LIVE BLOG: UFC 102 Conference Call – Couture vs. Nogueira

We’re blogging today’s UFC 102 conference call with Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, live, beginning at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET. Refresh the page frequently for the latest updates…

11:48 – That’s it folks…

11:46 – Randy and Nog both say that it’s easier to go out and do your job as a fighter when there isn’t any animosity between you and your opponent. There’s not so much wasted energy on emotions.

11:42 – Randy says there was no negativity around the gym due to Forrest Griffin and Gina Carano losing their fights recently. “If losing a fight is the worst thing that happens to them, they’re doing pretty damn good.” Says those are just good learning experiences and both of them will come back stronger.

Says that Forrest returned to the gym yesterday (Monday, Aug. 17).

Randy says his divorce with Kim is going a little easier than his last divorce, not really being a distraction.

Nog says he has had three fights in the UFC and has yet to show his best performance.

11:40 – Randy on Cain Velasquez and Shane Carwin: “I think they’re both great athletes… they both deserve to be right up at the top of the weight class. It’s going to be real interesting to see who comes out of that fight… and how.”

Nog on Cain and Shane: “Both are top guys in the weight division. Cain shows a lot of heart in his fights and great endurance. It’s going to be a great fight.”

Randy, since when have you wanted to fight Nogueira?: Says he was excited about meeting him in the finals of the Rings King of Kings tournament before Randy got beat. He was “impressed with his performances (then)… He’s certainly been one of the top guys in the sport and I’m happy to get the chance to compete against now.”

11:38 – Randy names Martin Kampmann, Tyson Griffin, and Mike Pyle as guys in the Xtreme Couture gym to really watch for.

11:37 – Randy’s hi-point and low-point in the cage: “Coming back out of retirement (against Tim Sylvia) is definitely one. If I had a low-point, probably around the third Chuck fight.”

Nog on hi-point and low-point in the cage: “Like he said probably couple injuries, like last fight (against Frank Mir)… I feel like I couldn’t train for this fight, that was a low-point for sure. I think submission I got against Tim Sylvia (was the high-point).”

Randy on how to beat Brock Lesnar: “I think it’s gonna boil down to out-wrestling him… Using the cage and finding ways to make him fight off of his back… there’s no easy way around a guy that size.”

Nog on how to beat Brock Lesnar: “I think the jiu-jitsu game with him… we got to try any kind of submission, make him work on the ground, make him tired.”

11:33 – Randy on 3 rounds vs. 5 rounds. It’s his first 3-rounder since Van Arsdale a few years ago: “You can’t afford to have a slow start in any fight, but especially not in a three-round fight…”

Randy says against Nogueira, who is only about 10 pounds heavier, this fight is more about technical issues than physical issues like his most recent fights have been.

Nog says he has been training a lot in Greco-Roman style wrestling to prepare for Randy. “He’s a normal size, so I didn’t train with anybody special (to emulate his body type).”

11:28 – Randy on age; he’s 46: “I don’t worry about it. You set benchmarks for yourself” and when you stop reaching those benchmarks, then you’ll know the time is coming.

Nog is 33, is this an advantage: “No… (but) I’ve been doing my part, taking care of injuries (and being in shape). I think both (of us) will be in shape.”

11:26 – Randy: “(Oregon) is turning into a wonderful place (to develop fighters.) It’s an honor for me to be back in front of a bunch of family and friends in Oregon.”

Randy on how long he wants to fight: “I’m holding up very well physically. I’m gonna continue to take it one fight at a time and doing what I do well.”

11:23 – Nog: “I’m 33 years old, I think I have a lot of (fight left in me). I feel young. I feel healthy. I am still very competitive.”

Nog on his brother, Rogerio coming to UFC: “Yeah, he’s going to be coming soon… for sure, he’s coming to UFC. Once they close the deal, he’s coming to UFC for sure.”

11:20 – Randy ever on Dancing With the Stars: “I did a little cameo a couple seasons ago. I think it’s really cool that Chuck is gonna do that.”

11:18 – Randy on longevity: “I have a passion for the sport. It’s not just work, it’s what I lave to do.”

On leaving UFC to fight Fedor: “If it’s gonna happen, I think it’s gonna happen in the UFC.”

Randy on looking past “It would be stupid to look past this fight.”

Nog: “I feel I have to do way better than I did in my last match.”

Randy: “I don’t feel a lot of pressure. I feel I performed well against Lesnar… I just got caught.”

11:15 – Randy on Strikeforce on Saturday: “I think it was a historical event. I think the UFC has entertained the idea (of women fighting), but they’re not there yet.”

Nog on whether he should get a title shot if he wins: “I need to think about this fight right now. I can’t think about the future before this fight happens. I think that is a very good fight for me.”

11:13 – Nog: “Bad fights happen. I couldn’t be in shape,” talking about how bad his knees were in the Frank Mir fight. “(Now) I feel very good. I brought all of my partners to California and I have been training very hard.”

11:11 – Randy on Brett Farve: “I think Brett has a strong competitive spirit. I’m not surprised he finally made the decision to continue to compete.”

Nog: “Its’ going to be a great fight for me… (being in Portland) I know I’m gonna have plenty of people against me.”

11:09 – Randy “It’s going to be nice performing in front of my home town. It’s awesome to be the main event in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m excited about it.”

Randy talks about having spent a lot of time working on his jiu-jitsu/submissions and says “I have to be especially attentive there.”

11:07 – Randy “I can’t afford to look past Minotauro.” Commenting about possible shot at Brock Lesnar if he wins this fight.

Regardless of how Nogueira performed against Mir, Randy says, “I have to prepare for the best Minotauro we’ve ever seen.”

11:05 – We’re just now getting underway. Introducing Randy and Nog.