Events — 07 March 2012
UFC Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall

Blog: UFC Press Conference at Radio City Music Hall


When it comes to mixed martial arts, President Dana White’s Ultimate Fighting Championship rules the roost. Tuesday morning, headed to New York City’s famed Radio City Music Hall for a press conference promoting UFC’s next upcoming show in our area. Since MMA is not sanctioned in the state of New York, Madison Square Garden is out the window. Instead, on May 5th they will return to the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey for a live presentation of their newly minted UFC on FOX series, a free pay-per-view caliber card for their growing fan base.

May 5th’s FOX broadcast marks UFC’s return to the Garden State for the first time since last March, with a card that saw Jon “Bones” Jones defeat Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the light heavyweight title. Tuesday’s Radio City press conference, much like last year’s, served more as a rallying cry to bring the sport to New York City. The hour long session was packed by rabid fans, clamoring to shout out their favorite fighter and get the opportunity to ask each fighter any questions they had in mind. The panel of seven fighters was moderated by White who charismatically dodged some pressing questions with ease, even though he appeared open to fan suggestions. Many fans used the forum to ask fighters such as Pat Barry if he would utilize varied styles in his match with the hulking Lavar Johnson. Barry in his sarcasm responded, “I don’t know.” For some reason a least two fans used this time to ask White for jobs, which received chuckles from White and the rest of the panel.

As the headliner, Jersey pride will be on full display when Whippany’s own Jim Miller goes inside the octagon with Nate Diaz in a lightweight five-round main event. Miller and Diaz are considered two of the most exciting 155-pounders in the world and both world class fighters bring with them a shared expertise in Jiu-Jitsu. Miller’s strong wrestling background and appearance on his home turf may give him the early advantage, but either way fight certainly seems to be a must watch. The winner is expected to earn a title shot, so this one is a big deal folks.

Tuesday morning was all about May 5th’s card, headlined by four major fights which will broadcast live on FOX. The rest of the card includes two of the division’s most lethal strikers Pat Barry and Lavar Johnson doing battle in an explosive heavyweight fight. And if Barry’s mouth matches his brute force this one may not last a full round. Next, Rousimar Palhares, absent from yesterday’s conference as a result of Visa issues, will face Alan Belcher in a middleweight contest. Palhares is known as one of the division’s most feared submission artists but Belecher’s rising star may ultimately bring about one of the night’s biggest upsets. The carnage continues when Josh Koscheck takes on Johny Hendricks in a welterweight contender fight. Both men dominate the wrestling style and are known for their one-punch KO’s. In the end it could be any man’s game to win.

As the press conference neared completion, White spoke honestly and openly to the crowd of fans. He made it a point to state that UFC’s ever growing family of fans are the only reason for their success. Unlike other sports, an outsider can easily see the camaraderie between the fans and the organization, and among the fighters themselves. On May 5th be sure to tune into the UFC on FOX to witness the exciting end result of the art of fighting. Let’s just hope the next time White and his UFC have another press conference in Manhattan it’s to announce a card at Madison Square Garden. But until that day comes, we are Jersey bound!

- Jay Rubin

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