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UFN Austin conference call transcript‏



transcript for today’s UFN conference call featuring Efrain Escudero, Charles Oliveira, Nate Marquardt and Rousimar Palhares.

Viacom

Moderator: Kevin Sorntale
September 9, 2010
1:00 p.m. CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, if you need to ask a question, please press star, one on your telephone keypad. We’ll pause for just a moment to compile the Q&A roster.

Your first question, from (Raul).

(Fred): Yes, this is (Fred) (inaudible) I have a question for Efrain. I’d like to know what he think about this fight, going against Charles.

Efrain Escudero: What do I think about this fight against Charles? I think it’s a great fight. You know, I think that it’s going to be an excellent fight. You know, I think he’s – you know, he – it’s his time to shine and all. He’s coming off of a good win, and he’s trying to move up the ladder. So for me, for us to step into the octagon, I think it’s going to be a real good fight.

Male: Yes, I wanted to ask a question for Efrain. Yes (inaudible).

Male: A question for Efrain Escudero. How do you feel your progression has come along since “The Ultimate Fighter”?

Efrain Escudero: My progression has been great. You know, I started being a (solely wrestler), and then, you know, it’s been two years now, so I’ve been – I switched camps and everything, and I’ve been working a lot on my jujitsu, a lot on my jujitsu, my stand-up. I’ve been working a lot, you know, since “The Ultimate Fighter.” And I’ve been stuck at the gym. And, you know, it’s been showing throughout my fights, you know, and I expect a good fight on September 15th.

Male: Thank you.

Operator: And your next question is from (John Buel).

(John Buel): Yes, hi. I just wanted to ask Efrain, I know you lost a fight a while ago. It was your first professional loss. And you’ve had one fight since then, so I kind of wanted to get your kind of thoughts and perspective on how you feel since, you know, losing your first fight and how you felt going against Dan and how you think maybe that’s going to help your preparations in the future, kind of getting that first setback out of the way?

Efrain Escudero: You know, I always told myself that when I fought, you know, I never put enough pressure – a lot of pressure on being undefeated and stuff, but being undefeated, man, puts a lot of pressure on you, always trying to be on top. And, you know, I always said I’d put records aside, but at the end, the bottom line is, you know, it actually does play a good role. And now that I got that first loss out of my way, you know, it’s one of those where I got caught making a mistake, you know. I blame it a lot on my cardio.

But, you know, Dunham, I wish him the best. You know, he capitalized on my mistakes. And, you know, I think I’ve gained a lot more from that loss than I would have gained from a victory.

(John Buel): All right. Thanks very much.

Operator: And your next question’s from (Danny Acosta) from Fight Magazine.

(Danny Acosta): How are you guys doing today? This question is for Efrain Escudero. I was just wondering what you expect from your performance in this fight, what expectations are you setting for yourself, what kind of standards are you trying to meet as an MMA fighter?

Efrain Escudero: You know, what expectations am I trying to meet? I’m trying to be the best expectations out there. You know, I want to – every time I step into the octagon, I want to do the – give the best fight out there and put the best performance out there. You know, I believe a lot on my training camp. We have worked really, extremely hard for this camp, you know?

So I’m actually looking forward to this fight. You know, it’s my camp’s (inaudible) and, you know, we have done everything. You know, we have worked our jujitsu. We’ve worked on our wrestling. We’ve worked on our stand-up. We have worked on everything, you know? So, you know, this is MMA, and we’ve got to give – we’ve got to be on top of the world at every level so we can continue moving on.

(Danny Acosta): Thank you.

Operator: And once again, at this time, if you would like to ask a question, please press star, one on your telephone keypad. And your next question is from Damon Martin from mmaweekly.com.

Damon Martin: Hi. First question is for Charles. Obviously, you know, you had a really impressive performance in your first fight, but this one is shorter notice. Can you talk to us about what were you doing as far as training and, you know, how you feel about the short notice of this fight?

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Charles Oliveira: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: OK. I can translate for Charles. Yes, the first fight that I had in UFC was very quick. I don’t feel, you know, nothing, no weakness in anything. So I was in very good shape. We got back to Brazil, where we continued training, and, you know, when I heard the news about fighting right away, that will not impress me at all, because I was already training anyway.

