Operator: Good day and welcome to the UFC 232 conference call. Today’s conference is being recorded.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Chris Costello with UFC. Please go
Cris Costello: Thanks Cody. I want to welcome everybody to the UFC 232 Media conference call. UFC
232 takes place Saturday, December 29, at T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas. The event airs live on
pay-per-view. Today’s call will be in two parts, the bottom half of the hour will feature the top two
light heavyweight contenders Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson will be vying for the division
championship in the main event. But first, to kick things off, please welcome the athletes that square
off in the women’s featherweight title in the co-main event champion Cris Cyborg and women’s
bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. And with that we can open up to questions.
Operator: Thank you. If you’d like to ask a question, please signal by pressing Star 1 on your telephone
keypad. If you are using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to
allow your signal to reach our equipment. Once again that is Star 1 if you’d like to ask a question
and we’ll pause for just a moment to allow everyone an opportunity to signal. And will take our first
question from Keith Shillan with the mmatakeover.com.
Keith Shillan: Thank you for the time guys. First to the challenger, Amanda Nunes. Amanda you have wins
over Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, two wins over Valentina Shevchenko and then obviously if you
pick up a win over Cris Cyborg, that is one heck of a resume. So, my question is if you pick up that
win is there even a debate that you’re the greatest female fighter of all time?
Amanda Nunes: Yes, for sure. I think Cris is the best in her division and this fight is going to put me on
another level. This is 100%.
Keith Shillan: Well the decision to move up, was that more for trying to become the double champion or is
that more to try to beat Cris that no one has been able to do in the last 20 fights?
Amanda Nunes: It’s not to do — it’s not against Cris. The reason I moved up was my division kind of stopped
and I told UFC can you offer me something? Whatever you offer me, I’m going to take it. And they
offered me Cris and I took the fight. That was it.
Keith Shillan: Okay over to Cris. Cris the UFC has made this whole division to kind of showcase you.
They’ve had a lot of bantamweight’s come up and challenge you. What is your overall thought of
the division and what do you think the UFC needs to do to bring in more competition for you?
Cris Cyborg: No, first thank you. I’m very thankful to fight in the UFC and to defend my title. I had a dream,
it was to open the real division, hoping we can have the opportunity to fight for featherweight. I don’t
want to just be the division. I would like to have more growth at 145, more fights growing the
division. And after that, if I stop fighting, the division continues. I think that’s best and puts more
growth in my division.
Keith Shillan: You’ve been in some very big fights. Some off the top of my head: Gina Carano, Marloes
Coenen, Holly Holm. Do you believe this is the biggest test of your career in Amanda Nunes?
Cris Cyborg: I always take very serious, every opponent I fight. Amanda Nunes is a very good athlete,
she’s a champion at 135. I’m the only female fighter now to get three world championships in
different divisions – different organization and different matchmakers. I think after I fight Amanda
Nunes, it’s not only going to be great not only for me, but all of MMA. I think it’s going to be great
exposure for everybody.
Keith Shillan: Thank you very much ladies. Good luck to both of you and happy holidays to everybody.
Amanda Nunes: Thank you.
Cris Cyborg: Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. We’ll now take our next question from Sasha Moks with FightBook MMA.
Sasha Moks: Hi. I just want to say good luck to both of you. This is going to be a great fight. This is one
that I think fans from all over the world will be looking forward to. First question – Amanda Nunes,
you said this fight, in particular, is bigger than the Ronda Rousey fight. Can you just elaborate on
that and can you tell us about the emotion heading into this match with Cyborg?
Amanda Nunes: Definitely is bigger than the Ronda Rousey fight. A true champion has never happened
before in the UFC. This is the first time. And for that reason, it makes this fight bigger than the
Ronda Rousey fight. And am I prepared for this fight also, I’m healthy. I’m physically amazing, in
the best shape that I’ve ever been before. And my mind is so like focused for this moment in my
career and I’m very excited.
Sasha Moks: Well it sounds like you’re very prepared for this fight. I need to ask, given with your amazing
resume you had fights with Valentina Shevchenko, Raquel Pennington, like I just mentioned Ronda
Rousey. Do you think there’s enough spotlight on you because it seems like whenever you fight
let’s say for example the Ronda Rousey fight a lot of the attention was on Ronda. Do you think
there’s enough spotlight on you as a fighter heading into this match against Cyborg?
Amanda Nunes: Honestly, I’m not worried about that. I worry about the fight, you know? This fight, the
result is going to be, is going to give me the thing that I really want. And I’m not worried about anything else, if they want to promote, who they want to promote, I don’t care. I’m focusing right
now to make history you know what I mean? And it’s the only thing that I think right now. Whatever
they want to do with the promotion, they feel free to do you know?
And yes it happens in all my fights before this one – I’m always the underdog. I love a fight like that.
I love to be the underdog. I love to be the one nobody expects that I’m going to do anything, you
know? This is a biggest thing for me. I like to fight in this kind of position, you know? I don’t have
nothing to lose in this fight.
Sasha Moks: Absolutely.
Amanda Nunes: I don’t have nothing to lose, only to win and I’m good with it.
Sasha Moks: Absolutely. And, you know, you’re currently the bantamweight champion. You’re challenging
for the featherweight championship and just at UFC 231 we crowned Valentina Shevchenko, a
person who you beat as a current female flyweight champion. Now do you foresee a possibility that
you could move down and even challenge for a third title or is that way – just too much for you at
the current stage of your career?
Amanda Nunes: Right now, I’m focusing on my next fight, you know. It’s biggest one in my career definitely.
It’s the biggest one in my career. And I focused everything that I have every power, mentally and
strength body-wise, I’m focusing this fight. But after this one, we can talk about my next step. I’m
going to open be open to talk about right after my next fight.
