Las Vegas, Nevada – On Saturday night, live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Pay-Per-View, elite welterweights Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit throw down for the interim UFC 170lbs championship in what some are predicting will be the fight of the year. Also on the stacked card, heavyweight contenders Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum collide and former UFC welterweight title challenger Josh Koscheck returns to action to face fellow NCAA Division I grappler Mike Pierce.
The six athletes had the following to say at today’s open workouts:
Nick Diaz, UFC interim welterweight contender (@NickDiaz209)
“I don’t have it out for people, but I know who I am supposed to fight to be the best andthat’s why I’m in this fight with Carlos Condit. He’s the next guy I need to prove myself against. We are both top level and we win by doing damage, not by trying to score points. He has a realistic fighting style like I do. I am not crazy, in my opinion everyone else is crazy. It is real fighting, real martial arts.
Carlos is a very well rounded guy. He’s tough and it will be a fight. I’m cool with him, but like always I don’t want to be around him because I am fighting him. I don’t act one way in front of a camera and another way when I’m not. I’m emotional but I don’t stage anything. People say I am crazy but I think other people are crazy for acting all nice around people they are supposed to fight. I don’t put on a show, what you see is what you get, and sorry some people can’t handlethat.
With me, you get the real me, real martial arts and a real warrior mentality. I don’t act friends with anyone I am going to fight. That’s crazy, I don’t understand that. Some people aren’t mature enough to understand I don’t want to put on an act for the cameras. I’m real. I’m acting natural, I don’t want to be friends around a guy I am about to fight.
This isn’t soccer, it is fighting. I’ve got no problem that this is a sporting event and being respectful but it is a fight. It is what it is. It matters how I am seen by fans, sometimes I care, sometimes I don’t but when I think about it I try to be real.”
Carlos Condit, UFC interim welterweight contender (@CarlosCondit)
“It’s been a crazy roller-coaster, this last few months. First I was fighting BJ Penn, then Georges St-Pierre for the belt, now Nick Diaz for the interim belt. I just know I am ready. I’m ready to spoil the plans for GSP to come back and fight Diaz. I understand Diaz has said things to upset Georges, I understand he wants to fight him, but it won’t be next. When GSP comes back, I will be the interim champion.
Roy Nelson, UFC heavyweight contender (@RoyNelsonMMA)
“All my UFC wins are by knockout, but fighting a BJJ guy it may be time to use some of my BJJ skills in this fight. Beating Werdum will change the landscape of the division for me. From a ranking perspective, I think this win would take me to No.3 or No.4. I am here to win the world title, that’s my goal. Even when I lost to Junior, I didn’t slip down (the rankings) too much and I got a lot of fans for that fight. I’m the guy in the division who is having fun fights and I’m hoping to have another Saturday night.”
Fabricio Werdum, UFCheavyweight contender (@FabricioWerdum)
“I’m happy to be back in the UFC. I’m ready to prove my value and to show all the work I have been doing the last couple months. I think I deserved to return after a fewfights in STRIKEFORCE. For sure Roy Nelson is dangerous and a very tough fight. It is important for me to make (an impression) in my first fight back in the Octagon.
I want the UFC title. I want a rematch with Junior dos Santos after he beats Alistair Overeem.”
Josh Koscheck, UFC welterweight (@JoshKoscheck)
“I didn’t really know who this guy was when I agreed to fight him. I remember he fought (my teammate) Jon Fitch but not too well. I think I remember that fight, he didn’t get anything going until the very last minute. I know he called me out, so he must think he can win… but they all think that until I punch them in the face.
But I get paid the same whether I am fighting Mike Pierce or Carlos Condit, so I don’t care who I fight. I am a gold digger, I fight for money. You’d be a dumb SOB to fight for free but I do enjoy my job and I fight my ass off. I have a big mouth and I don’t want to lose and I want to look good out there.
He was a good wrestler in college, like me, but this is MMA. I was in this very arena (Mandalay Bay Events Center) at UFC 74, August 24, 2007, and I got out wrestled by GSP, who had never wrestled much at school. Wrestling is a different sport, wrestling in MMA is different.”
Mike Pierce, UFC welterweight (@MikePierce170)
“Josh Koscheck knows who I am. He’s pretending he doesn’t because he is Josh Koscheck and that’s what he does: he acts like this all the time. He’s a bit of a jerk and that’s his personality and that’s just who he is and what gets him noticed.
I hope he is overlooking me because Jon Fitch beat me. That was two years ago and I am amuch better fighter now and, for that fight, I had a family issue to take care of which distracted me. I hope Josh is underestimating me, but I doubt it. I’ve been waiting and trying for an opportunity like this for years. I am impressed by Koscheck as a fighter. He fought for a title and has beaten a lot of topguys but there are still holes in his game I can take advantage of. He is just like everyone else, we all have weaknesses. A lot of the gatekeepers in the170lbs division are getting knocked out of the way and, yeah, I’ve been around a while.
I’m not ‘new blood’ but I am working my way up the chain of contenders and the win over this guy will be huge for me in 2012.”