Damon Martin: OK. And then with this fight being, you know, on Spike TV, a co-main event against an “Ultimate Fighter” winner, I mean, are these the kind of opportunities you have to jump at, whether it’s short notice or not?

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Charles Oliveira: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: Yes, it was – you know, this is very good, but, you know, you want to fight in the best event with the best of the best. And you’ve got to take, you know, short notice like that. You know, this is normal.

Damon Martin: All right. Thank you very much, guys.

Male: Thank you.

Operator: And once again, for any questions, that is star, one on your telephone keypad. And your next question is from Steven Marrocco from MMAjunkie.

Steven Marrocco: Hey, everybody. Efrain, I just wanted to ask you a quick question (inaudible) already. I was away for just a second. But how did the opponent shakeups affect your training? Because there (inaudible) you were going to fight Matt Wiman after the whole – the first shake-up, and now you’re fighting Oliveira. How did that – how did you feel about the shake-up?

Efrain Escudero: You know, I really didn’t pay much attention to it. You know, it was a month out, so I had enough time, you know? It was in a 48 window span where everything moved so quickly, and, you know, for me, you know, we’re worried about what we’re bringing to the table. We’re worried about – we’re not worried on what they’re going to bring to the table. We’re making them fight our fight, and we’re going to go out there and do our job.

And, you know, for us, you know, being in top shape and being ready to fight anybody they throw at us, that’s our main priority and our main goal.

Steven Marrocco: Well, do you feel they’re different opponents, I mean, in terms of style and approach?

Efrain Escudero: Yes, you know, we had to switch some things up a little bit. But, you know, I’m not giving any of my game plan up or anything, you know, we just trained really hard for this fight, you know? We went out there and did what we had to do. And, you know, you guys will be able to check it out on September 15th.

Steven Marrocco: OK, thanks.

Operator: At this time, we are showing no further questions.

Operator: And Nate has joined.

Nate Marquardt: Yes. Can you hear me?

Operator: And once again, for any questions, press star, one on your telephone keypad.

And you have a follow-up question from (John Buel).

(John Buel): Yes, hi, Nate. I wanted to talk to you about your last fight against Chael Sonnen. I know it didn’t go the way you would have liked. And but now, having some time to look back it, and you’ve seen Chael go in and have a really close, impressive fight against Anderson Silva, the current champion, I guess at this point in your career, you know, what does this fight mean for you, fighting the really top submission fighter, really well-known guy in the UFC? And what are your aspirations as far as, you know, once you win this, you know, how soon do you want to maybe get another title shot or maybe a rematch with Chael? What are your – what are you kind of looking to do in the near future?

Nate Marquardt: Well, my goal is to become the champion. And so, really, right now, I’m focused on my fight with Rousimar. You know, he’s a very tough, dangerous opponent, and, you know, I’m taking him seriously. And like I said, that’s my goal, is to win the title. And right now, that’s the way I’m going to do it, is by beating Rousimar.

(John Buel): Right. And also, real quick, he’s got a pretty interesting style. He’s very strong and really tough leg locks, (kind of) can be unorthodox, but very effective with his striking and his takedowns. Given that he is kind of unorthodox, does that make it a little bit different for you to train and prepare for a guy like that? Or have you kind of been around the block so much that you know you’re pretty much prepared for anything?

Nate Marquardt: Well, I mean, I’ve definitely seen fighters with similar styles, but, I mean, no one is going to be exactly like him. But I definitely feel comfortable with how I’ve prepared for this fight, and I feel confident that my teammates have given me a good look and a good game plan for to fight him.

(John Buel): All right. Thanks very much.

Nate Marquardt: Thanks.

Operator: And your next question is from Matt Manzella from Cage Religion.

Matt Manzella: … 118 to the main event of “Ultimate Fight Night 22.” Do you feel there’s any added pressure, being as though you’re headlining now?

Nate Marquardt: You’re saying because the fight got moved?

Matt Manzella: Right.