Sasha Moks: Thank you. Next question, for the champion Cyborg you said this may be your last fight and
you’ve openly talked about looking into a boxing career. If this is your, if this – does go your way
what else do you have left to prove in the world of mixed martial arts?
Cris Cyborg: You know I never fight to prove anything. It’s something I really love, it’s my job. And actually,
I don’t say this is my last fight in MMA. You know, I’m going to want to continue fighting. I just say
I have a dream to have a boxing fight. This is one dream I had for a long time in my life. But there’s
nothing about this being my last fight. Yes, I want to do a lot for women’s MMA and know and that
can grow into women’s boxing. I think is going to be amazing like way McGregor did, you know, I
think this opened the door for this opportunity and to not just think about me, you know, but open
the opportunity for woman’s boxing too. I think this is great. And just to answer Amanda, you know,
Amanda said she don’t care about promotion but she said she wanted nine months for training so
UFC can have time for promotion. This sounds funny for me.
Amanda Nunes: This is for training – not about promotion. When you have time for training you don’t think
about a promotion…
Cris Cyborg: Yes.
Amanda Nunes: …about training.
Cris Cyborg: But you said, you said, you said oh you know, UFC doesn’t have time to promote the fight in
nine months. They don’t need anything nine months, they don’t need anything.
Amanda Nunes: But I don’t say the promotion needs to be about me. I say to promote about the fight, our
Cris Cyborg: The fight.
Amanda Nunes: …about me and you.
Cris Cyborg: Exactly. You…
Amanda Nunes: The fight.
Cris Cyborg: …You think they need to promote the fight for nine months. You think they didn’t.
Amanda Nunes: That is not my problem. You should have talked to UFC about that, you know what I
mean? That is not my problem. They offer me the fight…
Cris Cyborg: You don’t understand.
Amanda Nunes: …I tell them I have this time for.
Cris Cyborg: I understand.
Amanda Nunes: I’m available for this time and they take it. That is not my problem. You should have talked
to UFC about that.
Cris Cyborg: No, I don’t have any problem. I just say I think it’s so funny you say you needed nine months
for UFC to have time to promote it.
Amanda Nunes: I – listen Cris, listen this – you a powerful fighter. You’re a strong fighter. Do you think I’m
coming from my last fight at 135, I make 135, do you think I’m going to step up to fight you if I’m
not 100%? Let’s be honest.
Cris Cyborg: No, I want you to be 100%
Amanda Nunes: Let’s be honest right here.Cris Cyborg: I want you to be 100%. It’s going to be a great fight.
Amanda Nunes: I say like listen Dana White, I’m not available to fight right now I just made 135. I was
injured, and I say but maybe if she accepts it at the end of the year, I’m going to be 100%. And that
is not my problem. You should’ve talked to UFC about that.
Cris Cyborg: That’s great. I want you to be 100% and do a great fight. I want it to be.
Sasha Moks: Cyborg…
Cris Cyborg: Yes?
Sasha Moks: Cyborg so just by listening to that, the emotion between you and Amanda Nunes is there any
real bad blood between you two? Is it personal or are you looking at this as just, as a professional
bout to solidify your legacy?
Cris Cyborg: No, I have any emotion here. Do not talk about any emotion. I just say answer what you said.
I don’t have any emotion.
Sasha Moks: Thank you.
Amanda Nunes: Then from my side, is not as well. You know, I don’t have nothing against Cris. Actually,
she’s the greatest, you know. She’s the best champion in her division and I’m very happy to share
the cage with her. You know, it’s not to do with that – it’s not to do with anything about personal
anything. I don’t have nothing against her, you know? This is all business right here.
Sasha Moks: Absolutely. Yes I have one last question for the champion. Do you think with this new 232
headlined by Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson, do you think this fight deserves more spotlight
as it is arguably the best fight in woman’s mixed martial arts history?
Cris Cyborg: I think it’s going to be great. I think Amanda’s a great fighter. We’ll do a great fight together,
great fighter. And with Jon Jones too, I already shared the event with him. I think it’s going to be an
Chris Costello: Perfect, all right thank you very much for both your times. Thank you for the opportunity
and I wish you guys nothing but the best.
Cris Cyborg: Thank you.
Amanda Nunes: Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. And we’ll take our next question from Damon Martin with flocombat.com.
Damon Martin: Hey guys. First question is for Cris Cyborg. Cris, you’ve talked about the growth of the
featherweight division and obviously your hope that the UFC will continue to expand that the vision.
What would you like to see over this next year to give you competition? Do you think it’s just about
signing more fighters? I mean they did the Ultimate Fighter. Were you impressed by what you saw
there? Like what do you feel like it’s going to take to get the featherweight division on par with some
of the other divisions in the sport?
Cris Cyborg: For me, I would like fight more through the years. I don’t want to wait nine months for one
fight. I am healthy, I was in training and I’m no teenager. I’m not 17-year-olds and have to wait
almost one year for a fight. For me, next year I would like to fight more. You know, if UFC wants to invest in 145-pounds, this is now my own problem. You know, I just want to continuing training and
then I want to be able to step in on any opportunity that shows up for me.
Damon Martin: When you look at Amanda Nunes — I know you said that, you know, you don’t make any
one fight bigger than another fight for your history — but when you look at Amanda Nunes what do
you feel like is most dangerous about her?
Cris Cyborg: I never look at what my opponents do that is dangerous. I always train very serious for my
opponent and be ready in any situation. I’m ready to do five rounds for Amanda Nunes. I watch all
her fights with my team. I know her mistakes. I know mistakes she continues doing and then I know
where she’s good or she’s not good. The one thing I just think whenever you step in the cage, do
my own thing and get the victory and continue be the champion.
