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UFC 74: Conference Call Recap

Georges St. Pierre:

  • He wanted to face a top contender, not any other welterweight.
  • No excuses for loss vs. Serra. Saw sports psychologist who told him that the best team/fighter doesn’t always win, it’s whoever fights the best.
  • Feels he is newer, better and will show it versus Josh Koscheck.
  • Feels that fighting not as a champion again is the best thing that could have happened to him.
  • Felt that winning title happened somewhat quickly, and now realizes how motivated he is to win again.
  • He knows what Koscheck is good at despite having taken down Sean Sherk (did not clarify if he will plan on taking down another wrestler).
  • He has a new manager (Stephane Patry is out) and a better entourage around him.
  • Not worried about the fight.

Josh Koscheck

  • Respects GSP a lot. Great training camp right now.
  • Feels GSP is not overrated and has the skills to win again. “Too bad he has to get through me first, though.”
  • No change in how he trains for GSP. Training has worked out good/great in the past.
  • The buzz around GSP returning after the loss is not affecting him. Feels he is mentally focused and ready.
  • Wants to get fight over with already
  • Wants the best available GSP. A top showing against him is ideal, wants GSP in best condition.
  • Not bothered by fans booing him @ UFC 69. Likes the attention.
  • Felt both he and Diego Sanchez held back @ UFC 69, very conservative fight for both.
  • Doesn’t watch GSP’s past fights, watching GSP lose @ UFC 69 was big for him.
  • Feels he can take GSP down. Will he? To be determined.

Randy Couture

  • Gonzaga is a good overall fighter, great grappler. Presents different problems than other fighters in the past.
  • Loves fighting. Gets excited for upcoming fights. Fights because he loves to, not about proving anything anymore.
  • Scared during first fight @ UFC 13. Career has had ups and downs. Has had a blast during long road as a fighter.
  • Has trained a little w/Wanderlei Silva. Has studied BJJ for 10 years (??????)
  • Not bothered by being perceived underdog @ 44 years old.
  • Feels he’s different than Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie because he has maintained busy w/fights instead of long layoffs.
  • Thinks MMA can be an Olympic sport.
  • Sees no serious holes in Gabriel Gonzaga. Dangerous on the ground.
  • Staff helps him juggle all his committments/priorities.
  • Feels Gonzaga’s last win and how well-rounded he is is most impressive characteristic.
  • He feels as if he’s learned to listen to his body as he’s grown older (training, etc.).
  • Feels Gonzaga’s stamina may become a factor if the fight goes into the later rounds.

Gabriel Gonzaga

  • Had a good childhood, and had assistance to pay for BJJ classes growing up (from instructor).
  • Sees himself more as a fighter and less as a star.
  • Feels Couture’s age may be a factor.
  • Doesn’t see himself as an underdog (nor does he see Randy this way). Sees himself as a 50% favorite to win (just as Randy is in his opinion). Not too sure why he’s seen by some as favorite to win.

Dana White

  • Critical of GSP after loss to Serra. Feels GSP is most well-rounded fighter in UFC right now. Says GSP wasn’t himself during UFC 69 weekend. Hopes to see a different GSP 8/25/2007.
  • Confirms negotiations w/Wanderlei Silva.
  • No announcements planned for UFC 74 (“…unless something big/huge happens in the next few weeks.”)
  • Sees MMA as huge globally within 5-10 years. Lots of target dates for Europe in 2008.
  • A win for Clay Guida vs. Marcus Aurelio can have him move up in the LW rankings.
  • Confirmed signing Brandon Vera. Says Vera’s manager was the problem. Has Vera under a new deal. Vera likely to fight Tim Sylvia in October.
  • Has been persuing Latin America for eight months, plans on making large gains in 2008 (an event in Mexico maybe?)
  • Not happy at all w/Sean Sherk. Feels state-sanctioned steroid/drug screenings are good. Status of LW belt to be determined after Sherk’s appeal to the CSAC.
  • Zuffa to have a lot of fighters in their offices in October re: steroid issue (and other issues, did not clarify). Harshest penalties imposed by state athletic commissions. Feels fighters that use steroids are morons.
  • HBO deal still being worked out, looking @ Winter 2007 for first event. Big cards to be used for HBO. Mistakes made in UFC 72 Pay-per-view (Northern Ireland). Scheduled live broadcast in afternoon and no same-day replays during prime time in the U.S.
  • Feels Patrick Cote’s fight is very important to both him and Kendall Grove. Should be exciting.
  • Hard to secure a venue in Canada due to hockey season blocking many key dates they have.
  • If Fedor is signed by UFC, his first fight would be for UFC title.
  • Rich Franklin is big for headlining UFC 77. Says Franklin wasn’t himself vs. Anderson Silva.

Props to Sherdog forum poster JMart for compiling the recap.

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