I'm still not entirely sure why, but before every UFC the media gets to listen in on a conference call while seemingly disinterested fighters give predictable non-answers to less interesting questions. This time, however, we got two Brits -- one of whom is Michael Bisping -- so it was actually worth listening to this time around. Oh, and Yoshihiro Akiyama was there, too.
Michael Bisping on how fame has changed him:
I live in a small town in the northwest of England, and I live with the same, you know, the same friends and family that I've grown up with my entire life. So, to be honest, nothing's changed. You know, when I do venture out into cities and whatnot, yes, people do know who I am, I suppose. But, ultimately, I'm the same guy. I still live in the same place, the same small town, so not a lot's changed. And because I still live there I'm able to train and just continue with my regular lifestyle.
In terms of preparation, it doesn't change anything. With respect, I couldn't care less who he trains with. He can train with anyone. What I'm focusing on these days is what I do, focusing on my training. And he can worry about what I'm bringing to the table. And so, you know, as I said, my training's going fantastic. I feel in great shape. I've improved all my areas. And I don't - regardless of who he's training with, I think I'll be too much for him. So, to answer your question, I couldn't care less.
Yoshihiro Akiyama on the Chris Leben fight:
There were certain things that was holding me back from fighting my best in that fight...I felt like I didn't have enough time to prepare for my opponent. And so during the fight I wasn't able to come up with a strategy that is specifically for Chris Leben.
Akiyama on training with Greg Jackson:
I was able to learn the intricate skills of the takedowns, as well as better striking for MMA. And, most of all, I was able to learn how to deliver a good three rounds of fight in the cage.
Bisping on Akiyama's training with Jackson:
Wow. Training going fantastic? In great shape? Improved in all areas? Really great stuff, Mike. I think he was one 'this has been the best training camp of my life' away from hitting the cliche grand slam. Remember when I said non-answers? Yea. Remember when I said this was worth listening to? I'm sorry.
Watching Michael Bisping getting decleated by a vicious knockout was my white whale. Dan Henderson harpooned that sucker back at UFC 100, so my chief motivation for watching this fight is Akiyama's spectacular display of confidence in his own sexuality. It's never let me down in the past, and when I'm slamming down my sixth Newcastle and screaming at the television this is the only song that can reign me back in.