Damon Martin: And I know Cris you got – you’re sort of working with a new management team more
recently and I know you said, you know, you hope things will work out, you can stay with the UFC.
Are you confident in that that you will be able to stay with the UFC and maybe even do the boxing
thing now that Dana White has talked about doing boxing? Like are you hopeful to stay with the
UFC in the future?
Cris Cyborg: You know, this is the one dream I have, you know. But they know I’m really happy with my
team, I think we work very well together and let’s see, you know. I mean we will continue to work
with UFC, but will they want to continue work together, it’s possibility. And for sure I had my dream,
but my focus now is my next fight and after I can talk about next steps.
Damon Martin: And a couple questions for Amanda. Amanda you talked about taking the time to get ready
for this fight. Can you give me a little idea of like adding the extra weight, adding the extra muscle?
Like how has that gone for you and how is your body adjusting to fighting at 145 pounds?
Amanda Nunes: Actually, I feel amazing you know? I’m natural around 145. My first fight here in USA was
145 division, was back of the day in Strikeforce. And when I fight Julia Budd, that was 145 fight.
And I feel amazing right now. You know, all my preparing, all my, I gain weight, you know, I put on
some muscles, I put on some weight and I feel amazing. You know, I feel well-prepared. I feel like
I am ready for a battle, you know? I know this fight’s going to be a battle and I’m ready for it.
Damon Martin: Amanda obviously there’s only a couple of fighters in history who have held two titles of the
UFC, of course with Daniel Cormier and Conor McGregor holding two titles at one time. Have you
talked to the UFC about what would happen if you win this fight? Like will you defend the
featherweight title? Will you not defend the featherweight title? Has that been discussed?
Amanda Nunes: Actually no. We didn’t talk anything about it yet but eventually it’s going to happen for
sure. And I think they want to really make this happen for us, so we start another deal, you know?
And let’s see what happens after this fight.
Damon Martin: Obviously throughout her career Cris has been so dominant. I mean beyond winning fights
she’s barely lost rounds. Without giving away any game plan, do you see holes in her game, do
you see weaknesses in her game because obviously for the past decade, you know, hardly anyone
has been able to win a round against her much less really offer her much of a threat?
Amanda Nunes: We all know Cris is very powerful. She’s strong we all know that. You know, let’s be honest
here with each other. Of course, every single fighter has a mistake. Everybody has a mistake you
know? But sometimes people don’t know how to capitalize and do something about it in the fight.
This is the thing. Of course, Cris have mistakes. She’s a human, you know what I mean? She’s a
human. She has mistakes. And we’re training for every single mistake she has. And by the – also
we’re training for the good thing she has as well. Hello?
Damon Martin: Hi.
Amanda Nunes: Hello, everybody here?
Operator: Hey. Is that all the questions that you had sir?
Damon Martin: Yes, I’m done.
Amanda Nunes: Awesome, thank you very much…
Operator: Thank you. And once again if you’d like to ask a question that is Star 1. We’ll take our next
question from Ryan Sprague with mymmanews.com.
Ryan Sprague: Thank you ladies and of course best of luck to both of you for this upcoming fight. First
question I have for you Amanda, Damon was alluding to it earlier and he was kind of figuring out if
there’s been talks about you defending your belt after this fight. I guess the question is who do you
see after this fight specifically that you would have in mind for your next match?
Amanda Nunes: Honesty like I didn’t even think about after yet, you know? Everything is about this next
fight, you know? And you will see I want to, like Cris wants her division to be good, I want my
division to be good as well, you know. I want my division run best possible like if I can have it, my
next title defense, my next — Hello?
Ryan Sprague: Hi.
Amanda Nunes: Hello? You hear me?
Ryan Sprague: Can hear us?
Amanda Nunes: Yes, now yes, now we’re good. You know, I want my division to have the next contender
soon. I know have a couple girls have injuries right now. And, you know, the next step is right after
this fight for sure we’re going to know as fast as possible.
Ryan Sprague: Okay. And then do you think that part of booking this fight against Cris was because there
might have been a little standstill as far as competition for you at 135 pounds?
Amanda Nunes: Yes, for sure. I have nobody right now in my division. All the contenders, one injury and
the other one didn’t even fight yet and one of them just fought right now and beat the girl that I
already beat and like you – everything’s like out of control right now. And I decide to make my next
step and this was the reason I step up, you know?
Ryan Sprague: Of course. Next question for you Cris is kind of similar.
Cris Cyborg: Yes.
Ryan Sprague: With a win over Amanda do you really have any thoughts about where you see yourself
moving forward? Are you concerned with perhaps a lack of competition facing you?
Cris Cyborg: You know, after this fight for sure, you know, UFC had a plan maybe who is going to fight
next, that maybe it’s a contender, you know, the Ultimate Fighter. And, you know, I don’t like to
think about another opponent, you know? I focused to Amanda now and I’m going to fight her next.
And after that, we’re going to discuss this and for sure, UFC is going to have a plan, my team is
going to have a plan, we’ll see what’s going to be next for me.
Ryan Sprague: All right thank you very much ladies and again best of luck to both of you.
Cris Cyborg: Thank you.
Amanda Nunes: Thank you, appreciate.
Operator: Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Ryan Garrison with MMA Sucka.
Ryan Garrison: Hey how’s it going guys? Thank you for your time. So, my first question is for both fighters.
This is a fight where we’ve had arguably two of the best current and all-time women’s fighters in
MMA. So, I guess I was wondering, do you think the magnitude of this fight will really elevate not
just women’s MMA but women’s professional sports in general?
Amanda Nunes: Definitely. This fight is going to be the key, you know, to put the women’s MMA in the top,
you know? Nobody ever see that before. This is the first time and I’m happy to be a part of this.
