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UFC 218 Holloway vs Aldo 2 - Conference Call Recap

A recap of what went down in the media call prior to the UFC 218

News 30 Nov 2017, 13:19 IST
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An anticipated rematch is set to headline Detroit

UFC 218: Holloway vs Aldo 2

Start time: 8pm(Prelims - US time);

Main card - 10pm(7:30AM IST)

Operator: Good day and welcome to this UFC 218 Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I'd like to turn the call over to Dave Lockett. Please go ahead.

Dave Lockett: Welcome everybody to the UFC 218 Conference Call. UFC 218 will take place next Saturday, December 2, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Today we're being joined by the main event fighters from UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2.

On the line with us today are UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and number one contender and former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Welcome gentlemen. I will now turn things over to the call center to open it for questions.

Operator: Yes sir, thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you do wish to ask a question, please use your star 1 feature. Please also make sure that your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment.

We'll go ahead and take our first caller. We have Nick Baldwin with SB Nation.

Nick Baldwin: Hi guys. Thank you very much for the time and the first question is for Max. Is it strange to be fighting Jose Aldo so soon after beating him just in June of this year? Does it feel weird to be fighting him just half a year after the first fight?


Max Holloway: Not at all, it is what it is. As I said before, at the end of the day, I'm just having a fight. I told the people of Detroit, I told my fans, I sacrificed too much time not to fight on December 2 and he's the guy that pulled the straw and he's the next guy up.

The only thing weird about this whole situation is if you look at this guy's ((inaudible)), he normally never ever takes to an early fight. He normally don't fight this often. If you look at the record, he fought in 200 and he fought me at UFC 212, now he's fighting me here. ((Inaudible)) I think so.

This is going to be the first UFC fight he's walking out first, he's going to be announced first. There's a lot of weird things that I think is weird for him but at the end of the day I pulled his name, I'm ready to fight, I was ready to fight, I was ready to fight anyone. My coach and my management and stuff told me about 55er fights, and I was ready to go up if we had to but it is what it is, so I get the best of Jose. I get to prove it to everybody I'm the best in the world and December 2 is going to be a fun night.


Nick Baldwin: Well as you said, you were willing to fight on December 2, just about anybody, whether it's at featherweight or lightweight. Who do you think, at the end of the day, deserves this title shot more, Jose Aldo or Cub Swanson?

Max Holloway: I don't know, that’s your guys' job, that’s the UFC's job. I'm a fighter, I don't think who deserves what more or who does this and that, whatever. I get to make history. I made history in Brazil, I get to make history in Detroit now. And I didn't care who it was, as long as I got the fight.

Like I said, I'm not a matchmaker, I'm a fighter and right now that's what I focus on. I focus on fighting. You put him in front of me, light him up, I'm going to knock him down.

Nick Baldwin: And a question for Jose, pretty simple question. Why will the rematch be different? Why will it play out differently?

Translator: It's going to be different because I'm motivated, I'm very well-trained right now, I'm really focused, and I believe that it's going to be a different ending from the first fight.

Nick Baldwin: And one more for you, Jose. You were scheduled to fight Ricardo Lamas in your first UFC non-title fight, it would have been three rounds, your first three-round fight in the octagon. What were your thoughts on that firstly, having your first non-title fight, it wasn't on a Pay-Per-View. You're of course very used to doing five-round title fights, are you happy that it's a five-round fight? Were you looking forward to your first three-rounder? What are your thoughts on that?

Translator: I think it makes no difference. I was used to fighting five rounds for so long that three rounds wouldn't have made a difference but, it's the evolution of the sport and I'm happy to be fighting again a five-round fight.

Nick Baldwin: Awesome. Thanks guys for the time.

Max Holloway: Thank you.


Operator: Next question comes from Damon Martin with UFC.com.

Damon Martin: Hey guys. First question is for Max. Max, having beaten Jose back in June, I hear a lot of times it is tough to get up for a rematch, especially an immediate rematch, when you do finish the fight so emphatically, you finished him in a third-round TKO. How was the mindset, hearing that he was going to be the guy? Did it take you a minute to get motivated again? Or how was the mindset when you found out it was going to be Jose again?

Max Holloway: Look guys. Talk about motivation, this guy's talking about how motivated he is for the belt. I have no idea why people talk about motivation. Or this guy who I fought him in his hometown when he was a champion and for him to be saying that it’s motivation, and now he feels way more motivated, it's fighting for your country and fighting in front of your people for your belt, saying your belt is not enough motivation, what's going on?

I'm motivated and the belt is great, what comes with the belt? Bigger payday, Pay-Per-Views and a lot more stuff. A belt is a belt, a fight is a fight. I'm not trying to go out there and get my butt whooped, my a** whooped in front of millions of people watching at home, thousands of people. That's not what I am about.

