, I’ll have a couple.

QUESTION: And Diego, anything you crave in terms of food?

Diego Sanchez: I crave everything. I crave everything, man. I’m a monster, but man I don’t know, I’m just really, really enjoying being ripped and having a six pack, so I think after the fight I’m going to just kind of stay kind of healthy on the diet. I want to take some pictures, get into some magazines, and you know I don’t know I’m …

Joe Stevenson: Something to to show our kids.

Diego Sanchez: … I’m liking the discipline – I’m liking the discipline of being healthy right now and I don’t know, this discipline has brought out a new Diego in me you know what I mean. So I don’t know, but I do crave, I think everybody craves pizza you know what I mean. Pizza’s good and you know what I mean. So after the fight, yes, I think I’m probably going to make myself my own big organic pizza and eat the whole thing.

QUESTION: And Diego, Joe says that he had given up drinking, do you allow yourself a cocktail out of training or is it not something you indulge in?

Diego Sanchez: No, I don’t really drink too much you know what I mean? I used to party and that just set me back in my career and I just you know especially this year, I just really focused – re-focused my life and said amen. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it and you know if it doesn’t happen and I don’t become champ, at least I’m going to sit on the couch and I’m going to say hey, at least I gave it my all and you know what I mean, I didn’t – you know I’m not going to be sitting there regretting you know I didn’t do it because I got soft and (fell in love)I didn’t do it because I didn’t give it my all with the best training partners, I didn’t do it because of this, I didn’t do it because of that, excuses. I’m just going to give everything I have and you know and hope everything turns out right for me, but no you know I’m planning on doing a little trip up to – planning on doing a trip up to Napa Valley and doing some wine tasting after the fight.

Joe Stevenson: Oh yes, that’s beautiful country.

Diego Sanchez: I’ve never done it so I’m kind of looking forward to that.

QUESTION: And you’re sounding very disciplined, they – oftentimes the weight cut gets people grumpy, are you avoiding that?

Diego Sanchez: You know what I just – you know I’m still eating, I’m just eating little portions. So it’s all good you know what I mean. I’m not – I’m not like starving so, I’m just – I’m just excited you know what I mean. It’s going to be a great fight with me and Joe, it’s going to be a war and you know they’re fun. You got to enjoy your job you know what I mean? You got to enjoy every training session. You got to enjoy cutting the weight, you got to enjoy the fight and I think once you put your mind that you love being a fighter and I’m sure everybody’s heard the same, if you love what you do, it ain’t work.

QUESTION: Hi, you guys. How you both doing today? Just wanted to find out, anything specific you guys are doing to train for your opponent this time that you don’t normally do in your training camps?

Diego Sanchez: On my part? No, I do the same thing every camp is basically the same thing you know. We’re MMA fighting, we got to do grappling, we got to do wrestling and we got to do boxing, jujitsu, muy thai, it’s we’re – its everything you know what I mean. And if you don’t evolve in this sport you know what I mean, you’re going to get beat and that’s the bottom line.

Joe Stevenson: When you’re ripe you rot and when you’re green you grow. I think he hit everything on the button. You can’t be one dimensional – well, the – honestly the – maybe the only thing that I’ve done a little different for Diego is because of his pace and his intensity you know I’ve done you know a lot more like interval training whereas I got a fresh guy rotating on me every minute because you know the pace that someone fighting like – a fighter like Diego Sanchez sets. That’s one of the few things that I’ve always done. But this time I’ve actually picked it up and done a little extra on those particular drills you know the shark tank drills and stuff.

QUESTION: And the last thing, also, just what do you guys expect to be a guess that you’d be weighing on fight day?

Diego Sanchez: I think I’ll be about – let’s see one five – probably about 165, 165, 166. I don’t think I’ll gain more than 10 pounds.

Joe Stevenson: I tend to weigh, on average 175. I try to like – I started at 175 last week and I tried to cut 10 pounds and then go right back to where I cut from just because you know my body (starts) – you don’t want to really go higher than what your walk around weight is.

QUESTION: All right, guys, thanks a lot. Have a good fight.

QUESTION: Hey, this one for Diego. I’m curious with the cutting weight you know you’ve mentioned that it’s been a little bit of a struggle, but any concern about having to deal with you know less explosiveness, less power as you go down in weight, or any conditioning issues, which has always been you know major, major strength for you. Any concern that dropping so much weight will impact you negatively?

Diego Sanchez: No, no. I’m not thinking negatively, I’m thinking positively. And I’ve really thought about all the aspects of this – of this weight cut scientifically and I’ve just tried to be able to think it out and you know Joey’s not a small guy and he’s strong. So you know I definitely tried to keep my strength up for this fight and you know what I mean, I don’t want to go down in weight class and lose my strength. So …

Diego Sanchez: Really focused on keeping in – keeping my strength and I may continue to do weights and stay strong so you know I’m going to be fine.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. I’m sorry if this question was already asked already, but wanted to see what your – what your current weights are right now.

Joe Stevenson: I’m walking around at 170, but like after the work out I’ll be 165. So that’s where I’m at. In the morning. At night I never count my weight.

Diego Sanchez: I’m about – I’m 167 in the morning and last night I did a workout with plastics on and I got down to like 162.8.