You know, I’m happy to be doing that. This is the big thing. It’s not about me. It’s not about Cris.
It’s about the women’s MMA to grow every time we step in the cage you know?
And this is a big thing right now. I’m happy to be – I’m happy to be the one – I’m happy to face Cris
and we’re going to put a show on for all the fans, all the women out there to look up to us. We want
to put on a show, you know, for everybody really stand up at the end of the fight and clap and be
very happy. This is the thing that I look for. Hello?
Ryan Garrison: And also to Cris the same question, sorry.
Cris Cyborg: But, you know, I think every girl at UFC I think have big responsibility to grow women’s MMA,
you know, makes me really happy to be a part of this. And I think fighting Amanda, you know two
champions are going to fight each other. I think it’s going to be big and that’s a big step for women’s
MMA. And I appreciate all the women that fight any place, you know, for women that makes it the
best they can to promote women’s MMA.
Ryan Garrison: And my second question is again for both fighters. So, I’m kind of wondering what you
guys thoughts are on the ESPN deal. So, I mean there’s nothing against Fox obviously, but ESPN
is in a more, it’s a more accessible channel because a lot more people know where that channel is
and they’ve kind of have it saved as a favorite. So, I was kind of wondering why how do you feel
about the timing of this because obviously it’s – obviously it is the biggest fight for women’s MMA
ever and your guys are transitioning over to the ESPN platform where arguably you’re going to get
more exposure out there. So, I’m wondering, like, how do you feel about that?
Amanda Nunes: Always when we have exposure it’s very good for the fighters you know? For sponsors,
for future things in your career, it’s always good to have exposure. Even this new deal is going to
help it a lot with exposure, I’m happy with it. I’m very happy. And I can’t wait to see where this new
deal is going to take all the fighters to, you know. UFC keep it growing. The women’s MMA, keeps
growing and this fight’s going to be huge, going to put women’s MMA out there.
You know, I have a lot of girls in the divison, I know every girl, every single one is a part of this. But
me and Cris, now we’re going to make history, you know, we’re going to – we’re really going to
make everybody stop to watch me and her fight and this is going to be awesome.
Ryan Garrison: And Cris too, what – same question.
Cris Cyborg: You know, it’s great. You know, UFC has the new deal to work with ESPN. This means maybe
the fighters are going to make more money, you know, I don’t know. It has to be good for everybody.
But I think it’s going to be great ESPN, fighting there and that’s it.
Ryan Garrison: All right guys, thank you so much and best of luck to both of you.
Chris Costello: Thank you. Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. We’ll now take our last question from Rodney James Edgar with MMA Soldier.
Rodney James Edgar: Hey my first question is for Cyborg. Cyborg I’ve covered all the UFC events that
you’ve done in Las Vegas. And an observation I have is that you draw on a big crowd. A lot of
people come out to see Cyborg, a lot of people love you. Is Las Vegas one of your favorite places
to fight or if not the favorite?
Cris Cyborg: You know, I love fighting in California. You know, I don’t know if you went to my last fight with
Holly, you know, you just hear Holly, you don’t have so much Cyborgnation there. You know, but,
you know, I never just listen to crowd. You know, I go over there, do my best but Las Vegas is a
nice place to fight but, you know, in California I have my whole crowd here come and watch me.
And they know I’m going to put on a nice show and these people that don’t have the opportunity to
be there they probably going to watch on TV.
Rodney James Edgar: Now in the past you’ve been critical about UFC, you know, not promoting you
enough but do feel like that’s changed a lot because I feel like they definitely, you know, that’s, you
know, like I said that’s a big part of why you have, you know, such a huge fan in following especially
in Las Vegas during the fight weeks?
Cris Cyborg: You know, I did in the past. I don’t just think about me. I think not just me, but a lot of fighters
have the same problem, you know, but this is I don’t want to change anything anymore. I just have
to continue to do what I have to do in my job and be ready for my next test.
Rodney James Edgar: All right and Amanda I know that in the past you’ve had some sinus problems when
you were in Las Vegas. We actually talked about it last year at the PI during Media Day and you
said you’re taking medication and things. Are you still treating that, the sinus infections?
Amanda Nunes: Yes, if something is chronic, you know, you have to keep it, go to the doctor, you have to
keep the medication on point. But now I’m 100%, you know. I get it – everything’s under control
and I’m100%. You know, my doctor tells me like I’m going to be ready and nothings going to happen
and I’m ready to go.
Rodney James Edgar: Great. You know, and we talked about this a little bit earlier on the call but, you
know, I mean what you’re getting ready to do is, you know, you’re getting ready to try and make
history for women’s MMA and it’s incredible. Can you just tell me how you’re feeling about that, just
kind of elaborate a little more.
Amanda Nunes: I feel amazing, you know? Like this is a huge moment in my career. You know, I always,
always think about this kind of moment, you know, when is going to happen something big. It
happened in UFC 200, happened against Ronda Rousey and now once again against Cris. That is
amazing and I’m very happy with my life. I grateful that everything that I want, life has helped me,
you know, the life gives to me.
And this is an unbelievable moment in my life that I been enjoyed every single time since I signed
the contract until today, until this thing done. I’m going to enjoy and I’m going to have fun the day
of the fight, you know, because this is the moment every single fighter looks for, the moment to
make history, the moment to go to the opposite in your career, the moment you challenge yourself,
you know, see what you are capable of. This is the moment right now in my life, you know? What
I’m going to do there, what is the answer, where is the answer, you know? I have the question right
now. The answer is going to be the day, you know, and this is the only thing that I think right now.
Rodney James Edgar: Ladies thank you so much, best of luck and happy holidays.