Nate Marquardt: Oh, yes, because now I’m headlining? No, I don’t feel extra pressure. I mean, every fight I go into, you know, I have a strong will and a strong want to win. And, you know, I don’t think I need to add any extra pressure to myself by worrying about it being a main event or whatever.

I mean, I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to do my job. I’m going to fight my hardest, and, you know, it’s going to be an exciting fight, and that’s all I have to worry about.

Matt Manzella: Thanks a lot, Nate.

Nate Marquardt: Thanks.

Operator: And your next question is from Beau Dure from USA Today.

Beau Dure: Hello, Nate. I was just going through a rough count of your last few fights, and it looks like this is the fifth Brazilian you’ll face in your last eight fights. Do you see a common thread between some of them? Or do they all have very different styles?

Nate Marquardt: Well, I mean, common thread, I mean, they’re great fighters. And, you know, I’ve fought a few jujitsu guys, so – but definitely Rousimar is a very different style of jujitsu, and he’s definitely a different style fighter, as well. So – but, you know, they’re all very tough fighters.

Beau Dure: And how do you explain the difference between, say, what Rousimar does versus what, say, a Demian Maia or a (Tau Selitis) would bring?

Male: (inaudible).

Nate Marquardt: Oh, yes, basically, I think they’re different styles of jujitsu, even if you just look at their pure grappling style. You know, they prefer different positions or different submission holds (inaudible) different go-to moves. And…

Male: (inaudible).

Nate Marquardt: … even their strategy might be different as far as (inaudible) trying to win (inaudible) submission (inaudible).

Male: (inaudible).

Beau Dure: All right. Thanks, Nate.

Nate Marquardt: All right, thanks.



Male: (inaudible).

Male: (inaudible).

Operator: And your next question is from Will Anderson from Daily Texan.

Will Anderson: Yes, hey, this is for Nate real quick. Nate, I know Yves Edwards is on the card, and you fought him way back early in your career. That was over 10 years ago. Could you reflect on how far you’ve come? You know, you’ve had a shot at the title. Could you reflect on just how much you’ve done in the UFC and what you want to do in your future?

Nate Marquardt: Well, I mean, it’s pretty crazy how far I’ve come and how far the sport’s come since I started. You know, I started training when I was 15 years old. I had my first fight when I was 19 years old. And, I mean, I’m just – you know, I’m a totally different fighter, obviously, from when I first started.

But as far as, you know, what I’ve done in UFC and what I want to do, I mean, the main thing I’m concerned about and my main goal is to become the champion. And, really, that’s my focus, and that’s – you know, I’m not going to be satisfied until (inaudible).

Operator: And our next question is from (Rauel).

(Rauel): Hi, Nate. My question is about the whole Dan Hardy slamming wrestlers in the UFC. I was curious to take your perspective on it, considering your last defeat by Chael Sonnen.

Nate Marquardt: Oh, and what exactly did Hardy say?

(Rauel): He’s mostly claiming that they’re just not really fighting, they’re mostly laying and praying when they take fighters to the ground.

Nate Marquardt: OK. Well, I mean, I think that’s just coming from someone who isn’t a good wrestler. I mean, I think wrestling is a big part of MMA. And, you know, you shouldn’t complain about it. You should learn it and learn how to defend against it.

And, you know, I was unable to defend the takedowns from my last fight, and that’s why I lost the fight. And now I’m going to be more prepared to defend the takedown, no matter who I’m fighting. And, you know, I’ve worked hard on my wrestling, and I continue to work hard on my wrestling.

So, you know, I think with mixed martial arts, we see waves or changes, you know, trends in the sport where, you know, one minute it’s the strikers that are dominating the sport, and all of a sudden then it’s the wrestlers, and then it kind of goes back and forth. And I think it’s just something you have to pay attention to and be prepared for.

(Rauel): Thank you very much, Nate. Good luck.

Nate Marquardt: All right. Thanks.

Operator: And once again, for any questions, please press star, one at this time. Your next question is from (Joseph Meyers).

(Joseph Meyers): Yes, hi, my question’s for Nate. Nate, after the loss to Sonnen, you missed out on the opportunity at a title shot. Do you feel like a victory against Palhares puts you back in? Do you think that puts you back in line for a title shot? Or do you feel like maybe you need to put together to beat Palhares and then get one more win before you get another title shot?