I'm in the hurt business. I'm out there, I want to get my belt and I want to win. I don't care who I fight. I can fight this guy 10 times in a row, I'll be motivated. That's just what I am. Just warrior spirit I have myself and this whole belief I have in myself, it doesn't take much to be motivated.

I don’t know why people talk about it's hard to get motivated this and that, you're in the wrong business, man. There's another guy trying to hurt you seriously in there and this guy's talking about motivation, it just blows my mind man. It blows my mind and I'm motivated. I don't care if it was him, I don't care who it was. I was ready for the next guy up and light him up and knock him down.

Damon Martin: I know your long-term goal, Max, is to be considered one of the greatest of all-time. At this stage, Jose is considered the greatest featherweight champion of all-time because he's had title defenses and things like that. But if you beat him two times in a row, considering his record, in a weird way do you feel like that's even bigger for your career?

You will be the first guy to ever hold two wins over him and immediately you kind of eliminate Jose from probably, ever fighting you a third time, it rarely ever happens. Is there a benefit of this fight happening right now?

Max Holloway: Yeah at the end of the day, it's a legacy fight. This is huge for legacy. Jose never lost back-to-back and nobody ever beat him twice. But, being the greatest featherweight champion is ((inaudible)), and this is a stepping stone and I just got to focus. I got to focus on this one first and then I got to get, not how much defenses he's got six, seven or eight of them or something like that and combining his WEC wins, at the end of the day I need to focus on the records.

I'm just focused on this next fight. Like I said, it's 1-0 all the time. I'm 1-0 going to this fight and I think that helps my legacy a lot but that’s just what it is, it's legacy fighting. It helps me get out there and one step closer to proving to people why I should be considered one of the best guys to ever do this and to ever compete in this sport.

Damon Martin: And Max, I don't want to take away the attention from this fight because you're fighting Jose Aldo. So, I don't want to take the attention away from that, but I heard that you were willing to fight a lot of guys beyond Cub Swanson and Jose Aldo. I'd heard that maybe Cowboy Cerrone and you were throwing out maybe Tony Ferguson. How willing were you to take a super fight at lightweight to make sure you stayed on this card?

Max Holloway: I was super willing, that ain’t talk, I'm a fighter. S***, I was saying whatever, I didn't even care. I promise the people of Hawaii, I promised the people of Detroit that they're going to see Max Holloway fight December 2. I promised my fans, my family and I promised you guys, that I'm going to fight no matter what.

If people want to call us the best in the world, the best in the world is not getting ready for one guy, like the olden days. ((Inaudible)) I did ((inaudible)) in between these camps and he used to talk to us about challenge matches and when people came you just had to be ready and that's the mindset I have. If you want to prove you're the best, you've got to fight, so I was willing to fight anybody.

Just throw it out there and fight, that's what the best do. They're not worried about what others can do to them, they better be worried about what I'm going to do to them. I'm just here to fight.

Damon Martin: And a couple questions for Jose. Jose, you haven't been a guy because you've been a champion so much in your career, you haven't really had the opportunity to take many short notice fights.

The only other time I can remember was the Conor McGregor rematch and obviously we know why you turned that down, but what was it about this? Was it just the chance to fight for the title again? Was it because you were already training for a fight with Ricardo Lamas? What was it that made a difference saying yes this time?

Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: Yes, I was always the champion, so I didn't get many opportunities to do that and I haven't had a rematch after a loss in my career. I obviously wanted that one against Conor McGregor after my loss to him but it wasn't really a matter of accepting this fight. I had already been training for another fight, so it didn't matter if it was a difference from a three-round fight to a five-round fight. I have to thank Max for accepting it, but it really wasn't a matter of me accepting it, I was ready to go.


Damon Martin: And Jose, as I mentioned before, everyone holds you in such high regard as the greatest featherweight we've seen in the sport, but how important is a fight like this for your legacy? Obviously, you intend on winning, but losing to Max a second time would be devastating. So, how important is this fight for your legacy and what you want to remember for your career?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: Yes, there's not many people that are able to come back and win the title again and I've done that and for me to be able to come back and win this title again would mean a lot to my legacy.


Damon Martin: And my last question, Jose. Having fought Max before, having the fight end the way it ended, what is the difference? Six months later, I mean obviously you're facing him back-to-back. What do you feel like is the difference now versus that last fight that's going to get you a win this time?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: What really changes is the side that I'm on right now. The first fight, I thought it was great, but the difference is the side. He's coming in as the champion right now, he was the challenger before and now I'm the guy who's going in there and challenging to win the belt again. That's really what's motivating me is to be able to re-accomplish this and get my belt back.