Cris Cyborg: Thank you guys.
Amanda Nunes: Thank you appreciate.
Operator: Thank you. I’ll turn the conference back over to Mr. Costello for any closing remarks.
Chris Costello: Thanks Cody. I want to thank Cris and Amanda for joining today’s call. Media please stay
on the line as we dial in the main event. Thank you.
Amanda Nunes: Thank you guys. Appreciate you having me. Thank you.
Operator: Absolutely. Good day welcome to the UFC’s 232 conference call. Today’s conference is being
recorded. At this time I’d like to turn the conference over to Mr. Chris Costello with UFC. Please go
Chris Costello: Thanks Cody. I’d like to now welcome in the main event for UFC 232, former Light
Heavyweight Champion and number one contender, Jon Jones and number two contender,
Alexander Gustafsson who will battle for the light heavyweight championship. And with that we can
open up to questions.
Operator: Thank you. If you like to ask a question, please signal by pressing Star 1 on your telephone
keypad. If you’re using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow
your signal to reach our equipment. Once again that is Star 1 if you’d like to ask a question. And
we’ll take our first question from Jeffrey Harris with 411 Mania MMA.
Jeffrey Harris: Thank you gentlemen for joining us today. First question for Alexander. This is a rematch
that’s five years in the making. I think there was a time when we thought were going to get this fight
in 2014 and, you know, due to injuries and scheduling we never saw it. Now it’s finally going to
happen. Just what’s it like for you to be on the cusp of this rematch and fight you’ve been looking
for, for almost half a decade?
Alexander Gustafsson: Well it’s great. I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to get in there.
Jeffrey Harris: Now can you bring us back at all to 2015 like when it – when you got hurt and I guess the
frustration you felt from when the rematch was originally scheduled and then it got put off because
Jones ended up fighting Cormier?
Alexander Gustafsson: Yes, that was tough, that was tough. But, you know, it’s – it was pretty tough but,
you know, it’s in the past and here we are now. We’re fighting tonight, and I can’t be more ready
then. I can’t be more ready for this fight and I’m feeling great and, you know, like I said I can’t wait.
I can’t wait.
Jeffrey Harris: A question for Jon. You’re unbeaten I think in 11 UFC title fights. This will be Gustafsson’s
third UFC title fight. He’s yet to win a UFC title fight yet. Do you think that says anything about what
type of athletes and fighters you are?
Jon Jones: You said do you think it says anything about what sort of athlete I am?
Jeffrey Harris: Well about you compared to Gustafsson.
Jon Jones: Well what’s your question exactly?
Jeffrey Harris: Well because you’ve won 11 UFC title fights, he’s yet to win one. Do you think it says
anything about you being a certain type of athlete and do you think maybe Gustafsson’s missing
Jon Jones: What it tells me is that this is who I am, this is what I am, and this is my comfort zone. High
level fighting is my comfort zone. Championship fights is my comfort zone. Five round fights is my
comfort zone. Fighting the baddest dude in the world is my comfort zone. I’ve been doing this shit
since I was 23 years old and it’s always been exactly the same, with a hand raised.
And so that’s all this tells me is that it’s another day at the office. No fight’s a big fight, it’s just
another fight. This is what I do. It’s what God put me on this planet to do and yes, another day at
Jeffrey Harris: You know, Jon, one interesting little factoid going into this fight is you’ve actually fought
more recently than Gustafsson. He last fought in May 2017. Could that affect him at all going into
this fight knowing what you know about Gustafsson?
Jon Jones: I don’t know. I don’t know how Alexander’s going to handle the layover, the layoff and the
pressure. I don’t really know how he’s going to handle it. I train and I predict him to handle it well
but I know how I’m going to handle it. You know, the last time I was out for a year I came back at
knocked out the so-called greatest fighter ever, and that’s Daniel Cormier. So, I have no doubt in
my abilities, and my training, my team, my layoff. You know, the proof is in the pudding with me. I
have no losses on my record so I’m just going to go and be myself.
Jeffrey Harris: And last question for Gustafsson. Since you haven’t fought since May 2017 do you anticipate
any ring rust? I mean people throw that term around a lot and it has been a while since your last
fight so I guess what do you do ready to get prepared because this is one of the biggest fights of
your career and it is a five round title fight, so you won’t have any ring rust for this type of challenge?
Alexander Gustafsson: I don’t believe in ring rust at all. The layoff has just been good for me. It’s just been
good for me. I’m a different fighter today than I was 1-1/2 years ago and yes this is my time. I feel
this is the time this fight should happen.
I’ve never been this right in my life and yes, I’m feeling no pressure at all. I’m just enjoying every
second of it. It’s a dream come true. I’m living the dream right now so I’m enjoying every second of
it and I’m going to enjoy every second of in the fight. Five rounds for me these days is not a problem
at all. I’m ready for 10 rounds.
Jeffrey Harris: Thank you gentlemen and good luck to both of you.
Alexander Gustafsson: All right.
Jon Jones: God bless you bother.
Operator: Thank you. We’ll now take the next question from Aaron Bronsteter with TSN.
Aaron Bronsteter: Hi guys. I’ll start with a question for Jon. Since coming back you said you weren’t
interested in fighting Daniel Cormier but late last night you challenged him to a rematch for the light
heavyweight title. Why is he back on your radar and does a fight at heavyweight potentially interest
you as well?
Jon Jones: Well the only reason why I brought up Daniel Cormier’s name is because he brought up my
name. And so I just figured, you know, I used to kind of when I, you know, when I was in trouble, I
sat back all summer long and let everybody just talk as much shit as they want and just talk blindly
with knowing no facts. I watched everyone that I’ve beat in the past say, “Oh he was on steroids when he fought me the first time. That’s why he beat me.” I just sat back and let everybody have at
it and I just stayed quiet for almost a whole year.
