If you’ve ever wondered what UFC conference calls are like, they’re pretty much the same as the UFC pre and post-fight press conferences, featuring the same reporters asking the same questions and typically getting the same replies.
Today’s first half of the two scheduled UFC 129 conference calls which featured Mark Hominick, Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida and Randy Couture, was somewhat overshadowed by Couture’s retirement announcement that made the rounds this morning. Most of the questions (and a few separate congratulatory messages) were directed at Couture from writers wanting to know if he would keep his word this time, why he made the decision and what he would do next. One even asked Machida how he felt being involved in “The Natural’s” last fight. I was surprised that some of the journos on the call didn’t ask Aldo and Hominick what they thought about Randy calling it a career.
I kind of felt bad for Hominick and Aldo, who, although aren’t quitting fighting ARE fighting as the co-headliners in a championship bout on the largest scale MMA card in North American history. Priorities people. Randy will be available to answer questions about his retirement plans after the fight.
HERE is the audio and below are a few of the tidbits from the call :
• Hominick is expecting his first child (a girl) the week of the fight
• Machida says he isn’t feeling any more pressure at the prospect of losing three in a row than he did trying to come back from his first KO at the hands of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or defending his title
•Couture says he wants to walk away from the sport healthy and is planning to ramp up his acting career
•Randy wouldn’t commit to whether or not he would be filing his retirement papers with the UFC
• ”The Natural” says he is interested in commentating again and that he has a pair of movies lined up: Hijack with Vinny Jones begins filming next month and Expendables II starts in August
•”The Machine” will be throwing out the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays game Friday night at Rogers Centre, the venue for UFC 129
•Aldo injured his C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck preparing for his scheduled bout with Josh Grispi and the injury bothered him in his last few fights
• Just like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Hominick says his “life got flipped, turned upside down” by the experience of vying for the UFC featherweight crown
•Hominick plans to press the pace in the fight and force Aldo to back up
• Randy foresees the UFC trying to coax him back to the Octagon, but like Chuck Liddell, he sees himself working for them in a different capacity than fighting