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UFC 126 conference call with Belfort, Silva, Griffin, Franklin – notes and audio

UFC 1216: Silva vs. Belfort” is scheduled to take place Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev., and will air LIVE on Pay-Per-View.

On Thursday, UFC 126 headliners Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort and Anderson “The Spider” Silva, along with Silva’s manager and interpreter Ed Soares participated in a conference call and fielded questions from the media. Belfort will challenge Silva for his middleweight title, which he has held securely around his waist since 2006.

Also participating in the call were co-headliners Rich “Ace” Franklin and Forrest Griffin who will face off in a light heavyweight bout. Audio and a few highlights from the UFC 126 conference call are posted below.

[podcast]http://prommanow.com/audio/ufc126.mp3[/podcast]

UFC 126 conference call notes:

Vitor Belfort

It was a business decision, nothing personal. (leaving Shawn Tompkins to train at Xtreme Couture)

Some days we make good decisions, some days we make bad decisions, but everyday we have a chance to make it better. Some days we make a bad decision, but guess what, the next day we can make it better.

I try to take the good things and bad things together and use them as a fighter to make me strong.

I think this is going to be a great fight. Like I said before it’s going to be a mark on history because we have two fighters from Brazil. One is considered the best pound for pound and as for me, as the story goes, I started fighting in the UFC at 19-years-old.

Anderson Silva

(Ed Soares talking about Silva’s rib injury) He had a bruised rib that happened a week before the fight with Sonnen that happened when training with Satoshi Ishii. He took 6-8 weeks off afterward to let it heal.

(Ed Soares translating) He believes there are a lot of challenges in every weight category in the UFC, not only in the middleweight division but there’s a lot of challenges in other weight classes too. He’s doing what he’s doing because he loves doing it, he’s well trained, he’s been doing this since he was a kid. So he feels very natural. He’s not doing this for the fame, he’s not doing it for the money, he’s not doing it for the belt. He’s doing this because he loves it and he’s been doing it since he was a kid and he feels very comfortable doing it. And he also does it because he’s happy to have the people around him that he has. He believes the people that are close to him are close to him not because of the fame or the money but they are with him because they care about him and that makes him happy to go out there and put on a good performance.

Rich Franklin

For me it was the fact of having to sit for 10 weeks and not really being able to do much with the arm until I got the cast off and was able to start working out with it again.

I don’t know, those are big if’s, if I had lost the fight and if I had broken my arm. I can’t really put myself in that kind of mindset but I doubt that I would have been contemplating retirement at that point in time. (if he would have considered retiring if he had lost to Liddell and had broke the arm)

I don’t have to beat a guy like Liddell to stay motivated. If winning a fight isn’t enough motivation for you to keep competing no matter who is on the other side of the Octagon, that you really shouldn’t even be fighting in the first place. I’m a competitor and I’m motivated to win regardless of who I’m contracted to fight at that given time, so a win over a specific person doesn’t necessarily motivate me to continue going. It’s just I’m a competitor and I like to win, period.

Forrest Griffin

Well it sucks. It’s nice that you get to do other things and not really worry about fighting, it’s mentally refreshing, but physically… and a good break every now and then is good for your body, but it was too long and too long without competing. I don’t know, this is the most ring rust I’ve ever had. I’m not excited about it, and definitely want to fight more. (being out due to injury)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is just a sample of what was said during the conference call. Each of the fighters had much more to say and listening to the audio is encouraged.

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