Now I’m back and getting ready to reclaim my throne. And the sitting down and being quiet days
are over. You know, Daniel Cormier opened his mouth about me. You know, he wants to sell to the
people that steroids had something to do with my success. He would love it– that’s the dialogue he
wants to get out there. That’s the narrative that he wants to get out there and I’m going to nip it in
So, I challenge Daniel Cormier to be my first title defense and let’s see what he does. I don’t think
he’s responded yet. And I think everybody knows he doesn’t want to fight me a second – a third
time. So, I mean I’m not out to get Daniel Cormier. I’m just protecting myself. The guy’s out there
making comments about me and I just, you know, I’m just responding.
Aaron Bronsteter: When you look at the light heavyweight picture though, for future I guess title fights for
you there aren’t a whole lot of great options out there but if you look at heavyweight there’s a lot of
potential super fights. I know when you came back that was something of interest to you. Is a move
to heavyweight something that you would want to do?
Jon Jones: Yes, you know, at first getting this light heavyweight championship back in New Mexico where
it’s been since 2011, that’s my first goal. And then after that, I don’t really know what’s next after
that whether Daniel Cormier decides to come get this third loss or super fights at heavyweight
division. I don’t really know. I’m pretty up for whatever. Right now, I’ve got a great challenge ahead
of me so I’m just focusing on this. And, you know, after that I’ll start playing with some options with
Dana and Ari and those guys and Hunter.
Aaron Bronsteter: The California State Athletic Commission recently recommended that you do VADA
testing for this fight. You’ve decide to forgo that. What went into that decision and were you at all
worried about the optics of that?
Jon Jones: You know what, I was actually advised not to get into too much. It’s all a pretty new conversation.
It’s something I haven’t really been putting so much energy into. Like every ounce of my body or
spirit my mind has been dominating this next fight, actually finishing the fight. And, you know, I don’t
want to speak out of turn when it comes to these companies these are pretty serious companies
and I want to get my mind around the whole situation before I speak any more on it. So, I’m just
not going to really comment too much on it.
Aaron Bronsteter: Because it’s such a recent thing and you don’t really have all the information that you
need to do something like that?
Jon Jones: Exactly, exactly. I mean this was just kind of thrown at me recently. I haven’t spent any time or
any of my energy on it. I haven’t even put much thought into it right now. And I realize it’s a very
serious deal, but right now I have a fight coming up so, you know, I’m just, you know, one thing at
Aaron Bronsteter: All right. This is for Alex. If you were to…
Jon Jones: I can answer after the fight, you know? Anyways…
Aaron Bronsteter: No problem.
Jon Jones: Go ahead.
Aaron Bronsteter: So this is for Alex. Alex if you were to have to decide what was more important to you in
your career would it be this rematch or just winning a title in general? I mean I know you get the
chance at both here but is this rematch more important to you than say fighting Cormier again if
you – if he was the – continue to be the champion?
Alexander Gustafsson: Yes, yes it is. This is the big fight I’ve been waiting for and I’ve been training for my
whole life. This is the one – the fight I wanted for a very long time. It’s bigger fighting someone else
for the belt. You know, this is me beating the best guy out there, beating the guy that’s never been
beaten and take his place. So, it’s the biggest thing there is for me right now.
Aaron Bronsteter: And the last question for Alex, Jones had just mentioned that he wants his first title
defense to be against Cormier. He doesn’t have the title yet. Do you think he’s overlooking you and
he thinks it will be an easier fight that it will be?
Alexander Gustafsson: Well, I don’t really care so much about it, you know. I’m just here – I’m here on a
task. I’m here to be the best guy in the world. I’m here to be the world champion. I’m here to beat
Jon, nothing else. Everything else is not important to me. You know, they can write whatever they
want to each other on Instagram or Twitter or whatever I don’t care. I’m here on a mission and my
mission is to beat Jon — nothing else.
Aaron Bonsteter: All right, thank you guys. Enjoy your holidays and we’ll see you next week.
Alexander Gustafsson: Thank you.
Operator: Okay we’ll now take our next question from Damon Martin with flocombat.com.
Damon Martin: Hey guys first question for Jon. Jon this last year I know it’s been crazy and you kind of get
exhausted answer the same questions over and over and over again. Is there a little bit with this fight it’s almost like cathartic to kind of turn the chapter, turn the page so to speak and just move
past all that and hopefully write a new chapter in your career?
Jon Jones: Yes absolutely, you know, winning this fight definitely helps me move forward from a lot of stuff.
You know, I don’t like the fact that the first fight was so close. And, you know, there’s a lot of people
out there who feel as if he won the first fight. So then to come back to the game I do feel like I have
a fresh start. I know I have a fresh start. In my spirit I have a fresh start. And getting rid of old
skeletons, it’s always going to be nice you know what I mean?
So, you know, like my goal in this fight is to dominate, finish the fight. I believe that’s what’s going
to happen and yes, it will be nice to move forward and people realize, all right this guy has just
proven they have metabolites in their system obviously for all the cowards out there who say that I
beat them because of steroids, that’s proven to be not true. Daniel Cormier trying to convince
people that steroids had something to do with him being knocked out, that’s obviously not true.
Nanograms of a metabolite does not affect your performance. So, for everybody who said that, you
know, so I got – I finally got past that. Now for the doubt of, you know, Gus saying whether he won
the first fight not I mean you just heard the guy say I get the chance to try to beat the guy who’s
never been beaten. Like which one is it? Did you beat me the first time or because you just admitted
that you didn’t.
But anyways, yes man, to win this fight and devastating performance, that’d be nice man. It’s going
to be real nice.
