Just over a week before the UFC, media and fight fans assemble in Vancouver for UFC 115 the regular media conference call took place today.
Former UFC Champions Rich Franklin and Chuck Liddell joined Dana White along with the co-main event fighters Pat Barry and Mirko Cro Cop to discuss the upcoming event on June 12. UFC 115 was the fastest sell out in UFC history and sure looks set to be a great night of fights.
Franklin McNeil from ESPN kicked things off by asking Rich Franklin if he will be staying at 205 pounds now?
Franklin said, "I plan on it but I will always do what the UFC asks. I want to get back towards the title eventually and I'll take each fight as it comes". He added that he had no specific adjustments to his game plan for fighting Chuck.
Liddell's original opponent was of course Tito Ortiz, who withdrew from there showdown due to injury.
Chuck said, "I still want to fight him. I've said to Dana that if he ever does come back he should have to fight me to get back into the UFC". Chuck continued by adding, "Rich is a bigger challenge then Tito so this is a tougher fight for me for sure".
Neither Chuck or Rich think they have any ring rust, and both can't see it being a problem. Chuck said he showed up to camp in shape.
It's the first time he has not spent the camp getting in shape as he all ready was, so he fills in the best shape of his career. He has kept his weight down and been on a good diet since September floating around 210-215 pounds.
Pat Barry is incredibly excited for his fight with Mirko Cro Cop as he is fighting his idol. He wants to get Mirko's autograph before the fight. Barry said that it was because of Mirko that he got into the sport and he feels that is is because of Mirko that striking has evolved in MMA.
Greg Parfitt - To Pat Barry, when you look at what Junior dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga, did off the back of wins over Mirko Cro Cop do you think is a potential launch pad fight for you?
Barry, "I can't look past any fight, I've been doing well this is only my fourth UFC fight and I am fighting Mirko Cro Cop. My name is getting mentioned in the same sentence as Mirko and I am co-head line so things are going well. But I can't look ahead, I have to see how I wake up and hopefully the best Pat Barry there is will step into the cage on Saturday. We will see after that what happens".
Barry felt that Mirko forced fighters to get better at striking and he has learnt a lot from watching his fights.
This is the last fight on Mirko's contract and he will see after the fight what happens in terms of getting it extended. He finally feels fully healthy and recovered from the knee injury two years ago.
Franklin and Liddell both said that Canada is an amazing place to fight and the fans are great. They notice the difference when events are sold out; there are more people at the weigh-ins and more people at hotels and it is a fun thing to walk out to.
The conference call was pretty mild mannered, and it will be interesting to see if any real animosity develops between these opponents as there doesn't appear to be any at the moment, just a lot of mutual respect.
That's all for now folks, I'll keep you posted and up to date with all things UFC 115.
Greg Parfitt is a Featured MMA writer on Bleacher Report.
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