UFC 126 took place on Saturday February 5th from the Mandaly Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Anderson Silva successfully defended his middleweight title for a record eighth time while extending his MMA winning streak to an impressive 14 fights with a stunning front kick knockout of Vitor Belfort.
Jon Jones officially became the "next big thing" in the UFC light heavyweight division with his second round submission over previously unbeaten Ryan Bader. The victory earned him a title shot against UFC champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 128 on March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Forrest Griffin also returned to the Octagon after a prolonged absence, earning a victory over Rich Franklin in a battle of former UFC champions.
After the UFC 126 fight card, the winners from the above fights were on hand for a press conference along with Rua and UFC president Dana White.
Many topics were discussed, with the most interesting one being the near conformation of a future bout between UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
What follows are the best moments from post UFC 126 press conference.
"I did hear about Rashad being injured, but I had no clue that my title shot was coming. My goal is to be considered the best fighter in the light heavyweight division. One of the reasons I look up to Jose Aldo so much is because he is a 23-year-old world champion and he’s doing great with it."
"I feel like it’s my time, my confidence is very high and I’m already in shape and I’ve got six weeks to make myself even better and that’s what I’m excited about."
"Whenever things like this happen and you throw things back together...you know, is Jon Jones going to win the fight, you never know. Sometimes things come together."
"Earlier we told Shogun, if this kid (Jones) wins we want to put him in there for the fight, we talked about it for a while and right before Jones and Bader came out him and his team accepted the fight. Then after he won I walked up into the Octagon and told Jon, ‘Do you want to take the fight’ and he said ‘yeah,’ that’s literally how the fight was made tonight."
"I have been training very hard for a fight on this date. I was prepared to fight Rashad and unfortunately he got injured, but I face it as motivation to train even harder. As the champion, I have to fight everybody, so I see it as more motivation."
"I got my whole high school will be there, everyone will be there. With the economy, no one wants to take a flight and I know my New York high school will be there for me and I’m not going to let them down."
"I think that’s the fight we’ll do. If Georges St. Pierre wins his next fight, that’ll probably be the fight we do."
"Where is it going to be is probably going to be (the biggest challenge). Where do we hold this thing? Do we go back to Toronto? Do we do Dallas? What do we do?"
"Georges St. Pierre has made it clear that if he beats Jake Shields, he’ll take the fight, and I think Anderson’s ready to go too."
"I say it all the time, I think he’s the best fighter in the world and when he does what he’s capable of doing, you have nights like tonight. I’ve only seen that in a video game."
"I just wanted to win the fight. I hadn’t won in a year, and it seemed like a good thing to do. If you want to be a professional fighter in the UFC, you should at least win a fight a year. That was my goal. So, I’m already good for the year."
"I went from ‘oh…s**t’ to “OH S**T!” Both guys are counterpunchers. All the talk that goes into it before, both guys respect each other's striking abilities, so that was one of my concerns and worries."
"I said ‘this thing can be the craziest thing we’ve ever seen or the worst staring competition in history’ and yeah, we got a little bit of both."
"I know that I’m training with some of the best, most elite people in the world. There’s tons of great people around me and there’s a quote that says ‘you’re only as good as the people around you.’"
"I have a lot of confidence and I know I’m doing the right things, and when you train really hard, there’s no reason not to believe in yourself."
"I feel on top of the world right now."
"Rashad is an awesome guy; he’s an awesome fighter and he’s an awesome friend. He’s taught me so much about being a man. Rashad’s been a UFC champion before, I’m sure he’s extremely wealthy, he has it all already and he’s humbled himself to be the best training partner he could be. He took so many unnecessary punches to the face, just because he was trying to fight the best way he could fight to mimic Ryan Bader, so hats off to Rashad Evans, he’s better than most men."
"It was a sprained ligament. He had it looked at in New Mexico and then we always fly the guys out here to see our doctor and he agreed. He has to take six to eight weeks off and he has to wear a brace, and hopefully, he won't need surgery."
"I don’t know. I don’t want to keep beating a dead horse and bumming him out even more. I said it was crazy waiting for Shogun. You wait all this time, and then something like this pops up and you're out even longer."
“Bones” has fought a lot of tough guys now and he continues to win, he continues to finish guys. He does really well against wrestlers, this is a different type of fight for him."
"First of all, there’s an experience factor in this fight as far as I’m concerned. “Shogun” has been in monster, massive fights in Japan in front of 75,000 people, he’s fought in the UFC."
"This is a different fight. ‘Shogun’ has great takedown defence and his standup is incredible, he’s an aggressive fighter that keeps coming toward you, he breaks your legs down, he hits you with kicks to the body and knees, it’s a very interesting fight."
"As far as the kick goes, last time I did my training camp, I was training at Black House with Steven Seagal and he helped me a lot with that kick. He perfected it. I did that kick for a long time, and he actually helped me perfect it along with Pedro Rizzo and (Rafeal) ‘Feijao’ Cavalcante that was a kick that we were working on right before I stepped out."
"Just because Vitor lost doesn’t mean that he’s not the ‘Phenom.’ People got judged on a lot of things and you can’t be judged on one performance and you have to overcome all these types of adversities and go forward."
"If I had it up to me, I’d have that fight in Brazil, but if that’s not going to happen, I would like to have my fight here in Vegas. I consider Vegas my home away from home, this is where I won my belt and I feel very comfortable and this is where I’d like to fight."