Damon Martin: You kind of just answer my next question but I’ll ask it anyways. You said in the past that
you are honest and said that you probably didn’t train the way you should have for the first fight
with Alex. You’ve been very honest about that. Do feel like you do need to go out there and
dominate him, finish and put him away to show what kind of fighter you are because you have said in the past that, you know, maybe you didn’t take him as seriously as you should have the first
Jon Jones: Training for the second fight, me and my coaching staff we realized how underprepared we
were the first time. You know, Alexander had a, he brought a different game to the game and it was
something that none of my teammates had prepared me for — we just, we overlooked him. We
overlooked him completely. And I mean if you notice Round 2, I was so tired I could barely finish
the double leg guys. I’ve been shooting doubles since I was a kid. I was just tired man, I was
exhausted in that first fight but I still had enough heart to pull out the victory. I kicked it to a whole
different gear in the late rounds of the first fight.
I know now how underprepared I was the first time. And you’ll see a completely different strategy.
You’ll see a completely different fight, a completely different fight.
Damon Martin: And Jon a lot of people, you know, have called you the greatest of all time but you talked
about over the last year you kind of stayed quiet, let people say what they want to say about you
and just kind of be on. But, you know, you’ve heard, you know, Demetrious Jonson being called
the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, Daniel Cormier being called, you know, the greatest
fighter, maybe the greatest fire of all – all these different things you’ve heard over the last year. Is
there a part of you that feels like a win here kind of reclaims at throne as well? You’ve heard it all.
I mean Conor McGregor, I’m the greatest, all these things. Do you believe this fight kind of puts
you back to where you belong as A, the pound for pound best fighter on the planet and B, the
greatest fighter of all time?
Jon Jones: No I don’t think being considered the best, I don’t think one fight makes you, like one fight
doesn’t make my career. It’s a journey. It’s not one fight. I feel like it will always be up for debate
who’s the best, you know what I mean? Whoever is the best is whoever is hot at the present
moment. I feel like MMA fans are very quick to forget people’s accomplishments.
Like for example Anderson Silva’s not even in the conversation anymore it seems as a goal which
is a shame because he’s done so much for our sport, Jose Aldo, you know, guys who have been
just kicking ass for years. They do so much for our sport and then, you know, one defeat, one close
fight and now they’re not the best anymore. So, it’s like I understand that that’s the conversation
that always will just be an opinion and I just got to focus on the things I can control which is, you
know, preparing myself the best I can for each fight and making sure my hand is always raised at
the end of the day.
Damon Martin: Awesome. A couple questions for Alex. Alex, you know, the last fight was five years ago,
fighters change a lot between fights three months apart much less five years ago. But what do you
feel like is the biggest difference in your game now versus what it was five years ago?
Alexander Gustafsson: I’m just physical and mentally ready for this task now. It’s the right time for me and
I just a different type of fighter now. I’ve been developing everything in my arsenal. I’m better in
every aspect. I’ve faster than ever. I’m a smarter fighter. Every aspect of the game is so much
better right now.
Damon Martin: And, you know, Alex you’ve had a couple shots at the UFC title the first fight with Jon, you
know, one of the greatest fights of all time. It was very close. You challenged him more than
anybody else but at the end you came up short in the decision. Daniel Cormier, same thing
tremendous battle, very close fight, maybe could have gone your way but again the judges said
you came up short. Do you feel like you need to go out there and really have a strong dominant
performance not, you know, maybe not leave it to the judges are kind or, you know, prove that you
are the guy and not have another really close fight with a guy like Jon Jones?
Alexander Gustafsson: Yes, yes. I’m here to finish the fight. I’m here to look for that finish. If I get that finish
I’ll give everything I have. So it’s however this fight will end up I will make sure I win this fight. If it takes that I push him for five rounds, you know, or if I see that opportunity to finish, I’ll go for that
whatever, whatever. I’m not going to do the same mistake a third time. It’s not going to happen. I’m
here to finish the job.
Damon Martin: Awesome, thanks Alex and thank you Jon. Best of luck next weekend.
Jon Jones: Hey thanks.
Operator: Thank you. We’ll take our next question from Keith Shillan with the mmatakeover.com.
Keith Shillan: Thanks for having me. First question is to Jon. Jon obviously you’ve been through a lot of
stuff, I mean run-ins with the law, suspensions. Through this it seems like a lot of fans have turned
against you. Do you care about losing fans and also what are you going to do to try to win them
Jon Jones: Yes, of course you care about losing fans. You know, everybody wants to be a liked person.
And what I got to do to win them back is just, you know, make less mistakes, make less mistakes
and show signs of growth. And I feel like I’ve grown tremendously. Having this sport taken away
from me has showed me how much it really means to me. You know what I mean, I’m not in the
business of taking fighters lately anymore drinking and getting all crazy right before the fight the
way I used to. You know, I feel like I’ve matured a lot and it all means a lot more to me now.
So yes, you know, just making less mistakes. I think at the end of the day everything is forgivable,
most things are forgivable and especially in American culture. They have a way of I – feel like in
America people love a good comeback story. You know, I feel like they love to build athletes up,
people love celebrities up. They really – a lot of people really enjoy watching people fall. But a lot of people really enjoy
watching people climb up after the bullshit. And so I’m aware of that. And my goal is just to climb
up and get it right once and for all. And, you know, showing people a great comeback story.
Keith Shillan: Okay. And you’ve accomplished so many things, you beat so many great fighters. You’re
obviously in the debate for greatest of all time. What do you want your legacy to be when you’re all
done with your career?
Jon Jones: What is my legacy? What would I want it to be? Let’s see here legacy, just being a bad
motherfucker at the end of the day, just a bad, a bad dude man. Am I perfect, no. Am I a Christian
who swears, yes. Do I love God, yes? Do I love my family yes? Am I a bad motherfucker in that
ring, yes and that’s it man.
