B.J. Penn and Diego Sanchez fielded questions from the media on today’s UFC 107 conference call in anticipation of their lightweight title bout taking place this weekend at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.
Sanchez earned his title shot after moving to the lightweight division at the beginning of 2009, then defeating top contenders Joe Stevenson and Clay Guida. It will be Penn’s third lightweight title defense.
Here is the audio of today’s call and there are some notable quotes after the jump.
UFC 107 call – B.J. Penn & Diego Sanchez (audio):
“I think Diego is good in all areas, he’s got great takedowns… I think his greatest strength is his tenacity. He comes hard, and pushes the pace. That’s a big area that we worked on.”
“I can’t even believe I’ve come this far in my life.”
“I really like to use the Internet to try and get things out there, whether it be Twitter, BJPenn.com, or whatever…”
“I have good sparring partners up in California…”
“I do see it like that actually…There’s been a stroke of bad luck, with Brock getting sick and things like that… It’s time for us, the fighters to pick it up… I definitely want to have this UFC be a big bang for everyone, do good numbers, and the whole thing.”
“One thing is for sure, we’re going to find out.”
“I think always number one is his flexibility… They can defend takedowns differently. He’s also probably one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport. I don’t think there’s anyone out there with his level of jiu-jitsu and striking. It’s gonna be just like chess. It’s gonna be interesting.”
“There’s gonna be pressure in every fight. There was pressure when I won the state championship in high school… If you don’t know how to deal with pressure, you’re never going to be champion.”
“I had no doubt in the Florian fight. I knew he would go in there and do what he did.”
“I have faith… that is something God has blessed me with.”
“I’ve always been a five round fighter, my conditioning has always been great. I never got tired in one fight in my whole life…”
“I’ve always wanted to fight a five round fight, and I’ve always looked forward to it. This whole thing is just a dream come true. Fighting B.J. Penn, in my opinion, there’s not a better fighter out there.”
“It’s going to be a dream come true to go in there, just me and him, and see who the best fighter in the world is.”
“I always wanted to train with B.J. but it never happened.”
“…the way I approach every fight… with faith.”
“Are my fights exciting? Ask yourself that?”
Diego said “that makes our sport look bad” in reference to Houston Alexander’s fight against Kimbo Slice.
“We get to finish the year. We’re going to do good numbers. I think they did good with the commercial and the advertising with this fight.”
“…I fought 15 fights in the UFC and I finally get this title shot… The UFC is going to have a great end of the year.”