“UPRISING” FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES:
RUA-LAWLER, DIAZ-AINA, SHIELDS-CHARUTO, CARANO-EVINGER, FUKUDA-VILLASENOR & MORE
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007,
Blaisdell Arena, Oahu , Hawaii
ProElite's respected live fight division, EliteXC, led by Gary Shaw, in association with Hawaii-based promoters ICON Sport and ROTR (Rumble On The Rock), and SHOWTIME, will present “Uprising” — the biggest Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event in the history of Hawaii —Saturday, Sept. 15, on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
In a tremendous, five, 5-minute round pick 'em main event at Blaisdell Arena, talented and exciting Murilo “Ninja” Rua will make his initial EliteXC title defense against power-punching, always-dangerous ICON Sport titleholder, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler.
Other televised fights at Blaisdell Arena include: Nick Diaz vs. Mike Aina, Jake Shields vs. against Renato “Charuto” Verissimo, Gina Carano vs. Tonya Evinger and Joey Villasenor vs. Riki Fukuda.
Immediately following the SHOWTIME telecast, four additional undercard bouts will be streamed live at ProElite.com.
(Selected Quotes from Thursday’s press conference at Blaisdell Arena:
“I feel great and I am ready to fight. This is going to be a good fight. Lawler is a tough guy. But I feel the longer the fight goes, the better it will be for me.
“Lawler is going to be very dangerous, especially early, but he gets careless and leaves himself open at times.
“The ground and his conditioning are his weaknesses.”
“RUTHLESS” ROBBIE LAWLER
“Everything is right on schedule for me and I am ready for a great fight.
“I am prepared to go to the ground, but I don’t think I will. If I do go down, I am going to get right up, or might end up on top.
“The rules may be different than I am accustomed to, but a fight is a fight and I am ready to fight under any rules. I can adapt to whatever I need to.
“Mentally and emotionally, I am set. This is going to be a great fight and I am totally prepared.”
“I’m happy to be fighting for EliteXC. They’ve really treated me well and very professionally. Everything they’ve said they were going to do, they’ve done. They truly seem to have the athlete’s best interests at heart and put the athletes first. That they care means a lot to me.
“I really can’t do anything about the way people think. Some may think I’m a bad guy, but I really am not. I am definitely not the monster some think I am. I don’t want to say I’m misunderstood — all I am is a fighter who loves MMA and tries to keep it real.
“I say some things that might throw some people off — like stressing that people should watch what they eat and eat only healthy foods, but all I am doing is being me and telling the truth. If you want me to be the bad guy, I can, but that’s not really me.
“I don’t have a specific game plan for Aina on Saturday but I am looking forward to a tough fight and putting on a great show for EliteXC and SHOWTIME.”
IRON” MIKE AINA
“This is a chance of a lifetime for me. Nick Diaz is a great fighter. This is my opportunity to show I’m a great fighter, too. I’m looking forward to a really good fight.”
“I can’t believe Tonya says what she says sometimes, but she speaks her mind and that is good.
“I am really looking forward to returning to the cage, but I expect this to be a tough fight. It is going to be a tough fight. I seem a little more anxious before a fight than I have in the past. We’ll see after Saturday’s fight if that was good or bad.
“I thank God and my family and EliteXC for putting me on this great show. We’ve got the ball rolling. I don’t want it to stop here.”
“I’d like to make out with Gina, but I am here to knock her out. Either way she wants it, though, is fine with me.
“Fighting Gina on SHOWTIME is an awesome opportunity. Of course, I want to kick her butt. I want to kick everybody’s butt. Style-wise, it never matters who I fight.
“But I can’t say anything bad about her. Gina is a good girl. I just want this to be a great fight and I will win. I have worked really hard and am going to try my best. I know putting forth a great performance will help me get fights later than I may not have been able to get.
“I am confident but I am always worried before a fight that I will not execute my game plan. That’s what happened to me last time and I lost. Seems the bell sounds, and I tend to forget everything and I just want fight.”
“I am not anxious to reveal my game plan but, like always, I am going to fight hard and do my very best to represent my country ( Japan ) and my team. I am a little sad that my coach of the last two years (Kid Yamamoto) will not be here, but he has got be prepared.
