UFC 118 Post-Fight Press Conference: Notes and Quotes From Boston
Thanks to everyone for following our UFC 118 live blog and updates on Twitter Saturday night. The response was very positive and the comments are blowing up, on behalf of myself and Nick Colon (Mr. Twitter Saturday), thanks.
Here are the notes from the post-fight press conference which started at 1:30 AM EST and ended around 2:30 AM after UFC President Dana White's chat with the beat reporters. Nick will have some exclusive video later today of that Dana chat.
Here's the high-level notes and quotes from the UFC 118 Post-Fight Press Conference:
Starting out are UFC President Dana White, Joe Lauzon, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz.
- White said the event exceeded expectations and cited the local media and people of Boston specifically. To say he was happy is an understatement.
- Attendance was 15,575 for a $3 million gate.
- Joe Lauzon earned Submission Of The Night for $60,000, while Nate Diaz and Marcus Davis each earned $60,000 for Fight Of The Night. There were no knockouts.
- White discussed their continued expansion into Asia and how if a few deals come through, they will up their visibility from 500 million homes to one billion worldwide. With that, he introduced a new hire: Executive VP and Managing Director Mark Fischer, who will head up UFC Asia.
He was born in Concord, MA, and worked for the NBA in their expansion efforts in Asia. Fischer spoke to the press about the UFC's commitment to quality and excellence as a reason for coming on board.
Fischer said that China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and all of Asia are open for expansion. This is a key hire for the organization as their quest for global domination continues.
Apparently, Nate Diaz wasn't interested; playing on his phone while Fischer was talking.
- White said they thought UFC answered the 'MMA vs. boxing' debate in 1993, but that they answered it again Saturday. Joked that his stomach hurt he was so nervous. Toney is a one-and-done situation, but that it was a fun ride with James. "He's a nutty guy."
Randy Couture has arrived.
- Couture said the dusted off a low single leg take down from college for Toney. He wasn't worried, but "had some doubts about the whether the low shot would work." He worked on it again in the locker room and it felt sharp.
"You don't see that shot that often because good grapplers can counter."
White joked, "I thought it was the best takedown I've ever seen in my life."
- Couture said the first thing he noticed were the wraps Toney was wearing on his feet. He said he knew once he saw "whatever those things were...slippers?", the low shoot-in was going to work just fine.
- Couture said Toney didn't show any solid skills when on his back and was more interested in punching men in the head. On the various submission attempts and methods he used, "We want James to have the complete MMA experience, don't we?"
- Maynard said, "Frankie did a great job. He's the champ now. That's a nice belt to have. I want that belt."
- Diaz, whose face was really beat up, said he wants one of the top three contenders at lightweight or welterweight and to "try to get a belt here sometimes."
Diaz said, "I'd take a shot at Gray before he gets his shot at Frankie if that's possible." Dana said, "No, that's not possible. That would be twice we've done that to Gray."
- On Edgar/Penn, "(Frankie) took him down hard. It was a dominant performance. No one is doubting Frankie Edgar now."
- Couture said his Twitter and texts were going crazy with emotional responses to beat Toney, but he needed to take the emotion out of preparation.
- White said Couture is going back to 205 and that "getting Randy Couture back in there is a good thing." No idea on next fight for him, but "Randy will shoot me a text in a week and ask what's up."
- No idea on when Edgar/Maynard II will be. Frankie's not at the presser yet as he's having problems with the Commission.
- Lauzon joked that Ruediger "brought me regular cake instead of ice cream cake." and that he "stunned him an elbow and it was blood in the water.”
- Couture said that the black belt presentation post-fight was a big surprise to which teammate Maynard said, "If he gets one for beating James Toney, I deserve one too.”
- When asked about the offer to box Toney, Couture said he would "respectfully decline such an offer. It would go about the same way. He’d knock me out in the first round.”
- Couture said he couldn’t afford to think the Toney fight was silly because of his experience in competitive fighting. He equated it to when he came into MMA after wrestling and needing to learn skills."
- Toney was supposed to be here, but White said, "he got pissed and took off." He said nothing to White post-fight and told Randy good job. "Or at least that's what I think he said," Couture joked, which got a big laugh from the press room.
- White on Florian loss: “I love Florian, but with the big fights, he chokes. He stood in front of Gray Maynard for three rounds and didn’t let anything go."
We're at 2:00 AM EST. Edgar has arrived. The issue with the Commission was "trying to pee for the piss test." Edgar sits right next to Maynard, which made for an interesting dynamic. Both guys talked to each briefly, so there's not animosity...yet.
- On the sell factor for Edgar/Maynard II, White said, "What does this kid got to do to get respect? He just dominated BJ Penn for five rounds. Fight’s going to do just fine." White continues to defend Edgar throughout and build up this match.
- On the perception of respect and the win, Edgar said, "It's more important for you guys than me. It's definitely might get some of you guys off my back for sure."
- White said that Boston was "incredible. I love this city…love the people…I was blown away by the media. It’s honestly been overwhelming. I've been to a lot of cities crazy for MMA and you just don’t get the kind of coverage we got. It was like the Pats were going to the Super Bowl. I'm ecstatic, overwhelmed and honored."
- On breaking BJ's will, "I felt it a little bit. I wanted to make it decisive so there were no questions. No one can say anything now.”
- On where Penn goes from here, White said "I don’t know...that's an interesting question." Penn wasn't at the post-fight presser and White wasn't sure where he was. "He might be at the hospital. He took some hard shots. Went down to the ground…got slammed. He dominated him for five rounds…maybe he did go to the hospital…maybe he’s pissed off and doesn’t want to talk."
Josh Nason is a New England-based freelance MMA journalist that is covering UFC 118 for Bleacher Report all week long in Boston- including live blogging the event itself live. Follow him on Twitter, will ya?
For more of my coverage on UFC 118 in Boston—including my chat with Henderson, visit my profile.
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