Damon Martin: Thanks guys, appreciate it.


Max Holloway: Thank you. Thank you, Martin.


Operator: Thank you. And ladies and gentlemen as a reminder it is star 1 to be placed into the queue at this time. We next move to Akhilesh Gannavarapu with MMAIndia.com.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Hello gentlemen, thank you for the time. My first two questions go to Max. Firstly, Max, I wanted to get your thoughts on that matchup with Frankie Edgar. All of the fans were excited when that fight was announced. So, what were your thoughts when Edgar got injured?


Max Holloway: It must've been a h*** of a hit to injure him because that guy never ever gets injured. When I heard he was injured I was bummed. There's a lot of fight for legacy, like I said before, you guys know the history he has with Hawaii, so it is one to get back for the good guys and it ends up happening.


I hope that guy a speedy recovery; hopefully maybe down the line we can face each other and get that fight done, but right now, it's Jose Aldo. He's the next one at bat and the next one I got to take down.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Absolutely. Immediately afterwards, Cub Swanson threw his name into the hat, so I also wanted to get your thoughts on what do you make of the featherweight division and the fact that there are at least three people in Frankie, Cub, and Aldo that people believe deserve a title shot?


Max Holloway: That's not my job, I'm a fighter, that's what I do. I fight, you line them up, I'll knock them down. Simple as that. One plus one is two; two plus two is four. You guys as MMA analysts and MMA writers, that's your guys' job and there's matchmakers for UFC and that's their job. Matchmakers pick the fights. At the end of the day, it is what it is.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Alright, Max, final question for you. Your strength has always been winning on attrition and you come back strong in the championship rounds. That was the case the last time you fought Jose as well. Are you expecting more or less the same from Jose?


Max Holloway: You guys can call me Dory. If any of you guys have seen Finding Nemo. I don't even remember fighting this guy. It's a whole new guy and I'm going down and I'm going to fight him. This is what I got to do. Too much people depend on this is what he did the first fight so that's going to replay in the second fight. We don't know what happens.


I'm getting ready for the best Jose Aldo like I do in every camp, I get ready. I was getting ready for Frankie Edgar, now it's Aldo. You guys didn't even see me in a championship round. I didn't even go to a fourth, fifth round, so no one knows. It's true, maybe I might be a slow starter in the beginning and I get stronger as the fight goes on, but we'll see what happens.


I got new tricks up my sleeve for this fight. Tune in you guys, do not miss out, it's going to be a fun one. This card is stacked from top to bottom since the opening fight on the opening card, not just the main card. The main card is stacked but the whole card is stacked. I got a teammate again with me, I got Yancy Medeiros.


Last time me and Yancy was on the same card we fought Brazilians, who fought Brazilians in Brazil and look what happened? We're going to Detroit now, in U.S.A. soil, and I see the fight going many ways and two Hawaiians are going to come on top that night.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Alright, next two questions for Jose. One of the interesting things you mentioned recently was you holding back in your last fight. You said yourself, Max's offense is his strong point and kind of relied heavily on a defensive game. Could you elaborate on is that a true interpretation of what you said?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: I think that the first fight was great and I think that we gave our all, we both came out as champions. And it's a sport, you can't predict what's going to happen, you can't count on exactly what's going to happen.


I don't see necessarily any mistakes, I think that I had my chances in the fight and Max had his chances and was able to finish the fight, so there's really not much to be said. I think it was a great fight and I think that the fans are the ones who win.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Great. Now you also know Max's offensive skills got better. What have you changed this time around, whether in your camp or otherwise? Compared to the last time you fought Holloway.


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: Yes, I spent about a month boxing with (Mikey) Garcia and I felt I was in my comfort zone and I needed to evolve, and I think that's exactly what I did focusing on the boxing. I think I evolved a lot, I got a lot better and I was happy with this camp.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: That's fantastic. Now, Holloway just talked about this fight being for his legacy. What does this fight represent for you, knowing that you can get your championship back? What does this fight mean for you?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: I think this is a new chapter in my story. I think that there's a lot that can be said and I want to win this title and I want to finish my fights off in the UFC. I want to finish those off as a champion, so I want to honor that contract, but this is a new stage in my career.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: All right. One final question for you, Jose. I know this week it's all about you and Holloway, but one of the interesting things that you mentioned recently was the fact that you understand why Conor McGregor did what he did and do not blame him anymore. Does that finally put the rivalry between you two to rest?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: There was never really any rivalry really between Conor McGregor and I, I think that we promoted the fight well. He talks to promote his fight and I fight in that but, the fight ended really quickly and I couldn’t really show what I trained for all those months but I think the real rivalry is inside of the cage and every athlete's desire is to win so that's exactly it. I don't have any rivalries with Max or anything, but inside of the cage, we're athletes and we want to go in and we want to win.