Nate Marquardt: Well, I think a win against Palhares (inaudible) and I’m not – I don’t know exactly (inaudible) you know, I definitely feel I’m still at the top of the division, and, you know, I can be one or two fights away from a title shot (inaudible).

(Joseph Meyers): All right. Thank you. Appreciate it, and good luck.

Nate Marquardt: Thank you.

Operator: And once again, for questions, press star, one at this time. And your next question is from John Moody from fighters.com.

John Moody: Yes, this is for Nate. Nate, how much are you concerned with not only winning, but winning in an exciting fashion? I mean, there’s a lot of pressure, it seems, from the UFC to really put on a performance. Does that calculate? Do you have concerns about winning in a certain style?

Nate Marquardt: No, I mean, the way I see it is, I am an exciting fighter. And, you know, I do look to finish fights (then). And, you know, that’s what the fans want to see. So, I mean, that’s my style, so I’m not really worried about it. My number-one concern is winning the fight, and, you know, I think I’ll be able to do that, and it’s going to be an exciting fight. It’s just an exciting match-up of – you know, the style match-up I think is going to make the fight exciting.

John Moody: OK, great. Thank you.

Nate Marquardt: Thank you.

Operator: And once again, for any questions, please press star, one.

And at this time, we are showing no further questions.

Male: You guys got to ask Palhares some questions.

Operator: You do have a follow-up question from (Joseph Meyers).

(Joseph Meyers): Yes, actually, I was just – I was actually just getting ready to ask Rousimar a question. Rousimar, I just asked Nate about where he thinks a victory over you puts him in terms of getting a title shot. Where do you feel like a victory over Nate Marquardt puts you in the mix of the 185-pound division? Do you feel like a victory over Nate Marquardt should get you a title shot? Or do you feel like maybe you need to put together one or two more wins beyond beating Nate before you can deserve a title shot?

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Rousimar Palhares: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: OK, Rousimar says he doesn’t really know (inaudible) UFC. And, you know, he’s – he’ll do whatever they say.

(Joseph Meyers): OK, thank you.

Male: You’re welcome.

Operator: And you have another follow-up question from (Rauel).

(Rauel): This question’s for Rousimar. I was wondering if your 90-day suspension had any effect on you, considering that you had the heel hook in and you claim you didn’t feel the tap. I was wondering if that has any effect.

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Rousimar Palhares: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: The only thing that upset me was that I saw a lot of people saying and implying that I am somebody that I’m really not. I had no intention to hurt anybody. I’m not like that. And that’s the only thing that upset me.

(Rauel): Thank you very much.

Operator: And your next question is from Damon Martin from mmaweekly.com.

Damon Martin: Hi. A question Rousimar. Obviously, you’ve got a great jujitsu pedigree, but so does Nate Marquardt. He’s a fellow Brazilian jujitsu black belt. Does that give you any extra charge or any extra motivation facing another high-level jujitsu guy like Nate?

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Rousimar Palhares: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: No. I think that, you know, it comes from what’s going to happen in the ring. To me, the fact that he does have a black belt in jujitsu means that he will accept to play that game with me, and I find it easier for myself when I fight people with that kind of a background, where they actually engage in jujitsu with me.

Damon Martin: OK. And then, you know, with the fight being pushed back a couple weeks from the UFC 118 show, just for Rousimar, did that change much in training? Or did he have to kind of slow down his camp a little bit, just because of the pushback? Can you just talk about that two-week delay?

Male: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Rousimar Palhares: (Speaking Foreign Language).

Male: No, it really didn’t bother me. It actually was better. I got more training time in, so it didn’t bother me at all.

Damon Martin: Thank you very much, guys.

Male: You’re welcome.

Operator: And once again, for any further questions, that is star, one on your telephone keypad. And we are showing no further questions.

Kevin Sorntale: All right. Well, we’ll end the call on that. Thank you to all participants and Rousimar as well as Nate for calling in. And we look forward to a great event. Thank you, everyone. Bye.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in today’s conference call. At this time, you may now disconnect.

END

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