by Ricardo Mendoza, MMAWeekly.com
Las Vegas– Today the UFC held its press conference in anticipation for UFC 98 with UFC president Dana White leading the way with all four main event fighters joining him on stage.
White noted the historic significance of Saturday’s fight, “The main event for the light heavyweight title on Saturday night, for the first time in UFC history, that two undefeated fighters have faced off for the title.”
The challenger Lyoto Machida was short and sweet with his thoughts on the fight, “I’m very excited and I’m looking forward to this fight. I will try to finish this fight before the end.”
This will be Rashad Evans first title defense and he hopes to keep the title for a long time as he mentioned in his comments for the fight.
“I’m very excited to be here. I’m blessed to be on the card with two other great fighters in Matt Serra and Matt Hughes. What can you say about him, this guy defended the title more than anybody else. That’s what I hope to do and Saturday’s my first step.”
Although he is confident in himself, Evans knows that he has a tough task ahead of him on Saturday night. “I got to fight a tough fighter in front of me in Machida. He’s on his game and we are going to see what happens but I’m definitely going to win”.
White went into detail about the co-main event of the evening between former UFC welterweight champions Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, going into how each fighter has a rather large disdain for the other and how the fight has been a long time coming.
The pair of fighters were originally scheduled to face off for the UFC welterweight championship at UFC 79 about 17 months ago, but injuries have prevented the fight from happening until now.
Serra expressed his excitement at the fight finally coming to fruition. “What can I say? It’s been a long time coming; I was devastated when we were supposed to fight the first time. I’m just happy that it’s finally happening”.
To Serra it feels like the fight has been a long time coming, “I feel like I’ve been training forever for this fight, I had a three-month camp. I’m in phenomenal shape.”
It’s been well documented that the two fighters dislike one another and Serra addressed it bluntly. “We don’t like each other, that’s evident.”
He even addressed some trash talking from Hughes camp that mentioned Serra would be scared to be in the cage with Hughes on Saturday night. “Believe me, there is no place on the planet that I’d rather be then staring across the cage from Matt Hughes on Saturday night.”
Hughes was a man of few words, as he kept it brief, just talking about being healthy for first time in a long time. “I’m very healthy for this fight, I had a great training camp and my body has really worked with me and been injury free. So I’m definitely 100 percent healthy for this fight, mentally and physically.”