I’m getting in the striking range about, I just don’t want to – I just don’t want to dehydrate too hardcore.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. There’s been a lot of talk recently in the wake of the GSP and BJ Penn fight about greasing and I just wondered, in your experiences, is greasing something – one, is it prevalent in the game? Two, do you think they would have had much of an effect on that fight? Joe first, you go first and then Diego.

Joe Stevenson: Well, honestly, I think that it’s a two edged sword because you can – you can cut yourself by greasing up you know just as easy as not – and not talking about physically getting cut, I’m talking about like slipping into submissions, choke holds and things like that. Honestly, I personally I – I mean I think St. Pierre is a great person and I mean I – you know and I don’t think BJ’s a person to make up things, but however he just might have gotten sweaty. You know some people have tricks, like I eat a lot of garlic, I mean an incredible amount of garlic, because that helps you when you sweat, kind of sweat a little bit more oily. So I mean I – that’s one thing that I do. And maybe that’s what George did, and maybe he didn’t towel off in between rounds. Honestly, I think that you know it wouldn’t hurt for them to have another go at it and maybe – maybe this time the game plans switch around you know maybe BJ look instead of trying to get big and strong like George St. Pierre try to focus on the speed and agility and flexibility and his attributes that he can already beat them at.

QUESTION: OK, thanks. And that same question to Diego.

Diego Sanchez: You know I know Greg and Greg Jackson and the guys from that camp and I know that they never would cheat. I think that yes, it happened on accident you know what I mean. They shouldn’t even have been putting Vaseline on him in between rounds. That’s just kind of like against the rules and you’re not supposed to do that, but you know what I mean you know it happened. They did it and I don’t think they had bad intentions of being like greasing him. But I say man, regardless of whatever happened, they fight again, the outcome – I don’t know, man. As long as BJ Penn comes like that in that kind of shape, it ain’t going to be no different, man.

QUESTION: Joe, I got another question for you, you’re kind of unique in that you started training and fighting so young, when you were still a teenagers. Almost …

Joe Stevenson: Don’t make a mistake, Diego’s been fighting very long time too, at a very young age as well.

QUESTION: Then maybe both of you can answer this, with 40 pro fights, do you think you’ve put more wear and tear on your body than the average 26 year old fighter?

Joe Stevenson: I feel like I’m 47. But honestly, with the correct training and stuff, there’s no reason a 47 year old can’t fight. I – my camps are about peak performance and not killing my body every day. It’s about being the best person on that day and you know and being able to rise to the occasion.

Other than that, yes, it hurts when I wake up sometimes and when it’s cold. But most people that are working a nine to five, like when I was doing concrete you know back in the day, or when I was running the forklift, I felt the same pain. They’re just pains that happen and now that I’ve learned nutrition a little bit better, it’s helped me a lot.

QUESTION: Have you given any thought to how long you want to fight? Or when retirement may be coming or will that be a decision you think that’s based more on how you’re feeling at that time?

Joe Stevenson: I’m going to ride this car until the wheels come off.

Honestly, it will be a decision that happens when my family you know is like you know wants to you know wants me home more and luckily I’ve been blessed with a great wife and great kids that are very supportive and help me tremendously in my life.

Diego Sanchez: Yes you know I mean yes, I started fighting a little after Joe, but I was doing the – I was putting the wear and tear in the wrestling room on my body while he was – while we were doing the fighting you know what I mean. I was still wrestling in high school and definitely putting the wear and tear on my body. And you know it’s – you know how you take care of yourself and you know these last two years, I’ve really seeked out the top doctors and yoga and acupuncture and you know probably the best chiropractors and you know what I mean?

The human body has an amazing ability to heal, especially when you’re still young, so you know I think you know that I’m feeling great. Man, I’m you know I’m actually feel like I’m reversing – reversing the time on the clock and you know what I mean, coming down to 155 also, I’ve felt a lot better because I’ve not had to do so much, try to get stronger, like when I was supposed to fight (Diago Als), I mean that guy’s a monster, so was like having to hit the gym really, really, really hard and that kind of stuff also puts wear and tear on your body. But you know man, I’m feeling pretty good. I feel like I’m 27. You know what I mean? I’m 27 and I feel 27. And I feel like a young 27 and I feel great.

Jennifer Wenk: Excellent. Well thanks a lot for joining us for the call this morning and we look forward to having you watch our fight this February 21, live from the 02 in London. Just a note that the show goes live on Setanta Sports 1 in the U.K. at 8:00 pm and it also goes live tape delay here in the United States at 9:00 pm on Spike TV. Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing you all at UFC 95.

Joe Stevenson: Hey, Diego, I really mean this. God bless and…

Diego Sanchez: You know if – it’s going to be war and it’s an honor you know what I mean. And it’s going to be fun you know what I mean. It’s going to – you know we got to do what we love and you know what I mean you know I like you and I think you’re a cool ass dude you know what I mean so let’s just do this and hang out after. Right?

Joe Stevenson: Yes, man. Thanks, man. Everything likewise, and you know this was not a – this wasn’t a fight you know that I was looking forward to. But this is a fight that you know I’m doing. And I see it’s the same way and I know we’re going to have a war man. And congratulations on the baby and everything.

Diego Sanchez: All right, man. See you later, homie.

Joe Stevenson: Later.

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