In honor of the UFC throwing a card in Newark this weekend, the UFC hype-train made a big stop in New York City yesterday to hold a public press conference at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. Though the four headlining fighters were supposed to be in attendance taking questions and posing for pictures with fans, Shane Carwin was stuck in Long Island finishing up his medical licensing paperwork. Oddly enough, welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre seemed to get the least love from the raucous mass of NY/NJ fans. They loved Dan Hardy for being an underdog who trains with Matt Serra. They loved Frank Mir for embodying the Jersey Shore juicehead ideal, even though he’s a lifelong Las Vegas resident.* They swung off of Dana White’s nuts, uncomfortably.** If you live in the New York area but can’t make it to UFC 111, Radio City will be hosting a viewing party on Saturday night, featuring appearances by Chuck Liddell, Matt Serra, Stephan Bonnar, and a freakin’ ginormous screen. Some important notes from yesterday’s presser are after the jump…
— Due to the five pounds of lean muscle he’s put on since his last fight, GSP expects to be around 190-192 pounds when he steps into the cage on Saturday.
— Georges St. Pierre on Hardy’s recent training with Matt Serra: "I don’t really care who he trains with, because those are the things I don’t have any control over…It’s not gonna change anything. An armbar’s an armbar, no matter who’s teaching it."
— Georges on moving up to middleweight in the future: "I don’t say it’s impossible, but right now I don’t want to look past Dan Hardy. I’m gonna have the toughest fight of my career. I’m ready to do five 5-minute rounds of incredible war, and I don’t want to look past Dan Hardy. I’ve done that mistake before and it will never happen again."
— Brock Lesnar will be at UFC 111, and could possibly make his way into the cage after the Mir/Carwin fight. Barring injury, the heavyweight belt will be unified this summer.
— Frank Mir has gotten about as big as he’s ever going to get. "I’ve realized that there are genetic limitations to everybody, so that kind of bites. But I think that I’ve closed the gap on all the other heavyweights that are stronger than I am where at least now it’s not such an excessive amount that it would be a decisive factor in a fight."
— Brian Stann was awarded this year’s Tequila Cazadores "Authentic Spirit Award," and was given a $10,000 check for the charity of his choice. Stann is giving the money to Hire Heroes, an organization dedicated to providing career placement assistance for returning members of the U.S. armed forces, particularly those who sustained injuries or disabilities in combat.
— When asked by a fan if he’d ever consider doing the kind of fighter-trading and co-promotion that Strikeforce and DREAM are doing, Dana replied, "I’ll wait until they both go out of business and then I’ll sign ‘em all."
— Dana White still hasn’t decided who will be the first opponent for James Toney. "We did this deal, and now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with him," White said.
* Pet names for Mir shouted out by the crowd included "FRANKIE POWAHOUSE!!!" and "FRANKENSTEIN MONSTAH!!!"
** The CagePotato.com "Authentic Pause" award goes to the nervous weirdo who came up to the mic during the fan Q+A portion of the event, started off by saying "Long time fan, first time caller" — seriously, like he was calling into a radio show — then dug his hole deeper by telling Dana "I’m literally pissing my pants right now, I got every UFC fanboy’s wet dream here, the only thing that would make it better would be sitting in your lap right now."
(Video courtesy of Cagewriter.)