You know, my – one thing I’m realizing is being a champion you have to wear a suit every day. You
don’t have to be politically correct and kids – all the kids look up to you because you’re such an
angel. And who said that that’s what a champion has to be?
A champion is the guy who goes out there after being cut in the first round of your fight and taken
down for the first time ever fighting with one eye shut half the fight, a champion is a guy who gets
arm barred and fricking finishes Vitor Belfort, finishes the fight with one arm. Dude, that’s a
champion to me, just a bad motherfucker. So that’s what I want my legacy to be. Call me a good
person, a bad person, call me a hypocrite. Call me what you want. I know I’m a bad dude and that’s
what a champion is for me, the baddest dude with the biggest heart, the biggest balls and that’s
Keith Shillan: Yes and I don’t know if anybody going to debate that you’re a bad MF’er. So my last question
for you Jon, Brock Lesnar’s a big name in the sport. He’s probably the biggest money fight going
right now besides Conor McGregor. There’s talks that him and DC are going to get that fight in the near future. You’ve talked about a desire to want to fight Brock. Do you still have the desire and do
you think that you deserve it more than DC?
Jon Jones: I don’t really know about the deserving part. DC’s a pretty deserving guy. He does a lot of right
things, carries the sport very well. But fighting Brock Lesnar is always appealing, you know, I mean?
That’s a win-win situation. That’s a huge money fight. That’s me fighting a guy that’s a hell of a lot
bigger than me and everyone wins in that situation.
I win because of the courage that it takes to step in there against a guy that’s way bigger than you
like that. I win because the pay-per-view that would follow it. The fans would win. It’d just be great
for the sport, be good for everybody involved and I’m totally always up for that.
Keith Shillan: Excellent. Over to Gus. Alex you are in – you’re in a really tough situation Jon was the
champion. He gets stripped DC becomes the champion. Jon defeats him, now he’s a champion
again. He gets stripped again. DC’s a champ. Now they’re going to strip DC for the winner of this
fight. If you win this fight are you going to feel like you’re the light heavyweight champion of the
Alexander Gustafsson: Oh yes, oh yes. When I win this fight I will be the world champion.
Keith Shillan: Okay. And my next question to you is I guess I asked Jon about his legacy. Do you need
that – get this title for your legacy?
Alexander Gustafsson: Yes, yes. This is the fight. This is it. So that’s all that is.
Keith Shillan: Okay. And my last question to you going back to the first fight, I know you can’t take too
much stuff from a fight five years ago but when you walked in you were a huge massive underdog,
not many people were predicting you to win. Now after the war you have there’s a lot of people predicting you to win. Has your confidence been built at all because of how well you did in that first
fight and many people scored the fight for you?
Alexander Gustafsson: My confidence comes from how I’m training and the time I put in, all the sacrifice
you do every day to become a better fighter so that’s where my confidence comes from. And that
was five years ago. It’s in the past. I don’t look at that fight anymore. We have a new fight coming
up now and this is the fight. This is a fight it is and this is the fight I have to win.
Keith Shillan: Excellent. I wish you guys both luck and happy holidays to both of you.
Alexander Gustafsson: Thank you.
Jon Jones: Thank you, brother. Merry Christmas.
Operator: Thank you, peer. We’ll take our final question from Mark La Monica with Newsday.
Mark La Monica: I have – it’s a quick question for Jon. Jon you spoke before about how America loves
comebacks and would love to see people fall down and build themselves back up. I’m wondering,
why do you think that is? What do you think it is about our nature, our society whatever it is that
makes, you know, makes that happen?
Jon Jones: Well I think people like to see people fall down because it humanizes the athlete. It reminds
people at home that this guy is no better than me. Look at this guy. He’s a piece of shit. He does
drugs and he’s got in a car accident. I’m better than him. You know, it makes people feel better
about themselves when they see someone who’s accomplished a lot do things that everyday
people do. I think that’s why they like to see people fall down. You know, and as far as being, I can see the comeback story it gives people hope. It gives people
hope. It’s like man if this guy can – It gives people hope. It gives people hope. If this guy can come
back from this, from that and his mom dying, being so – to really depressed, losing his job when
he know he did nothing wrong this guy can could back from that, you know, who am I to give up?
My, you know, my boyfriend broke up with me, my girlfriend broke up with me and now I feel like
my whole world is over. It’s like it puts things in perspective to people, I think.
That’s why I continue to fight. Dude this summer, I was so fricking sad and I thought to myself how
easy would it be for me to take nine world championships, $7 million and just walk away from the
sport delete Instagram, delete Twitter, never worry about what fans have to say ever again. I mean
that’s the easy route and we’ve seen people do that before. We’ve seen people in the past lose a
fight and never come back. That’s the easy route.
A real man comes back faces the music, does it all over again, rebuilds it from ground up all over
again. So I don’t know I just comeback story part it gives other people hope and I love the fact my
story’s controversial because it shows that I’m far from perfect and it shows you have a guy like
Jon Jones can do it, you know, who says anyone can so…
Mark La Monica: Awesome. Thank you Jon. Appreciate your time.
Jon Jones: No doubt.
Operator: I’ll turn the conference back over to Mr. Costello for any additional or closing remarks.
Chris Costello: Thanks Cody. I’d like to thank everyone for joining on – us on today’s call. Press events for
UFC 232 will begin next Thursday, December 27. Please see the updated PR schedule of events.
Again thanks to all for participating, happy holidays and we’ll see everyone next week in Las Vegas.
Operator: Thank you. That does concluded today’s conference. Thank you all for your participation.