Akhilesh Gannavarapu: Understood. Thank you so much, guys.


Max Holloway: Thank you.


Jose Aldo: No problem. Thank you.


Operator: And ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder it is star 1 to be placed into the queue at this time. We next move to Rodney James Edgar with MMA Latest News.


Rodney James Edgar: Awesome. Thank you. Hey, my first question is for the champ. Max, listen, I know a lot of people have asked different questions about Cub Swanson, but one thing I have not heard asked of you is was he ever presented as an option as a replacement for Frankie Edgar or did they just go to Jose Aldo straight away? Did the UFC just offer Jose straight away?


Max Holloway: To be honest, they gave me a couple names. They didn't tell me, "Oh you're fighting this guy, this guy, and this guy." They said, "Oh here's ideas." And I told my manager. My manager calls me saying Frankie is hurt and was like, "Oh, this is the UFC's ideas."


And then I told my manager, "Call me back when you have a contract. I don't care who the h*** I'm fighting, next week get me a fight and I hung up. Then the next time he called me, he told me Aldo and the contract is in an email. I signed the contract and I sent it back over. That's what it was.


Rodney James Edgar: Okay. Thank you. Do you care to share who those other names were?


Max Holloway: It's what everybody's been saying about. It was just rumors, it's just what we heard. The 45ers, most of the top 45ers, some 55ers and that's about it. The names that everybody been throwing around is what I heard. I don't know if you heard anything else you can share, but that's all I heard.


Rodney James Edgar: Okay, thanks. And then, you've actually, fought Jose Aldo and Cub Swanson, which fight was more competitive? Which opponent was more competitive?


Max Holloway: Man, you guys are asking a question you can answer yourself. Watch that fight, the fight where people say it happened a long time ago and then there's one fight that people think the guy won two rounds on me. So, at the end of the day, I don't know. Me and Cub fought a long time ago. And the fight just me and Aldo just happened. At the end of the day who knows what happens.


Like I said, it's just fighting. It's fighting, anything can happen, so, I don't really judge my fight of what happened before, now it's time for rematches. I'm not going to base it off the last fight. I'm sure that my opponent saw something in there that he didn't see watching film on me, so they're going to change something, so I'm going to change too.


I'm looking for the best fighters. I want the best guy there that night because I want to prove that I'm the best man alive.


Rodney James Edgar: Okay, perfect. In my opinion, both of those fights, you were very dominant so best of luck to you, champ. Thank you both. One more question for you. Detroit, Michigan is a notoriously very cold this time of year; you come from a warm climate. How do you react to cold weather?


Max Holloway: The Cub fight was cold weather. The Toronto fight, Pettis fight was cold weather. The last Jose fight, I didn't even know Brazil gets cold. Brazil's pretty cold to me. I thought Brazil was like Hawaii, I was wrong. I was cold some nights and the weather don't care. I'll probably be inside most of the time.


We like traveling around. If Detroit has cool stuff to see, then we'll go outside but the cold though, I don't mind it. It's just a place where we got to fight. It's a place where I'm going to war and you got to adjust, you got to adjust. Just like the fight, you got to adjust every round, you got to adjust the climate and this is the warrior spirit in me. I don't really care where we fight, as long as we get a fight in UFC Hawaii later on down the line, I'll be happy.


Rodney James Edgar: I hope to see that. And I thank you again, champ. Next question is for Jose Aldo. As you stated earlier in this call, you rarely take fights on short notice, you were very big for a featherweight. So, do you have to focus a lot more attention on cutting weight since you don't have a full camp?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: Yeah, I don't think there's any real difference. I lose my weight on the last week and I haven't been having any problems making weight so if I had any in the past, that's in the past.


Rodney James Edgar: Okay. And just one more question. The same question about the climate. I know for me personally, you couldn't pay me enough money to go somewhere cold to fight. How about you? How do you react to cold weather?


Translator: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Jose Aldo: ((Portuguese Spoken)).


Translator: I don't really care. It's hot in Rio right now but I train in air conditioning most of the time and the arena has air conditioning and we're in the hotel most of the time so, I don't think it makes too much of a difference.


Rodney James Edgar: Okay. Thank you, gentlemen. Best of luck.


Max Holloway: Thank you, brother.


Operator: And with no further questions in queue, I'd like to turn the conference back over to Dave Lockett for closing remarks.


Dave Lockett: Thank you everyone for joining today's call. We look forward to an exciting event on December 2 in Detroit. For those of you in the United States, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and to everyone, have a great day.


Operator: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. That does conclude today's conference call. We thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.


Max Holloway: Thank you guys.


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