UFC 131: Shane Carwin Vs. Junior Dos Santos Media Call

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AUDIO: UFC 131 Carwin Vs. Dos Santos Media Conference Call

Above is the audio for the entire UFC 131: Carwin vs. dos Santos media conference call. You can see in the live blog portion of this StoryStream what the topics of conversation were. Personally, I didn't find this call to be particularly revelatory in terms of information. Shane Carwin did appear to be in good spirits and the details about his surgery - and what physical ailments it corrected - was noteworthy. Junior dos Santos appeared to be expressing a small degree of frustration with the 10-month layoff as well as the opponent change. However, because the opportunity itself never changed - meaning he's still got a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez should he win - the Brazilian slugger seems eager for the fight. I also found dos Santos' palpable dislike for former TUF coach Lew Polley to be eyebrow raising.

There's not much more than that, though. With the loss of Brock Lesnar, UFC 131 is suffering from the same problem as UFC 130: the card is filled with mid-tier stars in hugely important fights, but none with casual popular appeal. I do not expect a strong pay-per-view buyrate for this card.

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UFC 131: Shane Carwin Ready Post-Surgery, Junior Dos Santos Eager To Fight After Layoff

Today at the UFC 131 media conference call, Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos fielded questions from the media. The main topics of choice were the time off for both fighters, where the fight would likely be contested, the health of Shane Carwin post-surgery, how both feel being in the main event and more. On a personal note, I can confidently say the media appeared to be more mainstream, non-MMA sources who's casual understanding of the sport prompted prosaic and even repetitive lines of questioning.

Shane Carwin:

- The neck injury: something I've struggled over the course of my MMA career. Pain was in C6 and C7 area. My right arm was going numb. Surgery was able to correct all of that and removing pinching. Most of recovery was from all the muscle pulled and torn apart.

- I feel complete relief after having surgery.

- I don't think there are warm-up fights in the UFC. Jon was no exception to the rule. Either way, this is an exciting opportunity for me.

- Junior is one of the top guys in the world, but the focus is on me and becoming a better fighter. You get very few opportunities like this in life. I not only get to fight one of the best guys in the world, but there's a title shot on the line, too.

- Training and fighting is something that I love to do. I'm living the dream. I couldn't ask for something better to do. Training partners like Brendan Schaub and Elliot Marshall have fights coming up, so I'll be back after camp to help them out.

- 255lbs to 260lbs is my current weight. Completely changed my mind on nutrition. I used to cut 15 pounds before weigh-in and I won't have to do that now.

- Any time any one of our competitors goes through something like this. Hopefully Brock Lesnar can compete again.

- It doesn't matter if their strength is on the ground or the feet, the top guys are hard to face.

- The loss taught me why cardio and better nutrition needed to be improved. Losing is part of life. Definite positives. I left everything in the Octagon.

- We're KO artists. That's how Junior fights and that's how I fight. We'll find out who is better on June 11.

- What I miss most during the layoff is being able to compete, show off my skills, etc.

- Everything is fine now after surgery, but the rehab process was difficult.

 

Junior dos Santos:

- I really want to be UFC heavyweight challenge. I have one more challenge. He's a very dangerous fighter and I respect him, but I believe in myself.

- Very excited to be fighting Shane. My last fight was 10 months ago and that's too long.

- Yes, I prefer to stand. Shane and I are good standing fighters. I believe so much in my boxing. I feel comfortable fighting on my feet.

- I don't have contact with Lew Polley anymore. People are telling me he's saying bullshit about me, but I don't care.

- My training camp didn't really change. I'm used to training hard, but the strategy now is going to be a little bit different.

- In this fight against Shane he'd have to be more cautious and move around the cage than he would were he fighting Lesnar.

- After the first loss, he felt more relaxed and that losing wasn't that big a deal. It matured him as a fighter.

- At first he was a little upset. His opponent changed and he hasn't competed in 10 months. All he can do is leave it in god's hands and move forward.

- It was really important for me to be on TV in the U.S. and to be more of a mainstream fighter.

- Shane Carwin can take a punch, but he's never taken a punch from someone like me.

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UFC 131: Shane Carwin Vs. Junior Dos Santos Media Call

Join SB Nation MMA today at 2 p.m. ET as we live blog the UFC 131: Carwin vs. dos Santos media call. According to the UFC press release, on the call will be main event participants and UFC heavyweights Shane Carwin and Junior dos Santos.

UFC 131 takes place June 11, 2011 at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to the aforementioned headlining bout, the card also features the featherweight debut of Kenny Florian against Diego Nunes as well as a middleweight bout between jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia and NCAA Division I national champion wrestler Mark Munoz.

For more analysis and information, follow me on Twitter: @MMANation.

Full UFC 131 fight card:

Junior dos Santos  vs. Shane Carwin
Jon Oliv Einemo vs. Joey Beltran
Donald Cerrone) vs. Vagner Rocha
Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac
Nick Ring vs. James Head
Dave Herman vs. Aaron Rosa
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins

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