As the UFC hosted a media conference call to promote UFC on Fox 5, which emanates live from Seattle next weekend, the focus of the event’s featured competitors exhibited itself in full. Though light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson never voiced his thoughts on the call, the other competitors expressed their thoughts and had nothing but positive feelings to direct towards next week’s card.

Arguably the most stacked UFC on Fox card since the inaugural outing last year, the card’s featured contest pits UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson vs. challenger Nate Diaz, while Gustafsson contends with former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and former two-division champion B.J. Penn faces the sport’s top welterweight prospect in Rory MacDonald. While Gustafsson will see Rua at the weigh-ins next week, Rua guaranteed the media and the crowd that he would come prepared to battle on fight night.

“Right now, I’m focusing on Gustafsson and everything is changing one day to another,” Rua said. “I made a wonderful camp for the Gustafsson fight. Everything is okay, no injuries…I think it’s the fight everyone wants to see because we both look for the knockout. We’re strikers and the fans will have a wonderful show.”

Speaking of a wonderful show, Penn aims for a thriller against MacDonald, but more than that, he aims to prove he never lost a step. After last year saw him going to a draw with Jon Fitch and losing a lopsided decision to Nick Diaz, Penn found a new approach to his preparation. He hopes this newfound preparation will help his critics understand how much his name still belongs in the discussions about the greatest fighters of all time.

“I won’t be able to do this the rest of my life ” Penn said, “and I want to give it a good shot…I still think I have something left to accomplish.”

As for MacDonald, he did discuss Penn with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. GSP mentioned a few things to MacDonald, but MacDonald never disclosed anything specific. That said, he did have a message of his own for Mr. Penn.

“For all I know, B.J. could have changed his training and he’s a Muay Thai fighter now,” MacDonald said. “I just get better as a martial artist, and I react to what’s in there.”

Title challenger Diaz, normally a man of few words, did speak on a few topics himself. After making it clear that his fight will come against Henderson and the judges, he complimented The Ultimate Fighter as a way for hopefuls to break out and break into the UFC. As for the fight with Henderson, Diaz conveyed a simple message to the champ.

“Maybe it’s my turn to represent for my team,” Diaz said.

The champion Henderson, who will come off of two closely-contested victories over Frankie Edgar to contend with Diaz, responded in his own way, as he let the world know that he would take the win over Diaz, regardless of how he had to earn it.

“I’m just looking for a victory…If he slips on a banana peel, I’ll take it. If it’s even closer than the second Frankie Edgar fight, I’ll take that too,” Henderson admitted.

And how did UFC President Dana White react all of this?

“Tone your training down a little bit. Let’s not get injured in the last week and a half.”

Photo: UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson (

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.