The Co-Main Pre-Fight Press Conference took place Thursday at XS Nightclub in Encore Las Vegas with UFC commentator Jon Anik and fighters Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin, Cung Le and Patrick Cote. Saturday’s UFC 148 event takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The presser lasted a little over 50 minutes. The Cote and Le session was first up and fairly brief. The Tito and Forrest session lasted quite a bit longer as there were many questions for Tito with this being his last pre-fight presser. There was one tense moment of note when Tito was asked a question from a reporter who he apparently doesn’t like. Tito responded with a very pissed off look on his face: “I don’t like you. I ain’t answering your question, and Dana ain’t here to save you so…next question.“. Looked like Tito wanted to take that guy into the Octagon instead of Forrest.
You can catch the full video here: http://www.ufc.com/media/ufc-148-co-main-press-conference-pre
- Cote is a 2 to 1 favorite.
- Cong Le: Started in Taekwondo then went to Sanshou (Chinese-Style Kickboxing).
- Cung Le: Competing in the UFC takes precedence right now over Hollywood. Looking for first UFC win.
- Cung Le: Big adjustment for Cote since he’s so different than Franklin. New sparring partners.
- Cung Le: Three broken noses now in his career.
- Cote: Fought 4 times in the last 18 months, so he’s in shape and happy to be back.
- Cote: He’s now more mature in training, lifestyle, and fighting techniques.
- Ortiz: Wanted this fight for his last fight because Griffin brings it.
- Ortiz: Single greatest UFC accomplishment was becoming champ after just a year and a half in the biz and coming from a rough background. Changed from the Bad Boy to the People’s Champ.
- Ortiz: Hasn’t really thought about the Hall of Fame induction on the day of his fight because he’s been busy training.
- Griffin: Not much has changed since their last bout.
- Griffin: 4 to 1 favorite. Thought the fight was May 5th so he’s been ready for a while. Stands behind his comment that he would retire from life if he loses to Ortiz.
- Griffin: First fight as a father but has a great wife so it’s not too taxing.
- Ortiz: Sacrificed nine weeks of his life away from family and is ready to get the job done.
- Ortiz: Says rivalry with Forrest is Top 2 in the UFC.
- Ortiz: We are the modern day Gladiators. Has had neck, back and knee surgery and has shown his dedication to the sport and company.
- Griffin: I know the Stephan Bonner fight was big because people keep telling him it was.
- Ortiz: ESPN offered a job commentating but is going to take a month off after the fight, so not decided on the future yet.
- Ortiz: Proved that a Latino can do anything they want. Dead, Prison, or where I’m at now were his choices.
- Ortiz: Training, he won’t miss. We get paid to train. We fight for free.
- Ortiz: Will miss the walk-out the most. The energy of the fans.
- Ortiz: Was in Big Bear for 9 weeks. Needed to get away from the family and business. Eat, sleep, and train with family visits on the weekend.
- Ortiz: Doesn’t regret backing out of the Liddell fight because he didn’t want to risk getting paralyzed.
- Ortiz: Son had viral meningitis, left training immediately to take care. Four days on hold but son was okay. Thankful that Jenna caught it in time.
- Griffin: Ton of writing material, or as he put it “crap”, for his third book. Put it on hold until after the fight.
- Griffin: Loves training. Was depressed after the Silva fight. He kept getting into his car and going to the gym after the fight out of habit. Frustrated that he hasn’t been able to do what he wanted to do in the Octagon. For instance, he had a great training camp for Shogun and went in and fought like shit. Loves what he’s doing and it gives him a reason to get out of bed every day.
- Ortiz: Has always been media-friendly. Not turning his back on the UFC and will continue to work in the sport educating people on MMA.
- Ortiz: Changed to the people’s champ was a positive move in his life and wanted to shed the bad boy image, didn’t like the negative image.
- Ortiz: Was in since the beginning. UFC was sick of losing money but he told them to stick with it. It then turned around big time and he credits Forrest as one of the people that helped. Says MMA is number three in sports entertainment behind soccer and basketball.
- Griffin: Advice for an 11-year old asking for pointers on getting started: Wrestle in high school so you learn how pushing yourself is supposed to feel and how to discipline yourself.
- Ortiz: Predicts a great fight and war.
- Ortiz: Soldier thanked him for his support of the troops. He’s been to Irag 5 times and has been wearing the flag since 2002. Thanked them for a peaceful 4th yesterday.