“I have had more preparation for this fight than ever before and have really been working on my ground game. I want to get more well-rounded.
“I want to thank everybody involved for this opportunity. I am not going to let it pass by. I feel great and am ready to go.”
“This fight is all about me being victorious, getting back on track and proving to myself that I deserve to be mentioned with the top middleweights in the world. Fukuda is definitely a tough opponent, but I am confident if I fight like I know I can, it will be all good.
“I know I can compete at the top level; I’m not sure Fukuda has. This is a great honor and a great opportunity for me to fight on SHOWTIME again. I am ready to go.”
“I feel great and am looking forward to fighting again in Hawaii and on SHOWTIME. I can’t say I have been mobbed while walking down the street but I have received a lot more recognition since my first fight on SHOWTIME. I have a lot of people coming up to me on the street to talk.
“My next fight is always the most important one, but I really have a lot of respect for Charuto, who definitely is a great fighter and someone I have to take very seriously.
“I want to fight the best and so does he, and he knows the quickest way for him get back into the picture in a major way is to beat me.
“Ultimately, I fight for myself and being ranked in the top 10 or whatever is nice, but it is nothing to be satisfied with. I want to be No. 1. That is every fighter’s goal.”
RENATO “CHARUTO” VERISSIMO
“We were supposed to earlier this year but the event didn’t happen and the fight was postponed. I have had a couple fights since because I had to stay busy.
“I am committed again to MMA and am looking forward to this fight. I lost two straight last year because I wasn’t focused. I was working as a plumber and training, but I wasn’t training or working out like now. Mentally, I wasn’t there. But now I’m back and in full training.”
BRANDON WOLFF (INTERNET)
“I am very happy to be fighting on an EliteXC show, and I hope to be fighting on many more. This will be a great experience for me and getting the extra exposure is fantastic. I am fighting for Hawaii in this one.
“I know the guy I am fighting is undefeated, and he is going to be tough. They didn’t fly him over for nothing. But that’s what I want. I am ready to do whatever it takes to win but I also want to see what I am made of. This is a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to it.
“I think he may have some advantages on the ground. I’ll have advantages standing up.”
CHAD KLINGENSMITH (INTERNET)
“I’m fighting a hometown guy but it makes no difference.”
KALA KOLOHE HOSE (INTERNET)
“This is a big opportunity for me to get recognized. The people in Hawaii understand MMA probably better than anywhere so I know they will be pulling for all the hometown fighters.
“The only thing I know about my opponent is that he is 6-feet-2”
MARK OSHIRO (INTERNET)
“I like to hurt people, but not out of anger. I want to be the best I can be. I hate to lose and will fight any way I can to win.
“This is my first time in a cage and I don’t know what to expect. I’m a little nervous. But I want to prove to the world and myself that I belong where I am. There are a lot of good 135-pound fighters. I can’t show any fear.”
NUI WHEELER (INTERNET)
“I grew up in a touch neighborhood and guys picked on me because I was small. I used to fight big guys on the street, so why not in the cage?
“I fight for my family and not for myself. The most dangerous fighters are those with nothing to lose, and I have nothing to lose. The pressure is all on him.”
About Pro Elite, Inc.
ProElite Inc. delivers the most exciting entertainment experience in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) with live arena-based entertainment events, cable television programming on Showtime Networks and community-driven interactive broadband entertainment via the Internet. ProElite embraces MMA with the highest levels of honor, integrity, discipline and self-esteem all the while remaining inclusive for fighters, fans and schools. ProElite’s live fight division, EliteXC, delivers spectacular live MMA fight events that showcase the world’s top fighters. ProElite’s interactive business, ProElite.com, capitalizes on the growing popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts by building a community of mixed martial arts enthusiasts. In addition to streaming the most exciting live fights to the web, ProElite expands the fan base of the sport by providing a comprehensive set of online social networking tools for fans, fighters and organizations. ProElite.com — Empowering the Fight Community TM
About Showtime Networks Inc.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME, THE MOVIE CHANNEL and FLIX, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME TOO, SHOWTIME SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME, SHOWTIME BEYOND, SHOWTIME NEXT, SHOWTIME WOMEN, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV.