UFC 161 conference call report w/Henderson, Evans, Nelson

UFC 160 Conference Call - June 4, 2013
Steve Juon, reporting for the Wrestling Observer

UFC 161 takes place on June 15th at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. OpeningĀ  remarks for the call are from Canadian UFC PR Director Steve Keogh. On the line as participants are the four men in the top two fights - former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson, top heavyweight contender 'Big Country' Roy Nelson and his opponent Stipe Miocic. Roy Nelson is a late replacement for Soa Palelei to bolster the main PPV card.

How does Roy Nelson feel about taking this fight on short notice? "I wish I had more time so I could give the fans 100% Roy Nelson but hey you know when you do it for the company you do it for the company."

Does Nelson feel another knockout is in his future? "No Stipe is one of the top guys in the UFC. He wouldn't be here if he wasn't one of the best in the world."

What is Stipe Miocic's plan to rebound from getting his first loss as a pro to Stefan Struve? "Just doing my game plan. Not letting him dictate what he wants to do. He's super tough, somebody I greatly respect in the game (but) I'm going to stand in there and do what I want to do."

Is Rashad Evans interested in a title shot with a win over Dan Henderson? "The whole title shot (thing) is not on my mind you know. I just want to go in there and fight, and whatever happens after that happens after that."

And how does Dan Henderson feel about possibly fighting Jon Jones? "Obviously it's something that was supposed to happen last year. One day I would like to fight Jon Jones - I feel like I have unfinished business there. I've been 100% focused on this fight and not even really concerned about what happens afterward. That's pretty much it. Rashad is extremely tough and very dangerous, and I want to make sure I'm 100% focused."

Is there any pressure moving up to the main event? Henderson: "No. There's always that pressure that I put on myself anyway, to make sure that I perform the way I know I can, so that's just the way it is. Every fight's a big fight in my mind."

Evans: "I don't feel any added pressure you know. It's just one of those things that when you step in with somebody like Dan Henderson, it doesn't matter if you fight him first or the last fight of the night."

Why does Roy Nelson believe he's become such a fan favorite? "I think I represent America; you know I'm just there to break into the mainstream for everybody. People that tend to be in our sport tend to abuse performance enhancing drugs so, that's the reason I probably don't look like the typical UFC fighter."

Full audio available at http://youtu.be/Zmaj5EWmR4A or on iTunes (kw: angrymarks).

Steve Juon (@angrymarks)
Reporting for WrestlingObserver.com

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