Strikeforce: Miami Conference Call Recap
It was quite a situation this afternoon. On the phone via conference call, four fighters who were about to challenge for two Strikeforce championships. Nick Diaz and Marius Zaromskis for the welterweight title and Chris “Cyborg” Santos and Marloes Coenen for the lightweight women’s championship. There were members of mmajunkie, USA Today, Sports Illustrated….and me, a 24 year old college kid with no true professional sports journalism experience simply thanking my lucky stars I was given the opportunity to participate.
Things got off to a bit of a rocky start when the conference start was delayed 15 minutes. I had a hunch that it had something to do with Nick Diaz, and I was proven correct when we found out he had just woken up. After a brief introduction, the fighters were given a chance to provide some opening statements. Nick was definitely the funniest,
Am i supposed to have something to say? I just woke up, man.
Eventually it was my turn and I tried to get the fighters to open up.
Me: After the problems that arose on the Strikeforce: Carano vs Cyborg card, would you ever consider fighting in California again?
Nick Diaz: (candidly) I wasn’t aware of any problems. I’ll fight anyone, any time, anywhere.
Me: Marius, Despite being the Dream champion, Jay Hieron turned down a fight with you because (according to him) you had “little name recognition”. Do you feel vindicated that Strikeforce offered you a title shot instead?
Marius Zaromskis: I don’t really care what other fighters think or say about me, I don’t read those things. If Jay doesn’t think I have a big enough name, he can wait until I beat everyone. Then I’ll have a big enough name and he can fight me.
Me: Do you have a timetable for when you’ll defend your Dream welterweight title?
Marius Zaromskis: I don’t know yet, it depends on the outcome of this fight.
Me: Marloes, this fight was supposed to happen a year ago but was cancelled when Santos signed with Strikeforce. Do you feel the extra time has allowed you to better prepare for the challenges that Cyborg poses?
Marloes Coenen: Not really. I’m very confident in my skills. I felt I could defeat her last year and I feel the same way now.
Me: Christine, Strikeforce recently announced a women’s tournament to create one of the next title challengers for 145 pounds. What are your thoughts?
Christine Santos: I think the tournament is a great idea. I will definitely be watching the fights closely and analyzing potential future opponents.
I thought of one last question for Nick before the call ended, and I barely had enough time to get it in before my International Business class started.
Me: Nick, Trash-talking has always been one of the biggest parts of your game leading up to a fight but you’ve been noticeably quieter leading up to this match. Do you have more respect for Marius or is this just a different pre-fight strategy?
Nick Diaz: That’s not the case. I’ve honestly never felt more confident than I feel going into this fight. I’ve never had a conference call with an opponent before. I just woke up dude, I don’t know.
All in all, it was apparent that Nick Diaz hadn’t done one of these before. He was pretty out of it due to waking up right before and most of his answers were generalizations or rushed. Marius was a true professional, and his translator did a top notch job. He is very focused for his welterweight title fight. Marloes Coenen is extremely confident in her fighting ability and seemed almost offended when a reporter talked about her main strength being submissions. She promised the fight wouldn’t go all five rounds.
Lastly Cyborg proved she had a sense of humor, making her translator laugh several times. She fielded questions from all over concerning Carano, her role in women’s fighting, growth of the sport, family life and even Playboy and her answers were all very calm and collected. Make sure to tune in on Showtime for these fights on January 30th.