SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The “UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen” pre-fight press conference took place Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Hilton San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hotel, just across the bay from Saturday’s fights which will take place at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
UFC President Dana White said the winner of the Junior Dos Santos vs. Roy Nelson fight will fight the winner of Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez for the title. He also said the winner of Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck will fight the winner of Saturday’s Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves fight, “And yes, Jon Fitch will fight Koscheck if he wins,” added the UFC President.
As the press conference began, Fitch was asked what he thought about White’s comment that he would have to face his AKA teammate and friend Koscheck if they both won their upcoming bouts. Fitch replied very professionally by saying he is only focused on his upcoming opponent Alves and would cross that bridge when and if it comes.
It didn’t take long for Chael Sonnen to get started. Following a question to Anderson Silva in which a reporter asked how he felt about Sonnen’s pre-fight trash talk, his manager Ed Soares interpreted Silva’s response as, “It’s easy to talk about me, try being me.”
Sonnen, speaking directly to Soares, said, “By the way Soares, that was not a correct interpretation. Anderson did not just say, ‘It’s easy to talk about me, try being me. He said, It’s easy to talk about me, try beating me.’ You’re not the only one in the room that speaks Portuguese even though you act like you are. It’s a step harder picking up that language than it is understanding Pig Latin.”
Sonnen’s statement garnered a few laughs from the media gathered in the room and had White grinning from ear to ear. His direct verbal assault and lack of respect toward Silva, his manager and camp has been going on for months now. Everyone is curious if this is going to cause Silva’s emotions to get the better of him on Saturday.
Thiago Alves said he requested to miss the open workout earlier in the week so he could get some training in. However, he assured everyone he would have no trouble making weight.
Once again responding to questions about Sonnen’s trash talk, Silva said, “I’m used to fighting idiots like him. I’ve fought idiots all over the world.” Another time he said, “Even parrots can talk.”
Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes said he did not want to be labeled as the “Gracie killer” and his opponent Ricardo Almeida said the fight is not personal, although Hughes defeated his teacher Renzo Gracie in his last bout.
When asked if he was still feeling under the weather, Sonnen said, “I’m tired, sore, under the weather, over-trained, under-motivated and still tough enough to beat this guy.” This statement cracked Alves up big time.
White was asked his thoughts on things Sonnen had been saying and was questioned about laughing at it, “He says some funny shit, it’s hard not to laugh,” White said.
Watch a taped video replay of the UFC 117 pre-fight press conference in ProMMAnow.com’s UFC Room. It will be available for viewing now and throughout the weekend.